Massey Ferguson reports that a EUR:300 million investment and reorganisation of facilities over last five years at its Beauvais tractor production plant in France is driving manufacturing quality to even higher standards.
The Beauvais facility in Picardy is home to Massey Ferguson in Europe and produces MF tractors from 75-400hp. The plant is the largest producer and exporter of farm machinery in France and, in 2015, total production is forecast to reach 15,000 units.
“Quality has always been a hallmark of Massey Ferguson machines and, today, what amounts to an ‘industrial revolution’ on the factory floor is making radical changes to our approach to quality and guiding the relentless pursuit of continuous improvement,” says Richard Markwell, Vice-President and Managing Director, Massey Ferguson, Europe/Africa/Middle East.
“For Massey Ferguson customers, this means ever-increasing reliability and dependability, and the confidence that their MF tractor will excel at every job. We are single-minded in our objective to give customers the very best experience from the Massey Ferguson brand and are focused on every stage of a tractor’s journey to achieve this – from design, engineering and production through to delivery on-farm and lifetime support.”
“Since 2010, our Beauvais factory has undergone a major transformation to incorporate industry-leading standards of Lean Manufacturing, bringing high levels of efficiency and, most of all, agility – the ability to respond quickly and effectively to changing trends in market demand,” adds Richard Markwell. “Most importantly, significant investments in new processes and control equipment have been made towards our goal of delivering ever-higher standards of product quality and customer satisfaction. Every employee at Beauvais is committed to this approach – it’s our motivation and our inspiration.”
With these new moves, latest in-house figures from the plant show a rise in manufacturing quality levels, while Massey Ferguson’s Customer Satisfaction Index reveals improvements in perceived quality by end-users.
A key manufacturing quality indicator employed at the Beauvais factory is the TGW factor. “TGW stands for ‘Things Gone Wrong’ and it measures non-conformances throughout the production process,” explains Philippe Kerbrat, Manager Quality at the plant. “For example, this could be a non-conforming part from a third-party supplier or a small scratch on the tractor’s paintwork. As improvements have been made at the factory, we have seen TGW reduce by more than 40% during the last two years from what was already a very low base.”
As for assessing customer satisfaction, every new Massey Ferguson tractor purchase sees the customer asked for their opinion on the whole buying experience and delivery process. This comprehensive survey includes questions on product quality at the point of delivery. “Here, the ‘positive answers’ ratio has moved up to 94% in less than five years,” says Philppe Kerbrat. “For us, customer feedback is not just a measurement, it drives change and sustainable success for Massey Ferguson.”
The Beauvais tractor manufacturing plant was recently awarded ISO 9001 Quality Certification, as well as the ‘Best in Class’ Housekeeping Award from its parent company, AGCO.