Nexteer Automotive Case Study Free Sample

Nexteer Automotive is an Automotive company that has many systems that it uses. Some of the systems that Nexteer uses are Service Anywhere, Proofpoint, Encryption, and Okta. Service anywhere is the ticketing system that Nexteer uses for IT related issues. Proofpoint is an email encryption software. Drive encryption is system that locks down your hard drive and you must have a key to unlock it. Okta is a single sign on system that allows people to only remember one username and password.

Many people deal with the different software that Nexteer has. IT, Security, HR. Customers like ford and gm use Nexteers systems. There are many securities in place to keep Nexteer safe.

Nexteer has many different people that have many different roles in the company. From people that handle violations in company policies to handling the business and how it operates. There are also people at Nexteer that are brokers.

Keywords: brokers, organizational policies, encryption, Software-as-a-Service

Nexteer Automotive is an automotive company that makes the steering and driveline columns in cars. Nexteer is a multibillion dollar company that has over 13,000 employees globally including employees in India and China. (Nexteer) Nexteer has many systems in place to help align their business strategies.

The main way for the end user to communicate with IT is through a ticketing system called Service Anywhere. Service anywhere is an out of the box cloud-based service desk solution. It is a Software-as-a-Service management solution from HP. (Wong). Software-as-a-service is a business software that is owned, hosted and managed by external providers, in the case of Service anywhere it is hosted and owned by Micro Focus. The Service-as-a-Support is usually rented and usually used in a multi-tenant architecture. (Loukis) At Nexteer Automotive Service Anywhere is used by DXC (previously HP), Nexteer, and its Joint Ventures.

Service Anywhere is an out of the box ticketing system solution that doesnt have many custom changes that can be made to the system. An out of the box ticketing system means the software is made ready to be installed and used right away. There are pros and cons of an out of the box software. Some pros are that it is ready to be installed, improved updates, customer support lines and online forums. Some cons are changing process to meet software, and never meet all the needs of the company. (Custom) In the case of Service anywhere the pros are that it is an out of the box system, that is ready to be implemented. The biggest down fall is that you can not make anything customizable. Meaning that the tickets have to be basic and cant contain a lot of information. There is not a lot of code changes that you can do, things can not be deleted after they have been created.

Service Anywhere does what most ticketing systems would do, the end user puts a ticket in triggering the ticket to go to someone that can support and help the end user with the issue at hand. Since service anywhere is an issue tracking software there are mechanisms in place to help track issues, track where a ticket is at, track dates, create reports for many different issues. Service anywhere can also be an inventory tool to track who a pc belongs to.

Service anywhere support offerings is away to track underlying events. When multiple end users put in a ticket for a specific issue, the tickets all go to a certain group that is created on the back end. Service Anywhere also has a dash board when each person logs in that an admin can add different news articles to let people know what is going on within the organization. Service Anywhere can create reports for issues, if you see a lot more of a certain ticket, a report on the dashboard will tell you what tickets there are a lot of.

The flow of information is very important. Nexteer is a customer of DXC. We share a lot of information with DXC and must have ways to share all our information with them. Nexteer uses a DXC service desk in Costa Rica to gives Nexteer IT support globally. Nexteer also has many suppliers like GM and Ford and information needs to be shared with all of them. The information is sometimes shared through Service Anywhere. Service anywhere has knowledge articles as part of its system. These articles if kept up to date can help a company share IT knowledge and information with anyone that has access to it. The knowledge articles are created by both DXC and Nexteer and range from information and different types of help sheets.

There are many security mechanisms in place at Nexteer Automotive. Legally I am not a loud to share Nexteer’s security policies. Some systems that I can tell you about are Okta, the badge system, and Proofpoint. Okta is a single sign on software application. That means that through Okta you can open web apps without having to sing in with your id and password on ever app. (Overview) Also Proofpoint is used at Nexteer for email. All email goes through Proofpoint before the mail ever goes to an end user’s pc to make sure they aren’t getting scammed. Also, Proofpoint can encrypt an email that is being sent to someone else, so your data will not be compromised. Proof point is an email encryption software. Nexteer also has a badge system for clocking in and out, no one can come into the building without either going to the front desk, check in, and then be escorted into the building by an employee or employees must badge in at any one of the turn stiles Nexteer has.

The most recent security that Nexteer has put in place to keep our information safe is drive encryption. Encryption helps save all the companies’ data from hackers. Drive encryption is a system that encrypts the data stored with mathematical functions. Only someone with the key can get the data that has been encrypted. (Rouse) This is a good thing for Nexteer but can also be a pain if something happens to the pc and we cannot unencrypt the computer to get the data off of the computer.

Depending on the security breach depends on who in the organization deals with the issues at hand. If the issue is email related or Okta related the issues go to the IT Security manager, who then talks to our Security team and they decide what needs to happen. If the issue is with our badge system, the issues go to Nexteer corporate security.

Nexteer has what they call shared folders to handle our information flow. Right now Nexteer has many shared folders that anyone in Nexteer can go to get some of our applications, directions on how to install applications, help sheets for applications and the information is all over the place. Some of the information is in Service Anywhere, some of the information is in the Shared folders, and some information is in SharePoint. When someone in the help desk finds a new issue, The issue gets documented and sent over to the Service Anywhere admin to get the knowledge added to Service Anywhere.

Everyone in the organization is responsible for following organizational policies. Organizational policies let you communicate to your employees what the boundaries and best practices are for the company. Knowing the companies’ culture and mission statement, helps set the tone for the company, and helps set the tone for the policies. (Kokemuller) Nexteer’s mission statement is be a model global company that achieves profitable and balanced global growth and develop a positive culture. HR managers are the people at Nexteer that are responsible for handling violations of organizational policies. The range of their role in handling people that violate organizational polices is creating training to keep everyone safe when it comes to workplace safety, they also do the disciplinary steps to employees that violate organizational policies.

At Nexteer our board of directors oversee the operations of the business. There are eight different people that are on the board of directors at Nexteer. Three of them are executives and the rest are independent. The shareholders vote on a person to be the director and one of the eight people on the board. (Driving)

Brokers are people that buy and sell goods and services for others. The broker is usually licensed and trained in the field they are working in. Some precautions to take in order to establish minimum trust with a broker is to fin out how much they cost, what they will do for you, and knowing how your investment will grow over time. (Geier) Nexteer has their own brokers. We call them the GSM department. They approve all of our ereqs, make sure we got the best deal for our money and that we followed the right policies on the things that we have ordered. When we submit an order, we have to get approval from four or five different people before we can get our money for whatever good or service we are trying to buy. WE have to have multiple quotes for them also.

There are two different committees that oversee the operation of Nexteer. They are the Audit and Compliance committee and the Remuneration and Nomination Committee. Both committee’s report to the board of directors. Nexteer’s parent company that oversees the operation of our organization is called AVIC. AVIC stands for Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

Nexteer Automotive has a lot of different systems that they use, from Service anywhere to Okta, to Proofpoint just to name a few. There are many security policies in place that include badge systems, Okta, drive encryption and so much more. Nexteer has policies in place from HR to make sure that no one violates the organizational policies. The board of directors’ deals with the business polices. Nexteer has their own brokers that sell goods and services for Nexteer.

References

  1. Custom Development vs. Out-of-the-Box Software. (2014, November 19). Retrieved from https://www.clarity-ventures.com/articles/article/1576/custom-development-vs-out-of-the-box-software
  2. Driving Forward, (n.d.), Retrieved from http://www.nexteer.com/
  3. Geier, B., & Geier, B. (2018, November 19). What is a Broker? Retrieved from https://smartasset.com/investing/what-is-a-broker
  4. Kokemuller, N. (2018, Octoner 22). What is the Purpose of a Workplace Policy? Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/purpose-workplace-policy-41601.html
  5. Loukis, E., Janssen, M., & Mintchev, I. (2019). Determinants of software-as-a-service benefits and impact on firm performance. Decision Support Systems, 117, 38-47. doi:10.1016/j.dss.2018.12.005
  6. Rouse, M. (2008,April). What is hard-drive encryption? – Definition from WhatIs.com. Retrieved from https://searchenterprisedesktop.techtarget.com/definition/hard-drive-encryption
  7. Overview of Managing Apps and SSO. (2019). Retrieved from https://help.okta.com/en/prod/Content/Topics/Apps/Apps_Overview_of_Managing_Apps_and_SSO.htm
  8. Wong, D. (2012, October 22). HP Unveils Cloud-based Service Desk Solution. Retrieved from https://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-news/press-release.html?id=1314512

Automotive Technology Essay

Technology is everywhere and we often use it more than we realize. New types of technologies are constantly being discovered, most of which help us daily. Automotive technology, which is simply just technology found in vehicles, has evolved and it will very likely continue to do so. Although some would say that automotive technology is negative because it can distract drivers or not work properly, meaning that it isn’t always reliable, this technology is actually positive as well as helpful. Automotive technology provides drivers with a safer, easier, and more enjoyable driving experience, making it positive.

Automotive technologies are positive as mentioned above, they can ultimately best be described as lifesaving. Car collisions are unfortunately sometimes deadly. Alan Brown shared with us in his article, “Intelligent safety: newly mandated electronic stability control takes over braking to prevent spinouts–and promises smarter, safer vehicles in the future,” that “According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 10 million vehicles were involved in 6.2 million accidents in 2005. Of that, 1.8 million collisions injured nearly 2.7 million people. Another 39,189 crashes left 43,443 dead.” (Brown). Thanks to technologies such as Electronic Stability Control, Seatbelts, Self-braking systems, etc, these numbers have reduced.

With today’s science, the different types of automotive technologies that can be made and given to drivers are virtually endless. Newer model cars have fresh off the line technologies included in them as they are discovered, however, all cars do have safety features in them which are required that are not “fresh off of the line.” According to Martin B. Cowan, author of “Technology and Automotive Safety,” certain features must be in cars by law. Cowan explains to us that “Many safety features are presently mandated by law (e.g., dual air bags, seat belts, electronic stability control, and tire pressure monitors) or are slated to be required in all consumer vehicles in the very near future.” (Cowan).

Certain technologies, such as seat belts and dual air bags as mentioned in this statement, can be found in nearly all automobiles due to their ability to secure both the driver and passengers in their seats and protect them during collisions: these are necessary. Other technologies, such as backup cameras or auto brake systems, are not in all automobiles because they are more recent types of technology and they are more luxurious than they are necessary. Although technologies like these aren’t already in all automobiles, they will soon be placed in all vehicles. Cowan said, “For example, approximately half of all passenger cars sold in the United States today have back-up cameras as standard equipment; they will be required on all passenger cars manufactured after April 30, 2018.” (Cowan).

Technologies like seat belts and air bags as talked about earlier are commonly seen as safety features instead of technologies. Electronic Stability Control, which is also referred to as ESC for short, is always seen as both. Electronic Stability Control is a technology that brakes steering wheels during skids. This remarkable technology helps prevent drivers from steering themselves into danger by keeping the driver in the direction they were going. Not only is this technology one that saves the driver’s life, but it can also save the life of other people on the road and pedestrians by keeping drivers to colliding with them. By keeping the driver from changing directions, the worry of leaving the road can be put to rest. Veering off the road has been known to cause major car accidents, consisting of cars flipping or even running into things such as trees. Alan Brown states that “A 2006 study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found that electronic stability control reduced non-fatal, loss-of-control crashes by 53 percent for SUVs and 40 percent for passenger cars.” (Brown). These numbers are huge!

Antilock Brake Systems, also know as ABS, have been placed in cars and help reduce the number of accidents as well. Jeffery Zygmont, author of “Auto Safety,” tells us that “For example, the computer brain of an antilock brake system (ABS) automatically modulates brake pressure so that a driver retains the steering control he’d loose if wheels locked into a skid during hard stops.” (Zygmont). It is safe to say that many technologies are made to prevent drivers from losing control of their vehicles, which can, in turn, keep them from accidentally putting others as well as themselves in danger.

While most technologies are focused on securing passengers or keeping them on the road while stopping collisions, other technologies are made to provide the drivers with an enjoyable ride. Phone-Safe features have become wildly popular and are in many newer model cars, seeing that nearly all drivers have phones and need to communicate with others while on the road. The author of “4 Ways Technology is Making Cars Safer” explains this newer type of technology to us by stating “Phone companies are pairing with automobile companies to either silence your cell phone while you’re driving, or else allow drivers to keep their eyes where they should be, on the road, as messages and calls go through a voice-activated built-in system.” (“4 Ways Technology”) It is doubtful that this technology will be put in every single car in the future knowing that it more of luxury instead of a need, however, this technology is very helpful. Many accidents happen due to texting while driving, so this technology can help prevent more accidents like that from happening. Drivers can now answer calls and messages without having to look at their phones, which helps ensure that they keep their eyes on the road and maintain a deep focus on what is truly important: their driving.

It is beyond important that drivers always pay close attention to their driving. Unfortunately, it is normal for drivers to sometimes lose focus behind the wheel because there can be many distractions on the road, but with the help of technology, disasters can be prevented. With the help of technology, drivers can worry less about hurting themselves or others because technology can enforce that they avoid wrecking. Certain technologies even keep drivers from looking at their phones! As mentioned above, automotive technology can be called negative due to it being distractive or unreliable, however, automotive technology is positive because it helps provide drivers with safer, easier, and more enjoyable experiences on the road: automotive technology is lifesaving. Who knows what automotive technology will be available to us in the future?

Works Cited

  1. Brown, Alan S. ‘Intelligent safety: newly mandated electronic stability control takes over braking to prevent spinouts–and promises smarter, safer vehicles in the future.’ Mechanical Engineering-CIME, Dec. 2007, p. 34+. Gale Academic Onefile, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A172597861/AONE?u=kctcsjcc&sid=AONE&xid=1d4993f2. Accessed 13 Nov. 2019.
  2. Cowan, Martin B. ‘Technology And Automobile Safety.’ Experience, Winter 2016, p. 26+. Gale Academic Onefile, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A579637569/AONE?u=kctcsjcc&sid=AONE&xid=1867ef06. Accessed 16 Nov. 2019.
  3. “4 Ways Modern Technology Is Making Cars Safer.” Cascade Collision, 26 Sept. 2017, cascadecollision.com/blog/4-ways-technology-making-cars-safer/.
  4. Zygmont, Jeffrey. ‘Auto safety.’ Omni, Aug. 1993, p. 10. Gale Academic Onefile, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A13986210/AONE?u=kctcsjcc&sid=AONE&xid=da39b82c. Accessed 13 Nov. 2019.

Project Management In The Automotive Industry

Introduction

The automotive industry has always worked as a sector for various innovations in the management segment along with being an experimental field. Total Quality Management (TQM) and just-in-time (JIT) are the two prime management methods that are incorporated in this industry. The reasons for the addition of project management are explained in this chapter. It also describes the changes that occurred in corporate organizations as well as the connections between the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and their suppliers. The chapter highlights the need of production strategies and the competitive market. The project management has evolved in the automotive sector through four steps so far. The first stage was the time period from the post the second world war till 1970s, when the automotive companies did not have any specific strategies for production in North America and Europe. In the second stage, i.e. from 1970s to 1980s, the global market saturation affected the overall competition between the companies. With newer mass production strategies, Japanese automakers successfully entered and captured the North American market. Thus, project management for new vehicles gained very high importance. Later, the companies drastically changed the way of managing the projects to mass produce high quality vehicles. These vehicles were also expected to be cheaper and easily produced. This was the third stage from late 1980s till early 1990s. In the fourth stage, the companies realized the limitations of the restructure performed at the start of the decade. New challenges were identified such as alliances with other companies, global market share and new innovations being made by the companies. Thus, the carmakers began a new restructure.

First Phase: From the Postwar Period to the 1960s

The authors point out that between 1950s and 1960s, the automotive companies in Europe and North America used a traditional method to mass produce the vehicles. The brands grew slowly and produced lesser number of vehicle models but with longer life spans up to 14 years, hardly any difference between different models and cost cutting was implemented

through component standardization. In this phase, ‘project craft’ – an organizational structure was developed for the new product design and the companies were structured into very departmentalized groups that were strong as well as dedicated to trade sector. Product engineering department, department for process engineering, manufacturing department are a few examples of these groups. Absence of direct communication between these groups resulted into passing of the project from one to another in a step-by-step manner. The chapter also states that only the members of the senior management and the CEO of the company were the connecting links between these individual departments.

The authors have mentioned that as each project was built around new skill development for products along with manufacturing process, it helped the companies for a clearer technical understanding required. As a result, the projects clarified the different risks related to technical factors at the corresponding steps. However, the exact nature and the severity of the risks is still unclear. The new products developed were ordinary in terms of time duration, monetary value and their quality. New product development took around five to seven years. Due to unforeseen market infeasibility, these product launches used to get obstructed. The authors also point out the fact that incompatible products were often launched into the market. But here again, they fail to specify the ramifications of these incompatible product launches.

Second Phase: From 1970 to 1985

At the advent of this stage, a new methodology was adapted by the companies in both Europe and North America. This resulted into the entrance of a new multi-model vehicle range along with differentiation of models in terms of their powertrains and body-work. The new strategy also increased the global presence of the companies. At this point, the ‘project craft’ structure of the previous phase was not able to solve the new complex challenges. The chapter states that this was the time when the concept of project management was professionalized. The companies created regular review systems covering the management level together with creation of early project functions. The timetables for product development were created in this phase and the use of fiscal tools for reports were incorporated with all the parameters concerning the project. The result of the new project organization structure was the refinement in upcoming vehicle projects. However, the limitations of this structure were visible at the start of 1980s. The profit control and the lead time control were missed often as well as poor quality products were produced. This was the result of the absence of the designation to account and manage the risk factor emerging with technological innovations. The authors have mentioned that domain of project management did not experience any innovations from major American or European car manufacturers. On the other hand, companies like Toyota and Honda did well in this area. The Japanese companies offered a diverse product folio which literally forced smaller and slower automobile companies out of the market. The authors refer to the article by Hout and Stalk to show that brands like Honda and Yahama became the dominators in the two-wheeler market using this strategy. Japanese automotive manufacturers used a similar method to capture the North American market. Very efficient project management methods were the reason for these successful product multiplication strategies. Referring to the scholarly article by Clark and Fujimoto, the authors point out the three criterion that were analyzed to judge the performance of Japanese companies. Those were: lead time, productivity of project teams which is the quantity of engineering hours needed for project development together with the quality of the products (vehicles) produced. It is given that this analysis was vastly studied by the auto industry experts. A result of this was that the automotive companies in Europe and North America were about to go under a drastic change in terms of project management.

Third Phase: 1985–1995

The chapter talks about the emergence of a new concept known as ‘concurrent engineering’ coupled with the onset of project functions and new ways of product development. Project directors were appointed by the automotive companies. This designation was already established named as ‘Susha’ in the Japanese company Toyota. This designation was meant to be an independent entity for project management from initial stages of project till production stage. The authors say that the Chrysler was the first American company to implement the concept Susha, also known as “heavyweight project manager” to overcome the bankruptcy and poor performance in the market. The company reorganized its engineering and management sources into five categories namely: “Top of the Range, Entry Range, Jeep, Truck, and Minivan”. The human workforce was divided into these segments with dedicated leaders. Individual members of the organization were encouraged to achieve the objectives and the self-regulation. The next category of concurrent engineering was developed in three stages. First, the manufacturing facilities produced prototypes to check the feasibility of the processes. Then, the interaction between the functions was given higher importance rather than maintaining the communication only via senior management. Finally, efforts were put to boost the communication between trading sectors. The authors of the text refer to the example of Chrysler to demonstrate the drastic decisions taken by the company to imbibe concurrent engineering. Previously the company had the design, engineering, production and marketing departments working independently with individual goals. Even though the decision of integrating them all under one roof was against the fiscal resource availability, it was implemented in accordance to concurrent engineering principles. The concept of outsourcing the supply of parts from various suppliers was boosted by the dedicated project managers. The companies started to involve the selected suppliers throughout the project stages. The chapter also denotes that the automotive manufacturers started adopting project management more professionally. In other sectors like construction, this professional project management approach was not developed. The evolution of a collective proficiency for project management started gaining more importance than the individual one. In this phase, specially devoted members started disseminating technical aspects for project management. Cross-practitioner edification programs were developed as a result of focusing on entrepreneurial characteristic. These modern project management concepts helped the European and the North American automakers to achieve progression regarding new product launches. Automotive companies matched up well compared to Japanese competitors with respect to different parameters defining the performance in terms of project management. The authors bolster this fact by giving examples of Chrysler and Renault. Chrysler was earning “the highest average profit per vehicle” than that of any North American car company until it merged with the Daimler in mid 1990s. Whereas, Renault in the European market excelled due to the project management and brought a novel vehicle product range to the market with brand image improvisation in terms of quality of their products.

Even though this third phase of project management seemed to be a boon for the car companies initially, it failed to remain the same because the prowess in new product generation was not enough to be profitable. It also was not helpful for the growth of the companies on a long-term basis. For the European market, the authors say that the leading car companies faced a mismatch between the buyer expectations and the produced vehicles. The article also states that concurrent engineering approach destabilized the competence growth in engineering departments. The same is explained by the Chrysler exemplar. The company’s logic of focusing on trade was replaced by the logic of project platform. The company however, maintained the unanimity by setting up ‘expert clubs’. Nevertheless, the situation faced, and the solutions developed by other companies is not mentioned by the authors.

Fourth Phase: 1995–2003

The authors of the article state that the fourth phase began as the automotive industry was again facing new challenges for their project management. The forerunners in the auto industry with the deployment of these concepts started facing competition as these concepts got spread out other across other companies. To make oneself stand apart from each other, the companies explored various aspects of engineering along with the aesthetics of the products. The dedicated project management method had issues that were becoming obvious with the rise in number of projects being managed. This issue is explained by mentioning that in Toyota, the senior management was unable to supervise its all 15 project managers due to the lack of a gigantic project-based administration. These Sushas had a great decision-making authority and thus were difficult to be managed by senior management. As the quantity of projects being handled was rising, more number Susha were hired with most of them being lacking suffice experience. By the culmination of the 1990s, the companies formed different types of alliances with other car making companies. This move furthered the already existing issues of projects handling. As the competition based on innovations increased, it weakened the commercial life spans of the products. The situation supported the establishment of new designations: “series life program manager” and “program director” in the European auto companies. Even though the companies were introducing innovations, the need for the research activities was felt to gain lead in the competition. The notion of predevelopment was getting importance and thus the designation of “innovation project manager” was established. The authors also mention that in this phase, the perceptible, pragmatic nature of a new vehicle launch was absent as a focus. The automotive sector witnessed massive globalization with many mergers, alliances etc. in the 1990s. This allowed the direct platform sharing between companies to gain advantage. It is given that when a joint venture starts a new project, the teams of each company must have mutual understanding to lessen the risks involved. The involved companies also need to treat each other equally with fair distribution of powers and resources. The car companies had to face the confusion between product diversification against product standardization. If the makers decided to use a platform developed, it restricted the use of innovations and vice versa. The tier-1 suppliers started expanding the proficiency and grasp the methods previously only used by the auto companies. The authors denote that total functional sub-assemblies gained importance in 1990s. Suppliers who provide parts to multiple car companies can define the common factors their products possess and hence reduce the overall cost. The notion of modular architecture transformed the field of telecommunications. However, this concept cannot be applied directly in other fields. It is exemplified with mobile devices which have space constraints making it tough to apply modular design. In this phase, carmakers have reduced the cost of vehicle development from $5bn to $1.5bn. New products are developed in 24 months compared to 60 months at the start of the decade. Quality of the product is now a mandate instead of a feature. Assembly and production costs are reducing, and the customers can enjoy more features for a given value. Companies are now using a common architecture to produce a variety of vehicles.

The chapter mentions about the co-operation between tier-1 suppliers and the companies, however, it doesn’t explain in detail the level of this co-operation. It also, gives no information about secondary suppliers.

Summary

The concept of project management has gained tremendous importance and has reformed organizational structures right from end of second world war till now in the automotive companies. Even though this concept was incorporated very late in the auto sector, now the existing sectors are changing their approach to adopt the developments generated in automotive sector after 1980s. This project management concept has resulted into a drastic research that will eventually prove to be a boon for the automotive field.

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