Kawai Piano Company Case Study Solution
Please answer the following questions.
- Identify and justify what you believe to be the main elements that contribute to the Kawai organization and the way in which it operates.
- Does the case provide all the ‘information’ to explain its ‘success’?
- Suggest 3 ‘tools of quality’ that Kawai would find useful, justify your selection
- What ‘roles’ and associated activities do you think would need to be undertaken by Kawai’s managers for a new product or service to successfully reach the market place
Kawai Piano Company
The video “The Making of the Piano” by KAWAI europe (2010) displays a number of tools and elements that are essential to the manner in which Kawai operates. Among the most important tools include research and development, technology, innovative and experienced human resource team. Kawai makes use of research and development tools to determine the best quality of sound with science bringing in new ways of development and improved materials to enhance tone and consistency of touch.
Technology has also played an important role in the operations of Kawai. The development of tone analysis software enables for the assessment and analysis of various materials for the development of quality tone. The human resource team comprises of innovative and committed individuals who work hand in hand with the manufacturers to design highest quality piano. It is the commitment between the mind and spirit of the Kawai human resource team that has led to the success of Kawai for the 100 years history of the piano. The interplay between these factors enable the company to improve quality and thus establish high satisfaction of the customers (Johnson, Russell & White, 2015).
The case study provides important information into understanding the success of Kawai in the piano design and development industry. The video primarily focuses on the provision of information regarding the process of making of a piano at Kawai. Among the main elements and factors of success as provided within the video include the superior, innovative, knowledgeable and committed human resource team, the commitment of the company to environmental conservation and a committed management.
However, there are vast range of factors and elements that play an important role in the success of an organization. For instance, Efron (2000) explains that the company faces significant challenges in high cost of production and the weak economy. The case however fails to provide enough information on how the company solves these challenges. Over the past decades, numerous piano design and development companies have sprout threatening the competitiveness of the Kawai. Although the case explains of the long history of Kawai in the industry and its commitment to quality, it fails to provide information essential information on the factors of competitiveness of the company.
In the search for quality, there are various tools that may be applied in design and manufacturing organizations. The methodology developed by Osama, Ahmad & Pinedo-Cuenca (2016) details a number of factors of consideration in quality improvement. Among them include human errors, the workforce, work process, properly maintained tools and equipment, workplace organization, material movement and handling and effecting setting of equipment.
In the understanding of the operations and functions that are carried out at Kawai, several of these tools are essential for enhancing and ensuring quality of the products manufactured. The first tool applicable at Kawai is the control chart. A control chart is a graph that used for studying how processes changes with time. It has three main important lines including the average line, the upper control limit and the lower control limit. A control chart will particularly enable the Kawai organization in comparing manufacturing data with these three lines thus assessing consistency of the production process. Flow charts will also play an important role of demonstrating the right steps in the production process. This will reduce human errors. Finally, check sheets will play an important role in the identification of problems and thus design of solutions (Mystica & Bai, 2015).
In the introduction of new products into the market, there are numerous roles that are essential. The first is a product manager. The product is responsible for the strategy, roadmap and feature definition of the particular product. The other important role is the marketing manager or personnel. The marketing personnel are responsible for defining the marketing strategy that will be used in public education and promotion of the product.
- Efron, S. (2000). How Will Kawai’s Hand-Built Grand Play against Steinway? Los Angeles: Los Angeles Times.
- Johnson, D., Russell, R. & White, S. (2016). Perceptions of care quality and the effect on patient satisfaction. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 33(8), 1202-1229.
- KAWAIeurope (2010). KAWAI “The Making of a Piano” in English. Retrieved 13th Nov 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiPFEqHogQY&feature=youtu.be
- Mystica, A. & Bai, J. (2015). Statistical Process Control. International Journal of Research in Commerce & Management, 6(1), 10-15.
- Osama, A, Ahmad, M., Pinedo-Cuenca, R. (2016) Development of a methodology to assist manufacturing SMEs in the selection of appropriate lean tools. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 7 (1), 62-84.