As part of The Brunel MBA programme of company visits, students visited the Jaguar plant earlier this year at its base in Coventry with MBA lecturers Professor Michael Bourlakis and Dr Emel Aktas.
MBA student ambassador, Anmol Dalal, gave his account of the Jaguar trip:
“For me it was a pilgrimage to the place which gave birth to the legendary Spitfire and the dependable Lancaster bomber. This was the place which gave Inspector Morse his car and the E-type which is still one of the most beautiful cars in the world.
On reaching our destination we were greeted by one of the Jaguar representatives and invited to sit through a company presentation which took us through the birth of the company, its former association with giants in the automotive industry and its current ownership under Tata who are giving it functional autonomy to do what the company does best: dependable, exciting and state of the art cars.
After tea most of us jumped into the display cars to get the feel of the cars. I remember most of my colleagues reverting back to their childhood while playing with the cars and getting their pictures taken with the beautiful machines!
Once we had finished tinkering with the cars we were taken on a tour of the manufacturing facility. In the past I had the pleasure of seeing the manufacturing facilities of Suzuki and Honda, two Japanese automotive giants, hence I was not expecting to be surprised but I have to confess the efficient inventory management and built on order concept of manufacture at Jaguar blew me away. At Jaguar the manufacture process is poetry in motion. It is man and machine working in tandem to produce a product of the finest quality.
The company has tied up with DHL and its people, processes, and services are geared to finding ways to reduce cost and inefficiency, clarify processes, improve delivery accuracy, as well as simplify the most complex and extended supply chains. DHL maintains the supply chain and Jaguar assemble the cars. The engines are built on order near Wolverhampton, England and transported to the Coventry plant we visited.
At the Coventry facility automated robots are used to manufacture the cars from press moulded aluminium steel alloy sheets. These are glued and riveted together to construct the body and the chassis. The suspension and power-train of the car are put together in another cell of the assembly process which is divided into various functional cells. Each cell had specific protocols to follow and if anything did not go accordingly there were warning sounds individualised to every cell. We saw the whole car being fabricated from sheet moulding, painting, coach building and drive train marriage.
On coming back to the seminar room the whole process was related to theory by an enlightening lecture given by our MBA Professor, Michael Bourlakis. It was a real industry application of the theory we were taught in class. Then came the time to leave the wonderful world of Jaguar behind. “
To find out more about the MBA company visits, please see our website.