Russian diary #3: towards a new culture of quality
In this last episode of our Russian saga, we describe how the Renault-Nissan Alliance, in association with AVTOVAZ, is offering new working and training methods. The aim is to install a quality-driven culture at the world’s biggest auto plant.
Training: the top priority
A major training drive for all employees was initiated as soon as the collaboration with AVTOVAZ started. New structures were put into place, including Basic Work Units. Reporting lines were shortened.
A network of instructors was also set up. Trained on-site by Renault experts, the instructors went on to train all the teams at Togliatti. AVTOVAZ already has a training center, with Dexterity Schools that teach operators to optimize their movements. In 2011, for the AVTOVAZ 1000 project, one thousand Russian technicians, engineers and supervisors from the production, quality and engineering functions were sent to Group factories to be trained in the Alliance’s best practices and methodologies.
Other training programs were organized for work-pit standardization and problem analysis tools.
But the training drive were not confined to AVTOVAZ; the French teams also had to adapt. Special courses taught them how to communicate more effectively and avoid the pitfalls that come with being immersed in a foreign culture.
The B0 project, already mentioned in our first Russian diary, is the product of a multicultural team from very different professional backgrounds, with a high percentage of women.
The industrial revolution doesn’t stop at the factory gates
Renault buys parts developed by local suppliers. A network of skilled local firms has been organized to ensure that the bought-in parts meet the Alliance’s quality standards. A joint supplier quality and development team (30 Renault's and 70 AVTOVAZ') has delivered concrete results. For example, the number of faulty components supplied to AVTOVAZ has been divided by ten in the past three years.
The Alliance Quality Academy (AQA), a Renault-AVTOVAZ training unit, was set up in February 2011 to jointly develop the skills of AVTOVAZ and Renault personnel in Russia. The AQA is also intended for suppliers.
Alliance Quality Academy training session (RR - Renault Russia Communications)
The creation of the Alliance production system has triggered even more radical changes. In the past, suppliers simply manufactured parts using schemes and equipment defined by the automaker. But now they are involved in actually developing parts and production systems. For this, a Renault-Nissan-AVTOVAZ task force supplies expertise in terms of technology, documentation and processes. At the same time, Renault and Nissan invite their suppliers to set up in Russia, a solution that accelerates the local manufacture of vehicle and engineering parts to the highest quality standards.