Mahindra & Mahindra: Implementing BPR

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER008
Case Length : 12 Pages
Period : 1990 - 2001
Organization : Mahindra & Mahindra
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : Japan
Industry : Automobile

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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"In our never ending quest for quality and increasing productivity at all levels, the various projects initiated by the company - including BPR - are helping us achieve higher productivity, reduction in costs and improved quality."

- Keshub Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), in 1996.

M&M's Problem Plants

In the mid-1990s, India's largest multi utility vehicle (MUV) and tractor manufacturer M&M was facing serious problems at its Igatpuri and Kandivili plants in Maharashtra. The plants were suffering from manufacturing inefficiencies, poor productivity, long production cycle, and sub-optimal output.

The reason: highly under-productive, militantly unionized, and bloated workforces. The company had over the years been rather lenient towards running the plants and had frequently crumbled under the pressure of union demands. The work culture was also reportedly very unhealthy and corruption was widespread in various departments.

Operations Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

Alarmed at the plant's dismal condition, Chairman Keshub Mahindra tried to address the problem by sacking people who allegedly indulged in corrupt practices. M&M also tried to implement various voluntary retirement schemes (VRS), but the unions refused to cooperate and the company was unable to reduce the labor force.

During this period, M&M was in the process of considering the implementation of a Business Process Reengineering (BPR) program throughout the organization including the manufacturing units. Because of the problems at the Igatpuri and Kandivili plants, M&M decided to implement the program speedily at its manufacturing units.

The program, developed with the help of the UK-based Lucas Engineering Systems, was first implemented on an experimental basis at the engine plant in Igatpuri. Simultaneously, an exercise was initiated to assess the potential benefits of implementing BPR and its effect on the unions.

M&M's management was not surprised to learn that the unions expressed extreme displeasure at the decision to implement BPR and soon went on a strike. However, this time around, the management made it clear that it would not succumb to union demands. Soon, the workers were surprised to see the company's senior staff come down to the plant and work in their place. With both the parties refusing to work out an agreement, observers began casting doubts on the future of the company's grand plans of reaping the benefits of BPR.

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