Mr. Madhekar: MACE is 'Maruti Center of Excellence' which was started in 2004 as an independent organization. It was started with only one motive and that is customer satisfaction of Maruti Suzuki Ltd through continuous training, education and up-gradation of knowledge to our vendors.
CJ: Who are vendors and why are they so much important for the company?
Mr. Madhekar: In making cars company's contribution is only 20% in pressing, welding, painting, assembly and inspection while all other parts like glass, tyres, seats etc. are supplied by our 350 different vendors in Delhi NCR and who contribute about 80% of total work which is very important. For example our seats are supplied by Bharat seats and Krishna, and glasses are supplied by ASAHI, and locks are supplied by Jaiuchin.
There are two types of vendors, Tier-1 (T-1) vendors and Tier-2 (T-2) vendors. T-1 vendors are those who supply material to Maruti directly and have a direct connection with company and T-2 vendors are those who do not directly supply to company but to T-1 vendors. T-1 vendors also sub-lend the contract of manufacturing different parts of the car.
CJ: So MACE provides training to both vendors?
Mr. Madhekar: Yes, there are 350 T-1 vendors and all of them have at least 10 sub-vendors or T-2 vendors, so there are almost 3500 vendors to whom we provide training.
CJ: What kind of trainings are imparted to them?
Mr. Madhekar: In our MACE Annual Training calender we have included 45 different trainings which we provide to our vendors in a span of one year. Some training programs are change management, daily work management, disaster management, cost of quality, Six sigma Black Belt, Six Sigma Green Belt, vendor system audit, communication and presentation skills and many such types of programmes.
CJ: Do you impart all 45 trainings to all vendors?
Mr. Madhekar: No, type of training which is to be given always depends on the type of job of vendor. If a vendor belongs to some managerial working then he would be given all managerial skills like disaster management, daily work management, MS Office Excel, etc. If the person or vendor belongs to the manufacturing unit our focus then would be to give him only trainings like Six Sigma black belt, lean manufacturing etc.
CJ: What is the durations and schedule of these courses?
Mr. Madhekar: It depends on the type of training and it varies between one to fourty-five days. But if the training is of fourty-five days that does not mean that it will go continuously. It will be spread over nine months. In this case we take classes for 5 to 6 days every month. We also have scheduled all types of trainings to be given in different months. Like in our schedule Six Sigma Black Belt training is given only in April and November.
CJ: What kind of trainers do you have?
Mr. Madhekar: We have both internal and external trainers and faculties. Internal trainers are those who are working in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and have experience of at least 20 to 25 years in the company. Our best employees are now working here as faculty. And external faculties are guest faculties from various organisations like CII, QGB and ASQ. They come and give training to our vendors and share their experience with them.
CJ: Do you also charge vendors for these trainings?
Mr. Madhekar: Yes, but very nominal. We charge only 1000 rupees per person per day whereas outside for such training, they would be charged at least 5000 rupees.
CJ: Is it necessary for vendors to take such training?
Mr. Madhekar: Depends on them but generally they take these trainings as we expect best quality product from them as our total market reputation depends on them. There is no quality check in our plant we only buy parts from vendors and send them on floor to put them together. All quality check is done by vendors themselves and they do it in best way because finding any defect in manufacturing in factory or complaint from customer will accrue them a big penalty. So, with this awareness they take these trainings to meet our expectations.
CJ: What do you expect from your vendors?
Mr. Madhekar: "Quality of Japan & Cost of China". I think you have understood this. We want best quality of products from them in very minimal rates so that we can satisfy our customers which is our only motive.
CJ: After training how you follow-up with them?
Mr. Madhekar: We provide all kinds of trainings followed up by projects and tests. We test them for what we taught them for which they have to apply at their work floor, which in Japanese is called 'Gemba' which means place of money making. We even send our trainers to their places to follow-up with them and even give training to their T-2 vendors for whom it is difficult to come to our plants.
CJ: What challenges are you facing in giving training to your vendors?
Mr. Madhekar: In giving training to about 3500 people we face many challenges. Firstly there is a shortage of faculties. We do not have enough faculties to give 45 different trainings to this huge number of people. Secondly in Maruti we do not have a full fledged training center totally dedicated only for training. But most important and biggest challenge is that vendors leave for other places after getting training and certificates from us. They do not stay here and therefore turnover rate goes very high. We need to train more and more good quality people.
CJ: What about the education of your trainers?
Mr. Madhekar: We have separate programme for that - "Train The Trainers". In this programme, we update all trainers with the latest technology and process and we also send them to different place, including Japan to get trained.
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