Improving Quality Of Products

Malaysia's automobile market is dominated by its nationwide cars, PROTON and PERODUA which in 12 months 2000 accounted for the market share of approximately 90 percent of the vehicles sold each year. Some 25 other manufacturers contend for the remaining 10 percent. 2 yrs ago, the market share of countrywide car manufacturers has dropped to approximately 63 percent.

Besides, annually we get a lot of problems from the general public; even the press frequently reported about the professionalism and quality problems occurred to our company. Furthermore, the problems can be easily found through internet and multiply widely in the general public discussion board about the creation problems by PROTON EDAR.

Problems

The significant problem encountered by PROTON is quality control and professionalism and reliability. Complaints typically relate with failures in car interior and outside performance. It really is unusual to hear public issues about the entire poor quality vehicles by PROTON over the years and it is indirectly impacting on the financial result of the company. PROTON is burning off its market share constantly when its sales dwindled greatly. Subsequently, the profit percentage of PROTON also eroded substantially too. Besides that, there a wide range of complaints about PROTON's Service Centre with the bad services. The staff you can find incompetent to fix and even detect the problems that customers were facing.

Findings

(1) PRONTON's Engine Problems

We have obtained some claims from customers that disclosed the discontent among the customers on PROTON's product. Generally, those problems are about the engine of PROTON's car. Most of PROTON's cars are employing CAMPRO engine unit and it includes generated many problems, such as irregular sound, easy overheat, abrupt off engine unit and substantial vibration. These varieties of problems not only occurred on those old vehicles, even though those new automobiles which may have just bought also suffering with these engine motor problems. The customers just feel like to operate a vehicle the old autos.

(2) While Car Performance

Besides that, typically the complaints also belong to the performance of PROTON's car. There are lots of car components to be able to manufacture an automobile and the clients found that the quality of components that PROTON's manufacturers are employing is low. For instance, the customers' reviews revealed that PROTON's car has recurrent happened with the dysfunction of air conditioner, vibration of steering, inability in power home windows, sound confirmation problem and so on. Customers also emphasized that these kinds of poor car performance already is accessible for quite some time and PROTON not make any improvement yet.

(3) Bad Customer Service

We have also found that there have been numerous cases described in several forums which complained about the bad customer support from the PROTON's i-Care Centre. Some of the staff there demonstrated no manners to customers who are contacting for enquiry and solution about their PROTON's car. The answer given by those personnel from i-Care Centre had not been useful enough to resolve the customers' problem as well. Furthermore, some technicians who will work in PROTON's Service Centre are also incapable to repair the situation of PROTON's car. Manu of the customers feel frustrated when the problems of their autos are cannot be fixed though it is still under PROTON's warrantee.

Conclusion

PROTON as the first Malaysian car producer has established a very strong id in the Malaysia automotive market. However, the consumers understand that it has not delivered what is guaranteed and expected. Because of this, PROTON is incapable to generate positive response in the expectation of its consumers. Indeed, PROTON still has substantial potential and capacity to execute better in offering its customers products and services of leading quality.

In order to increase sales and reduce the weaknesses of Proton, Proton should change its strategy and the best way to continue developing the new car model. In my advice, Proton could enhance the efficiency and efficiency of services and the product quality and level of productivity by establishing the changes in four areas: (1) enhancing the performance of engine motor, (2) innovating on interior and external surfaces designs, (3) focusing on service quality, (4) providing training for all degrees of technicians to enhance their skills and knowledge to be able to help existing customers and future leads solving more problems.

Recommendations

Performance of Engine

After several conversations with other departments, I recommend that Proton should use good quality materials when manufacturing new car models in the foreseeable future. For just about any car, engine motor is the critical area of the car. Therefore, top priority must get to the automobile if you want to produce good quality of car. In this field, I recommend that Proton should invest in R&D technology and increase its work in producing its strategic companions to enhance its quality. So, I would recommend that Proton should replace its CAMPRO engine and consider jv with other reputable supplier engine partner, such as manufacturers from European countries (BMW, Mercedes and Peugeot) and Japan (Mitsubishi and Honda).

Innovation of Designs

Regarding the inside design, the dashboard area will commence to produce noises creating uncomforted to the driver as the soundproofing of the automobile is inadequate in particular when car is certainly going on a fast pace credited to weariness as the automobile is already old. Interior design with aesthetic and good sound protection will generate a positive driving experience for the driver.

For the exterior design, PROTON should concern about its products in term of solidity. From a review, most consumers feel that its body structure is very vulnerable and they feel it is light and have a feeling of floating when they are driving the car at high speed especially on the highway. Again, the investment in R&D is vital in order to boost in this field. I strongly suggest that working with partners that happen to be specialized in structure manufacturing rather than spending additional time on research the changes of material.

Service Excellence

By having all those practical and symbolic characteristics will not promise PROTON brand tosucceed if it generally does not offer brilliance after-sales service to ensure that PROTON continues to be the choice of its existing customers. I recommend that PROTON should reinforce their customer romance, especially in creating a more friendly way towards customer care by bringing out its i-Care, a person management centre totally dedicated to the needs of their customer which is important in brand building and earn trust from customers. Besides that, PROTON needs to ensure that those staffs who are working in i-Care Centre have sufficient knowledge and high psychological quotient when connecting with customers.

Training for Existing Technician

PROTON is providing sufficient Service Centre among Malaysia's areas. For the reason that PROTON offers an extension of 5 years PROTON Supplier Warranty to all PROTON's car owner now. The benefit of being under guarantee is to assure that there still a good resale value by the PROTON trained technicians even after many years. However, it is regretfully to state that most of the claims are mainly about the incompetency of technicians that they couldn't solve the issues from the PROTON's consumers. So, as a Customer Service Department Supervisor, I would recommend that the updated functional training should be provided to all levels of technicians to be able they have sufficient skills and knowledge to take care of most types of problems they'll be facing in the foreseeable future. Thus, the consumers of PROTON will gain self-assurance toward us since their cars are still under warranty. Hence, PROTON Maker Warranty only may become trustworthy.

Limitations

The success of the recommendations is still limited by a few factors. First, the joint venture process must be accepted by the other company. Second, PROTON should choose the maker which includes the better technology in comparison to PROTON to be able to enhance the quality of car performance. Third, office of customer service should support and keep bettering the abilities and understanding of technicians in the future to reduce the issue from customer.

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