Customer Focus – Quality Principle

Organizations depend on their customers and therefore should understand current and future customer needs, should meet customer requirements and
strive to exceed customer expectations.
• Increased revenue and market share obtained through flexible and fast  responses to market          opportunities

• Increased effectiveness in the use of the organization’s resources to enhance
customer satisfaction
• Improved customer loyalty leading to repeat business.
• Researching and understanding customer needs and expectations
• Ensuring that the objectives of the organization are linked to customer needs and expectations
• Communicating customer needs and expectationscustomer
throughout the organization
• Measuring customer satisfaction and acting
on the results
• Systematically managing customer relationships
• Ensuring a balanced approach between satisfying customers and other interested parties (such as owners, employees, suppliers, financiers, local
communities and society as a whole).

http://www.iso.org

Advertisements

The Role of Quality

The Role of Quality

 As organizations evolve quality from merely being a ‘checking the compliance boxes’ to really using quality practices to impact and empower staff to make improvements and address customer needs, there is opportunity for a greater return on investment and improved customer satisfaction. Organizations that use quality as a source of competitive advantage, operational excellence, or as a continuous improvement activity are much more likely to embrace the customer-centric, quality culture.

For example organizations that use quality as a source of competitive advantage are more likely to make their quality measures transparent to their customers (76.4%) than those who use it as a compliance activity (46.6%). This is particularly true for understanding what defines culture from the customer’s perspective.

Integration in Strategic Planning

To understand what’s truly valuable to the organization, one has to look at what makes it into the strategic plan. Although there is always intrinsic value in the use of quality goals and measures within an organization, it is when these goals are established across the organization—corporate, management and support services, and operational businesses and functional units—that quality can have the greatest impact on overall performance.

Level of Transparency

Transparency on quality measures helps create buy-in on quality management and enables employees to understand what role quality plays in how they do work, how they can impact quality, and its effects on their customers’ satisfaction. Transparency breeds accountability at the most basic level and even drives a healthy competition between business units. It also tends to increase knowledge-sharing opportunities (e.g., best practices or lessons learned), as managers with lower performance often reach out to managers in groups with higher performance, even across diverse products and services within the same organization.

Use of Quality Measures

The majority of respondents use quality measures to set goals that will drive higher performance throughout the organization (76%), for predictive analysis to identify potential opportunities or issues in their operations and business process (66%), and as part of their variable-performance compensations (61%). However organizations that include quality measures to drive higher performance or for operational improvement are more likely to agree with the customer-centric, quality cultural statements. This adoption indicates that the organization has embraced the quality culture and it’s simply now how they do business.

source: http://www.industryweek.com

Total Quality Management Strategies: Advantages & Disadvantages

Total Quality Management Strategies: Advantages & Disadvantages

Total Quality Management is a system of continuous improvement that involves all workers in a business from upper management to production line workers. The focus of the improvement program is to improve customer service and reduce waste in the business. Quality improvement teams use problem-solving techniques and analysis to identify and eliminate weaknesses in the company.
2_1_1_photo

Production Disruption

Implementing a Total Quality Management system in a company requires extensive training of employees. The employee training includes instruction in problem solving techniques and the tools to evaluate a process and identify weaknesses such as statistical process control, Pareto diagrams and brainstorming techniques. During the initial training period, productivity can decline. Meetings for quality improvement teams also take workers away from their duties, which also reduce productivity. While the improvements do reduce lead time, eliminate waste and improve productivity, the beginning stages of implementing Total Quality Management in an organization can reduce worker output.

Lowers Production Costs

A Total Quality Management program eliminates defects and waste, which reduces production costs in a business. As teams gather to identify and eliminate weaknesses in the business, the company continues to enjoy reduced costs and higher profit. Quality improvement teams can eliminate defects, reduce lead time and identify redundancies in the production process that can significantly add to the profit the company earns.

Employee Resistance

Total Quality Management requires change in mindset, attitude and methods for performing their jobs. When management does not effectively communicate the team approach of Total Quality Management, workers may become fearful, which leads to employee resistance. When workers resist the program, it can lower employee morale and productivity for the business. Total Quality Management uses small incremental improvements to move the business forward. It can take years for a company to enjoy the benefits of the program.

Employee Participation

Once workers understand their participation and involvement in Total Quality Management is essential to its success, morale and productivity improve. Workers become empowered through participation on quality improvement teams. Businesses can improve morale further by recognizing improvement teams that make meaningful changes in the production process to reduce or eliminate waste.

source: http://smallbusiness.chron.com  by  Luanne Kelchner, Demand Media

Leader Standard Work?

Leader standard work? Is it valuable?

Leader standard work as being fundamental to any company that is committed to continuous improvement and culture change. Leader standard work is part of what is included in third principle of manufacturing excellence, i.e., it is the disciplined use of an authorized formal system.

Typically, manufacturing companies are meticulous about creating standard work for machine operators, e.g., job instructions. The job instructions for a particular process are very detailed and represent the required behavior to produce products that meet the customer specification. I hope we always collect the operators’ input before an engineer or technician retires to the office to formalize the instructions.

 But once the job instructions have been committed to the formal system, then we don’t vote anymore about how to do this work. We expect the instructions to always be followed until and unless someone comes up with a better idea to be vetted and tested before changing the standard work and retraining the affected people.

On the other hand, the closest thing many companies have to leader standard work is the position description. Even a very well-thought-out and written position description is far too general to be used on the day-to-day responsibilities.

Leader standard work requires the commitment to detail the important responsibilities of a leader, some of which do not happen from the comfort of the office.

Leader standard work, in the case of the first line supervisor, involves having a daily plan of what the leader’s key duties are. Those might specify, for example, at least three gemba walks and dialog with each person in the area each day.

As we go up the ladder, the plan could become weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc., depending on the level in the organization. For example, a plant manager might commit to a daily gemba walk to touch base with the value stream managers, supervisors and a few hourly associates in each area just to understand how the plant is running each day, what the issues are and, yes, to be visible to everyone.

The plant manager also is behaving in a way that serves to coach people along the way. If the manager sees a potentially unsafe condition, does she walk on by or stop and engage the issue? The leader’s response will speak volumes to all those who are watching to see what happens next.

It’s a teachable moment if handled properly and helps to reinforce the new culture that would expect operators, material handlers, etc., to step up themselves rather than wait on a member of management to respond. Hourly folks typically see these things first, and we want to help them know what to do and feel confident enough to speak up and help keep their teammates safe as well as themselves.

The same kind of coaching opportunity could occur on a quality issue, schedule issue, maintenance, whatever. This important work cannot be done from the office.

The plant manager might also plan and execute a monthly “state of the business” meeting for everyone once a month. The VP of manufacturing/operations might do it quarterly along with a gemba walk. The CEO might do a video for companywide viewing on full-year results and expectations for the new year.

These opportunities to be visible and interactive provide the means to ensure that leadership’s expectations are clear for the results and behaviors that we seek.

source: http://www.industryweek.com

Tips for Improvement of Quality in your company

No doubt, we live in an imperfect world: People make mistakes and machines break. The goal is to minimize this so that the client is enchanted and reorders. You can do that through a relentless focus on quality. Improving quality will save your firm money because you won’t need to do things to cover up old mistakes. Improving quality will raise your employees’ engagement because people like being on a high performance team.

How do you make sure quality is exceptional at your firm? Here are  tips to improve quality fast.

Measure and Measure Some More

Two key performance indicators (KPIs) you should deploy today are quality escapes and quality captured. Determine which bucket quality mistakes fall into. The first bucket is comprised of mistakes that were internally “captured” by your team so the client was never aware of them. Captured quality errors aren’t as bad because the client never knew — maybe they suffered a delayed delivery, but that’s it. Your client is not injured by the stumble.

The second bucket consists of quality issues that “escaped” your operation and were discovered by the client. These escaped quality defects are horrific. Your client is exposed to your firm’s failure, which undermines the long term vendor relationship. But measuring these mistakes transparently will bring your team’s attention to these issues and you’ll see improvement from the spotlight effect: The team will understand they are important.

Focus on Process,  Not People

Every employee comes to work to do a good job. In most cases, the defect is the process, not the person you trust. Remember that, and fix it by adding process steps or new checks to the system. Don’t make it a game of “who screwed this up?” That will deflate the team. Everyone will cower in fear and point fingers without ever getting to the root cause.

Meet Weekly

Initially the meetings will be long and tedious. You need to discuss with all the players each quality issue that occurred, and get to the root cause. Over time–less time than you think–the meetings will get shorter, as processes are strengthened and systems get more robust. Confidence will build as people see the systems are catching errors and eliminating heartburn.

Create a Quality Chart

Sort the biggest quality issues by category and focus in on the big issues. Work them till they get to be small issues. Don’t focus as much time on the unusual quality issues; spend your time in the places with the most frequent problems.

Make It Public

Place your quality results in your lunchroom. Everyone should see this is a company emphasis and you want to improve in a transparent way. The daily, visible reminder will demonstrate your commitment to quality to the people who impact it every day: your team.

source: http://www.inc.com

Global management standards

The ISO 9001 family – Global management standards (International Organization for Standardization).

 This video from the International Organization for Standardization, explores the worldwide impact on business of the ISO 9000 family of international management standards.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq1Zi_V4KyE

Main Steps to Improve Manufacturing Quality

There is no better cost to eliminate than the cost of poor quality.

stairs

Good managers seek to contain costs in the manufacturing environment. There is no better cost to eliminate than the cost of poor quality. Scrap material and lost labor hours add no value to the operation.

In order to best eliminate these wastes, a strategic approach to quality improvement is essential. By following these five steps, quality can be improved in a meaningful, sustainable way.

Use a team mindset

Quality won’t be sustainably improved by individuals. To really make lasting and meaningful change in manufacturing processes, it will take a team-based approach. By involving multiple disciplines in the search for improved quality, a variety of perspectives is obtained. Also of importance is knowledge of process history. Why is the process the way it is today? There must be a reason or cause, and that reason should be considered so as not to repeat a problem of days gone by. By considering history and group perspective, solid improvements can be obtained.

Define quality from the customer perspective

Too often, staff within a manufacturing environment want to make a product “better” but don’t really know what better means. With additional cost, we almost always can make a product better. But is additional cost desirable by the customer even if it means better product life? Someone in the organization should serve as the customer advocate. Typically this voice can come from the sales or marketing departments. Use the customers’ perspective to define what the best-in-class product would be and meet those requirements while minimizing cost.

Develop understanding of the Cost of Quality

The cost to fix a defect in the field once it reaches a customer is dramatically higher than the cost to fix the source of the problem before it is created. It is essential that the manufacturing staff be trained to understand the cost multipliers involved with warranty repair or replacement and cost of damaged reputation. Once the staff take this perspective, a desire to find root cause for problem solving is inherently developed.

Solve problems completely

All too often, manufacturing quality improvements fix the symptoms of failure rather than the root cause. This can be done by adding quality inspection steps or rework stations that make it more efficient to fix defects. Instead, a true understanding of root cause should be developed within the teams. When teams develop the ability (through Ishikawa, fault tree, or five-why analysis) to ascertain root cause of defects in the manufacturing process along with a “killer test” that verifies the ability to turn-on and turn-off the problem in the manufacturing process, true solutions to problems will be created that will not allow the return of the issue.

Employ strong process discipline

Throughout the quality improvement process, it is essential that strong process discipline is employed. Depending on the product that is being manufactured, deviation without proper team cooperation and anticipation of the change could have dire quality repercussions. While the organization should avoid cumbersome bureaucracy that inhibits innovation, it is essential that some structure be employed to maintain consistency and an understanding of the way the product is produced during that time period so that root cause can also be identified later if new problems arise as a consequence of the change.

By following these above steps, good management teams can develop great quality programs within their organizations.

source: http://www.industryweek.com

Six tips for improving your client relationships.

Image

1. Be glad your client doesn’t know everything

There’s a famous quote, “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” When dealing with clients you might consider clueless, you can be frustrated by their lack of knowledge or you can appreciate the fact that if your clients knew more, you might not have nearly as much work.

2. Communicate clearly, communicate often

Clients often complain about poor communication, and while some clients desire more communication because they’re uncomfortable or anxious, the reality is that service providers frequently do drop the ball in keeping clients informed.

While communication is a nuanced subject and each client relationship is different, erring on the side of overcommunicating is usually better than erring on the side of undercommunicating. Remember: client experience matters. The most successful service providers aren’t just delivering top-notch work product, they’re delivering a superb client experience — something that typically requires clear, consistent communication.

3. Be clear about what you need

The old adage “A closed mouth doesn’t get fed” is particularly relevant when it comes to managing clients. Not sure about scope and need a more detailed specification, for instance? Don’t be shy or lazy: ask for it!

Unfortunately, many service providers shoot themselves in the foot by not asking for what they need up front and instead scrambling every time they need something they don’t have, an obviously more stressful approach that can sour perception of the relationship.

4. Establish up front what you do and don’t do

While clients may dream of finding jack-of-all-trades service providers who can handle all of their needs, chances are you don’t do everything. Some nightmare clients are nightmare clients because they don’t quite understand this.

The distinction between a web designer and a web developer, for instance, may be obvious if you’re a designer or developer, but it may not be to your clients. Because of this, it’s important to establish up front what is it you do and don’t do, and maintain boundaries as necessary to prevent the type of role creep that can be the cause of much frustration.

5. Balance money with sanity

In some, your worst clients may also be your best clients. Example: one of your clients might be a big company that’s disorganized, hard to communicate with and expects you to fill in the blanks, but pays well and doesn’t mind paying more to have you “deal with it.”

If you don’t feel that the money, however, adequately compensates for the lack of organization, poor communication and “you figure it out” approach, you’ll need to consider whether you can really afford to maintain the relationship without a change in the rules of engagement.

6. Don’t be afraid to break up

Why are stories of nightmare clients so common? One reason is that when push comes to shove, many service providers, despite their angst, are unwilling to turn their nightmare clients into nightmare former clients.

%d bloggers like this: