Management: Continuous Improvement
As we learned in lecture, management creates the culture of the company and is responsible for establishing the environment and continuous improvement is a must. Does your company's management understand the need for quality systems and create a company culture that supports it?
At my company executive leadership makes clear the quality objectives and creates a culture that supports quality systems and improvements. We perform internal audits and we are constantly looking for ways to make improvements and track trends. I started my job 5 years ago and a few months before I started, we had new executive management. My colleagues who have been at the company for longer than 5 years had a different experience before new executive leadership started where the culture was completely different and it was not an environment that supported improvements or tracking trends.
In addition to internal audits to improve quality, my company also hosts internal kaizen trainings for various process to make continuous improvements. I have never heard of a kaizen until I joined this company but it is the Japanese word for "improvement". In business, kaizen refers to activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. It also applies to processes, such as purchasing and logistics, that cross organizational boundaries into the supply chain. It has been applied in healthcare, psychotherapy, life-coaching, government, banking, and other industries. By improving standardized programmes and processes, kaizen aims to eliminate waste.
Last month I attended a kaizen hosted by our design quality department on our artwork approval process. At the meeting management and key players discussed 1) the current process, 2) models practiced by other divisions 3) ways to improve the current process 4) set long term goals to improve the process/implementation model.