Approaches to better quality products

Deming’s 14 points

Dr. Edwards Deming’s worked as a statistician in Japan after world war one. He helped the country’s prominent businesses such as Toyota and Sony, achieve better quality products and lower prices. It is by adopting this approach that most Japanese businesses at the time grew to be global giants.Deming’s is acknowledged as the father of quality management techniques thanks to his “14 points” approach to business operations. What’s more, Deming’s 14points approach applies to all businesses; that is a start-up or big businesses, service, or manufacturing firms. For these reasons, the approach has been widely adopted by many businesses all over the world.

The first step is to create a constant purpose towards aimed at improvement of the organization. This, the managers can achieve by planning for the long-term needs of the firms and resisting solutions that have only short-term effects. The second point is to come up with a new philosophy for the firm. This philosophy should embrace quality performance throughout the whole organization. It prioritizes customer needs, creates a quality vision, and prepare the organization for change (Castellano J. 2016). Thirdly, organizations should stop depending on inspections as they are costly and unreliable. The fourth point is that firms ought to use a single supplier for a given item. Using one supplier will ensure that the firm has quality supplies that are optimal for the production process. The fifth point is to ensure continuous improvement throughout the firm. That is, the managers should constantly focus on what they can improve in the systems and processes of a firm.

Using ‘on the job’ training

The sixth point is that firms should emphasize on using ‘on the job’ training. This training is recommended for employees as it encourages them to learn from each other, helps reduce variations within the firm, and establishes a foundation based on common knowledge. The seventh point is to adopt leadership; managers should provide needed resources and support to their sub-ordinates instead of focusing on supervision (Neave H, 1987). Additionally, firms should adopt participative management so that everyone is involved in management.  The eighth point is to eliminate fear among all employees in the firm. This will make every member of the firm feel valued, which in turn bolsters creativity and innovation towards improved quality. The other point is that firms should get rid of barriers between departments so that there is a shared vision in the firm. To achieve this, managers need to build functional teams with members from various departments. The tenth point is to remove all unclear slogans in the firm. Everyone in the organization should have a clear picture of what is expected of them.

Point eleven is to eliminate management by objectives and replace it with process-oriented management. The managers should concentrate on what is taking place at every stage of the process. The next point is to remove barriers of workmanship by allowing every employee to work without being so much supervised, rated, or compared to others. All workers ought to be treated equally and should not be encouraged to compete with their colleagues or work for money. The thirteenth point is to implement self-improvement and education to improve all employee skills within the firm. Lastly, make “transformation” everyone’s job. That is, it is everyone’s job to transform the organization by taking small steps that contribute to the greater goal of the firm.

References

Castellano, J. F., Roehm, H. A., & Shaw, C. M. (2016). Maintenance required. Quality Progress49(4), 14.

Neave, H. R. (1987). Deming’s 14 points for management: framework for success. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series D (The Statistician)36(5), 561-570.

Just in Time Production

Just in time (JIT) is an approach to production that focuses on the provision of goods in the time that the customer wants them and in the quantities that they want. In this case, Just in time production would ensure that the carpets are offered to customers whenever they order. If the firm adopts this approach, it will ensure that the company has minimal inventory within its premises (Sugimori Y. 1977). It will also help Katz carpeting to avert the issue of shortages and associated costs.

If the production of the ‘Specials’ and ‘Standards’ is separated, it will be easier for the company to adopt just in time production. Nevertheless, the two processes will be different to some extent because of the variations in the production processes for the two products. JIT production would not be recommendable for the standard line of carpets because of its standardized nature. More to this, the managers can predict demand for the carpet. Application of the just in time model would result in increased costs; one, due to reduced consignments, the company will not benefit discounts from bulk supplies; two, increased set-ups will also hike the costs. On the other hand, JIT production will support optimality in the production of the ‘special line’ carpets. Requisitions can be made upon customer requests. This will help reduce inventory pile-ups and shortages associated with the unpredictable nature of this type of carpet.

For the standard line carpets, JIT will require the managers to make several changes to suit the whole production process. The managers will have to request raw materials such as dyes and leathers, whenever there are new customer orders. The production of the carpets will also depend on customer requests. Nevertheless, the production must take place in bulk to ensure the reduction of costs.

Just in time production will be more suitable for the production of special line carpets. The first thing that the managers ought to do is to make an order of raw materials depending on the production (Monden 2011). Additionally, the company should have standby staffs that have the required expertise for the dying and weaving process. The other requirement is that a special machine and equipment should be ready for the production process whenever there is a customer order

References

Monden, Y. (2011). Toyota production system: an integrated approach to just-in-time. Productivity Press.

Sugimori, Y., Kusunoki, K., Cho, F., & UCHIKAWA, S. (1977). Toyota production system and kanban system materialization of just-in-time and respect-for-human system. The international journal of production research15(6), 553-564.

Six-sigma process

Two main aspects must be incorporated to ensure success in six-sigma. The first aspect involves the use of quality tools to provide identification and elimination of problems. The second aspect, on the other hand, is people’s involvement in rooting out all operational problems in the firm. More to it, six sigma is centered around the DMAIC methodology that is used for the improvement of the business processes (Coronado & Antony).

Technical tools are key to identifying problems and solving problems hindering quality performance. There are a number of technical tools that are adopted at different stages of the implementation. The first stage employs the use of a tool called the critical quality tree and is used during the design phase of DMAIC. This stage involves answering problems with regards to customers, eg. Customer needs. The next step involves the use of the process map to reflect the workflow in different areas. The next step is to analyze. The fourth step is to review data that has been collected in the previous stages. One can use a histogram for continuous data or a Pareto chart for discrete data. Thereafter one should use the process summary worksheet to identify which processes add and those that don’t add value to the firm. Additionally, the organization can use a cause-effect diagram to establish the causes of problems within the firm. The last step is for the organization to remove these problems towards smooth and efficient processes.

The other major aspect of six sigma is people’s involvement. It is essential for managers to involve the customers and the employees in the six-sigma process. It is particularly important for managers to have a motivated workforce towards quality improvement. Employees are involved in the operational processes of the business and are, therefore, important to identify problems and possible solutions. Additionally, customers are equally important as six-sigma is centered on meeting customer needs in the most optimal way (Antony J. 2002).

To ensure people’s participation, companies must first cultivate a culture of participation. The person tasked with conducting the process should ensure that all employees are involved in all stages. Their ideas and suggestions should be given good consideration. Also, there has to be a change of mindset within the employees so that changes made within the firm are successfully adopted. Lastly, all employees must engage in brainstorming obstacles and generate solutions.

References

Antony, J., &Banuelas, R. (2002). Key ingredients for the effective implementation of Six Sigma program. Measuring business excellence6(4), 20-27.

Coronado, R. B., & Antony, J. (2002). Critical success factors for the successful implementation of six sigma projects in organisations. The TQM magazine.

Guidelines for selecting a forecasting software

There are ten guidelines that all companies must use whenever selecting a forecasting software. The first thing that a company ought to consider is whether the software has got all the features needed. That is, identifying whether the package will be able to perform all the tasks required. The second consideration is to identify the platform that the software will be available. This will help the company to know with precision the software’s functions.

Thirdly, managers ought to assess the ease of learning and using the software. This step is particularly important because the software will be run by employees in the firm. Good software should be one that man employees can learn and use within a short period. A different consideration is whether it is possible to implement the software in the firm. It is important to note various types of foresting software can be used in a firm depending on its nature (Petropoulos, 2018). For example, a judgment forecasting software would be efficient for smaller firms with little data. On the other hand, quantitative forecasting software is ideal for big firms with large amounts of data. Fifth, it is important to consider whether it is necessary to have repetitive and interactive forecasting.

The sixth guideline is to consider the amount of data that a firm has. Different software can handle different amounts of data; as such, it is important to put the factor into consideration before selecting the software. The seventh important thing is to consider whether local support and training are available. Training is important so that employees will have the necessary skills to use the software. As such, it would be essential to identify whether there is a trainer around.

The eighth guideline is to source a package that is able to answer the forecasting needs of the firm (Sanders, 2003). The answers must be right to avoid misleading the managers. After identifying its usefulness, the next consideration the cost of the software. The cost of the package should match the benefits to be received. Lastly, the tenth guideline is to identify whether the system is compatible with other existing software.

References

Petropoulos, F., Kourentzes, N., Nikolopoulos, K., &Siemsen, E. (2018). Judgmental selection of forecasting models. Journal of Operations Management60, 34-46.

Sanders, N. R., &Manrodt, K. B. (2003). Forecasting software in practice: Use, satisfaction, and performance. Interfaces33(5), 90-93.

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