Lean Consulting and Training

 

Quality Improvement Training

Competing in the global market requires increased focus on quality. It also requires redefining quality in such a manner which includes every function and employee within your organization as well as a shift to a very customer-driven culture. We can no longer place the responsibility of quality on quality assurance or quality control personnel. If your organization still relies heavily on QA or QC personnel you are unfortunately behind competitors. While many firms loosely use terms such as TQM or continuous improvement as little more than the 'flavor of the month', competitors are taking great measures to fundamentally improve every aspect of their organizations. We truly enjoy providing quality training primarily due to the highly visible results and the impact on bottom line. We are not bottom line thinkers, but we do provide information on the financial impact of all consulting and training projects.

Defining Quality

It is often difficult for firms to establish quality goals and measures which overcome departmental barriers. For example, marketing and sales may have different perceptions of and metrics for quality. It can be even more difficult to develop one, all-encompassing definition of quality. Different functions of an organization commonly have different definitions and metrics. However, even though not clearly apparent at a glance, these differing definitions and metrics limit an organization. It is always best to optimize the system as a whole and establish clearly defined expectations and goals.

Quality has been defined in so many different ways that it can be a challenge to implement an approach which is easily understood and applies to all levels. Even the quality gurus presented unique perspectives. Many of their concepts overlap, however, there are similarities. Our definition of quality is as follows:

"Delighting customers, both internal and external, by providing exactly what they want, exactly when they want it, and at a price they are willing to pay; by means of policies, practices, and processes which take into account the wants and needs of all stakeholders".

Quality requires a systems approach that is driven by the customer. Yet, this mindset and approach is but the beginning of our quality training. We help our clients create and maintain an environment conducive to implementing a quality policy which not only improves customer satisfaction but eliminates the need for inspection.

Inspection is a non-value-adding activity

Any step that does not add to the product those features which are specified by the customer are nonvalue activities. If your firm relies on inspection we can easily help you decrease cost and reduce errors. The first critical steps are to build quality into your product or service and design processes that not only produce high quality but detect errors at the source. The least effective practice is 100% inspection. After all, 100% inspection is less than 80% accurate. Even more inefficient and ineffective is 200% inspection. There are certain advantages to periodic inspection and testing for functionality but primarily as tools for identifying opportunities for improvement; not to be used 100% of the time to assure quality. We guarantee that our quality training will produce both immediate and continuing improvements.

Who is responsible for quality?

Everyone in the organization is responsible for quality. As such, we do recommend that the trainees are a cross-functional group. In many cases the quality assurance group is replaced with cross-functional teams. This does not mean that your current quality assurance or quality control  positions are eliminated. The roles simply change. Upon completion of our training program, current QA or QC personnel will lead cross-functional teams in ongoing improvement projects and will continue to analyze processes.

Quality training is a great first step

if you are trying to determine what type of training would be best for your organization a formal quality training program is a great starting point. Following this training future training opportunities will be easy to identify. This training can serve as the foundation of future training opportunities.

For information on our quality training program please contact us.

 
   

 

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