Quality Down the Tubes

October 3rd, 2009 by admin

If you are wondering why I am writing about cars the Toyota organization has been know for starting the main process for having quality while being lean financially. They have obviously changed in one area to save money that has endangered the life of the driver’s. How far is your organization willing to go to cut costs? Do you learn from your mistakes or do you ignore the mistakes? The public expects quality and cost efficiency that will be passed on to your clients or the public in general. See Toyota’s mistakes below and do not follow in their footsteps.
Toyota’s Inexcusable Failure

Posted: 29 Sep 2009 02:34 PM PDT

by BILL WADDELL, Evolving Excellence

Many of us in the lean community – all of us long admirers of Toyota and ardent proponents of the business and manufacturing model they spawned – have had to make excuses for Toyota and rationalize some of their failings recently. The latest one, however, demonstrates just how far they have slipped from the principles that propelled them to greatness.

3.8 million cars recalled due to floor mats, of all things, getting caught up in the accelerator. What makes it so inexcusable is that it is not the first time. “Toyota recalled 55,000 Camry and Lexus ES 350 models in 2007 because of complaints of unintended acceleration caused by the mats sticking under the accelerator pedal. The NHTSA said consumers continued to report instances of uncontrolled acceleration in Toyota models after that recall.”

So much for quality, and so much for continuous improvement and learning.

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Lean and Compliance

September 5th, 2009 by admin

Quite often the people in the company responsible for these compliance issues are guilty of first degree overkill.  Unless there is some particular concern, the goal of the company should be to comply with the law – period.  While under-documenting and under-training are a mistake, over-documenting and over-training are a waste of precious time and money.  Too often the people responsible for compliance – either out of zealousness to assure the company never has a legal problem, or out of a desire to build a way beyond the letter of the law.  Too often they use ignorance on the part of the rest of management, and a culture of fear of the wrath of the regulatory agencies to preclude oversight.

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Burnout

August 8th, 2009 by admin

Are you, your employees and managers feeling battered, unsettled and unhappy?
 
Workers are being asked to do so much more with less time to complete the tasks.  Many employees face the threats of their work hours being reduced, pay cuts, benefit cuts, or even layoffs.  These factors can contribute to employee burnout. How is your company struggling to maintain morale?  Is your company keeping employees motivated during one of the worst motivating times in recent history due to the financial crises across the world?
 
Despite these workplace distractions, you need your employees will remain productive. Are you keeping your managers focused on growing your business?  How do you keep doing business in such an unusual business climate?
 
The major key is to recognize the early warning signs of declining motivation and plummeting morale, then respond quickly with practical solutions to help your employees and your business bounce back. Have you thought of ways to succeed at this?
 
Employee loyalty is at an all time low and even if your workforce is loyal and motivated, how do you sustain it? Any qualified owner or manager will tell you that morale can crash from one month to the next.
 
How do great companies create strong morale and reap the benefits of breakthrough productivity, high product quality, world-class customer service and low turnover?

Is it primarily driven by market success? No.

 High salaries? No.

A single charismatic leader? No.

There is not a simple shortcut or solution to achieving high morale and avoiding burnout. And usually one person cannot always make it happen by themselves. Companies with fabulous morale do a whole lot of things right from the beginning. There are many simple tasks that can be done to keep your employees more content so that they perform a better outcome at their position. Lean thinking is not about just cutting expenses. What are you doing for your employees or even yourself to stay motivated if you are a one person company?

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What Does it Mean to be LEAN?

June 17th, 2009 by admin

Lean is about having a drive for simplicity and the power of knowledge.

One of the biggest areas that is forgotten in Lean is respect for people. If a company has properly trained individuals they can in many cases help your facility make a profit. Laying people off and eliminating jobs is not lean. The company may not have as much in salaries, yet they are losing the knowledge their employees have which could make a difference in their success. Lean is about thinking for the long-term, not the short-term.

People are not a liability that accounting professionals tries to impose on a business. Employees that are  properly trained, supported, and acknowledged for their value in the company are an asset.  Knowledge,  and experience cannot be measured on a accounting balance sheet.  Employees are worth far more than what we pay for a simple pair of hands.

With this downturn in the economy all businesses should look at Toyota. They have not downsized any one in their fleet of employees. They are making a profit. When we do not use the talents of the staff we have, companies are bound to not be at their top best.

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