Sunday, July 15, 2012

Quality Thinking

I was reading one of my favorite magazines the other day when I came across an article on the Cost of Quality.  This intrigued me and as I was reading the author made the statement that quality cost can be 20%-30% of sales.  These costs are the costs not only of implementing quality programs, but the costs associated with diagnosing and fixing the errors of your day to day production.  I really have to agree with this 100%.  I have seen our company fix product and even scrap poor products and that just really hurts.  We as managers/owners really get a pain in our side when we have to do things like this.  Not only does hurt the pocket book, but the morale.  It is so easy and so cheap to implement quality thoughts in to your production staff.  It’s the retention that is hard.   We are going through that right now.  We have a younger work staff and we struggle to retain the quality trains of thought sometimes. We are actively reinforcing over and over again the teachings.  That is where the implementation costs really come into play.  But I would rather spend money teaching and reinforcing than patching and scrapping.  A perfectly delivered product speaks volumes for who you are and what your company is about.  I really am starting to see the tides turning as guys are more about how to progress than feel sorry about themselves.  The other day we had an issue with a form that was not caught in time and we had to patch a product.  This was a setback, but what I saw for the first time was immediate discussion about what we can do to correct this in the future.  There was no finger pointing, no complaining, just instant brainstorming and evaluation.  That is quality thinking in my mind and this making me very proud that the retention is happening.  Good things are happening! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

I Am Asking for Help

For those of you that read my blog and are part of a large company I need help.  We are a small company (less than 15 employees) and we have been struggling with taking the next step.  We have some in the company like myself who want to bigger and want to better.  Then we have those that are content with where we at right now, staying small and not growing, just remaining stagnant.  I will say that we have this problem up and down the organization.  Take for instance, we implement a new policy, there is an initial buzz and everything goes well.  Then as time goes by employees get lacking and we find that we have to remind and remind and remind.  Does anyone else feel this way sometime?  I think we suffer from that small shop attitude sickness.  I like to think that I really get along with everyone well, but maybe it’s me.  Maybe I should be more of a dictator and less of a friend.  Same the other direction we have higher positioning employees/directors who feel the changes we implement are unnecessary.  “Why do we need to improve?” is a common comment.  Again asking does anyone else have this problem?  Do I feel what we do taking the next step is premature? No.  Maybe it’s the staff.  Maybe we need to re-staff, or find that one member who can step up.  I don’t know.  This has caused me great frustration as of late as I feel we are on the brink of the next step.  I am very goal oriented and I feel that if I don’t have goals I really don’t have any other reason to work.  I have done my research, I know what we need to do, and it’s just a matter of keeping the wheels turning.  I don’t quit, I don’t walk away, I’m just curious if anyone else out there has dealt with this type of sickness and has any suggestions.  Anyone made that transition from a small shop to a larger shop or even industry leader.  Or maybe the better quesiton to ask when do you know you are ready for the transition?