Part of operating is running into ‘quality’ issues—things do not go as planned, whether through operation, raw material, planning, or plain human error. The way we address these issues sets apart good organizations from great. The majority of small manufacturers do not have a problem-solving process and as a result, see the same problems arise.
Management is responsible for creating a culture that embraces identifying quality issues and problems that arise daily. Inherently, people are reluctant to call out issues, especially those that stem from human error. Management should be the one to send the message directly to all personnel that the expectation is always to bring up any issue—that you (management) understand and expect issues to happen—and no one will be admonished for helping the organization improve. As entrepreneur Ray Dalio outlined in his book Principles, this was ingrained in his organization—with Mr. Dalio also being part of a team that would publicly send out their own mistakes to all employees, to set the example of transparency.
Once a culture of constant improvement is established, systems and processes need to be implemented to eliminate the issues permanently. Some problems are fixed quickly, and some take additional resources. One common denominator that must be asked, regardless of the size of the issue, is “What do we do to prevent this from recurring?” Without asking, answering, and implementing changes, the same issue will continue to hurt the organization.
Read the full article from Larry Scarborough here on IndustryWeek.
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