Heavy Mettle Victory


Mazu, Michael J.; Conklin, Joseph D.   (ASQ; Mazu, Michael J.; Conklin, Joseph D.)   MJM Associates, Newburgh, IN; U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C.

Quality Progress    Vol. 45    No. 1
QICID: 34198    January 2012    pp. 42-46
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Article Abstract

The primary author has retired from 23 years of service with a large industrial company. The company’s process management slowly and unsystematically improved over the course of his employment. At one plant, improvement began with responding to customer feedback and making a heavy investment in training, statistical experiments, improvement teams and pilot projects. After six years, the plant began taking employee feedback, which led to improved measurement procedures for critical systems and handoff meetings between employees clocking out and those clocking in. Seven more years in, the plant began treating employees as strategic resources, nurturing their careers and working to keep them at the plant for decades. At the same time, statistical analyses were developed that followed the whole production sequence and examined the interactions between processes. After two decades of quality improvement, the plant began reducing the barriers between top management and production, eliminating middle management layers and allowing nonengineers to submit improvement ideas that required engineering input.


Case study, Employee suggestions, Manufacturing process, Management, Measurement, Process management, Statistical methods, Strategic planning

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