Prepared for Battle

Abstract:The current state of the economy has many organizations looking for ways to cut costs. In reality, however, business success is more dependent on sound quality management principles than it is on the economy. The prosperity of a company depends on how well it adapts to the prevailing situation and market forces, and how it focuses on adding real value and reducing waste. Examples illustrate how the application or neglect of basic quality management practices can have a dramatic effect, regardless of the economic …

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A good case for sound quality management, whatever the economic situation.
--K. Ramful, 06-12-2009

Read and print
--Mukund Parikh, 06-12-2009

A well-written, thought-out article.
I agree with this completely. The need is to be on the move for improvement always.
1] We need to be adaptable...
I am in Metal Industry. Even in commodities, we need to view it as a product being brought by a customer with different packing...a customer may need different size, shape, alloys of a product... overall requirement may vary and we must have redundant capacity to produce the product, manpower in operation to move from plant to plant and suppliers who can deliver at predetermined short lead times
2] Delivery to customer
Correct product in time leads to reduced inventory at customer plants. If the order is big, a staggered delivery schedule can be beneficial for both supplier and customer. In fact, it can be a unique selling point for supplier if he can assure correct or quality product.
3] Purchasing -
I feel most companies go for the least purchasing cost, but it's important to consider lifecycle cost. In case of new technology, the buyer can negotiate discounts for any updates or modifications to reduce cost plus a share in royalties for sharing lifecycle cost data with others, or else lifecycle cost should be provided to buyer. For small items it should be scheduled and bulk purchasing can be done with staggered deliveries to reduce cost.
4] Cleanliness
Japanese 5S is a good system for this... in all situations.
5] Value -
JIT, "On time, In full" reduces waste of overproduction, and other wastes can be reduced and eventually eliminated by ensuring the mentality of a underdog wanting to make it big. Knowing Toyota techniques can be good pointers in such a case.
Being on our toes definitely ensures competition does not come in during good times and keeps you afloat in bad times.
Overall, a must to know for all ... in all situations.
--Parijat Pande, 06-03-2009

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