Total Employee involvement through Quality circles and Kaizen Circles can take organization to World Class levels.
For organizations to prosper, constant attention must be paid to quality control. This has become a well-known fact. The basic idea of quality control has been spread to all, but the implementation of it has not. The Japanese believe that caution is required for progress, but one who is overly cautious can never become a top manager.
Quality circles, if implemented correctly, can encourage and enable people at all levels of an organization to play meaningful roles in their organizations, hence improving the quality of their work. The concept of the quality circles was gotten from the Japanese, who believed that implementation of quality circles enabled problem solving at the front lines of their organizations.
To understand the concept of quality circles, we must first know
what quality is and how to achieve quality ?
Quality has been described by many people as many different things, but in reference to quality circles, quality is the state in which the entitlement of value is realized for both the customer and the provider in every aspect of the business relationship without majorly affecting the environment or the society.
To achieve quality, all levels of the organization must have the responsibility to maintain quality and must be responsible for the job assigned to them. To control and achieve quality, Statistical Quality Control gives the first approach. Statistical Quality Control has five stages of statistical integrity, each one sharing equal importance regarding achieving Statistical Quality Control.
Statistical quality control
Statistical Quality Control is an all-pervasive function to achieve quality control, but Statistical Process Control (SPC) aims at increasing knowledge and awareness about Statistical Quality Control and steers a process to behave in a particularly desired way. SPC measures, analyzes and controls variations in process through the application of statistical techniques. It aims to increase the output produced from a given amount of resource input. When implemented correctly, SPC reduces cost and increases profits majorly, though depending on the market, product and customer needs in many ways.
SPC also serves as a strategy for defect prevention in organizations. Total Quality Control -TQC is proven system for quality development, maintenance and improvement efforts and integrating various groups in an organization to enable production and service at the most economical levels. This in-turn allow the customer full satisfaction. TQC understands the necessity and importance of quality control by everyone in the organization being engaged in it. TQC requires the participation of all divisions in an organization. Though TQC is perfectly functional by itself, the involving of the Japanese did improve TQC by quite a bit. The Japanese began using SQC after the 2nd World War.
One could easily see that quality has always been an important element of competitive success. The initial approach for quality was final inspection and postproduction adjustment. Total Quality Management (TQM)is a new approach to improve quality and customer satisfaction on a continuous basis by restructuring traditional management practices.
A Quality Circle had been described by professionals as a small group that voluntarily performs Quality Control within the same workshop/workspace for self-development, mutual development, control and improvement using Quality Control techniques with all the members participating equally and in harmony. The concept of Quality Circles has been spread in more than 130 countries, though it is mostly used in Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and others.
For effective functioning of a Quality Circle, the following instructions must be strictly followed by the organization implementing it:
- The upper management’s conviction and leadership for quality
- Continuous education on developments taking place
- Annual Quality improvement plans
- Annual cost reduction plans and their implementation.
Implementation of this process shall bring about not an evolutionary change, but a revolutionary change in the functioning of organizations. The Quality circle is the best path towards the development of human resources. The Quality circle is not only a means of bringing about efficiency in a given organization, but also encourages employees at all levels to think about themselves, their families, associates and loved ones for improvement, as ‘the best help is self-help.
Many magazines have mentioned the Quality circle in their articles.
Some people have shared their views regarding the fact that Quality Circles should not be conducted at the command of a superior but instead must be conducted voluntarily at individual workplaces and organizations. They believe that if a worker wishes not to participate in the implementation of a Quality circle, he/she should not be forced into it. It must be noted that the Japanese started the implementation of Quality Circles long after every employee in their management had been thoroughly trained in quality control, at the end of the total program of implementation of quality control.
Not all companies require Quality Circles. To see whether they need the Quality Circle to increase the quality of the products, they should be clear about the following:
- Whether they need such an introduction in their company,
- Whether they are having the required conditions for such an introduction and
- How they should introduce the Quality Circle in their company.
To smoothly introduce the Quality circle into their organization, the following steps must be followed.
- Initiating an exposure program to senior executives,
- Forming a Quality Council / steering committee and selecting a co-coordinator,
- Working out an action plan,
- Finding qualified trainers and facilitators,
- Initiating an exposure program for workers and staff members
All together leading to successful quality circles.
Seven Steps academy of excellence is training and skill development arm of Seven Steps group which facilitates organization level deployment of Quality circles and Kaizen teams for ongoing improvements. Other trainings being provided from Seven Steps academy include
- Lean Six sigma professional training – Green belt and black belt
- Lean experiential learning – training for Lean professional and Lean champions
- Applied 5S and Visual Management for manufacturing, retail, logistics, Hospitals, Construction, Airports, Banking sector, power plants
- Kanban and Supermarket implementation training for retail, manufacturing, hospitals, medical stores, warehouse, showrooms.
- Total productive maintenance training – TPM, Autonomous maintenance – Jishu Hozen for manufacturing plants and continuous process plants.
- Lean layout training.
Through our Consulting arm, we facilitate deployment of Lean manufacturing, Total Productive Maintenance, Policy deployment, 5S , Six Sigma consulting and implementation support. Our consultants are from multiple sector experience and we operate all over India.