Management Article

Tom Taormina’s picture

By: Tom Taormina

Each article in this series presents new tools for increasing return on investment (ROI), enhancing customer satisfaction, creating process excellence, and driving risk from an ISO 9001:2015-based quality management system (QMS). They will help implementers evolve quality management to overall business management. In this article we look at the clauses and subclauses of Section 10 of the standard.

10 Improvement

Define “improvement.” In quality parlance it typically means reducing defects and making processes more efficient and mistake-proof. For the CFO it might be improving the return on investment numbers on the financials. For the marketing director it might be expanding market share. For the CEO it might be exceeding the expectations of the board of directors.

The theme of this series includes “presents new tools for increasing return on investment (ROI), enhancing customer satisfaction, creating process excellence, and driving risk from an ISO 9001:2015-based quality management system (QMS).” To conclude the theme, we will look at Clause 10 from a more holistic perspective.

10.1 General

10.1 and excellence

James Anderton’s picture

By: James Anderton

Injection mold making used to be a relatively simple business: machine the cavities and runners, polish, cross-drill for cooling, then shoot resin. Today, however, relentless pressure for lower part cost and higher productivity have led to bigger, faster machines with molds to match.

Multilayer stack molds, gas-assisted molding, overmolding, co-injection, advanced hot-runner systems, and other technologies have collapsed the cost of high-volume commodity resin parts. At the other extreme, a new generation of functional fillers and special-purpose engineering resins are allowing very large, special-purpose part making for industries such as automotive, aerospace, and medicine. In every application, cycle time, dimensional stability, and surface finish are paramount; hiding a sink mark under a trim plate just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Despite all the technical understanding of making injection molds, a surprising number of manufacturing engineers know very little about the complex dynamics that happen inside an injection mold.

Steven Forrest’s default image

By: Steven Forrest

The ongoing pandemic will likely change, if not completely alter, many aspects of our daily lives. One facet that will significantly change is the way we work. After months of being in lockdown, the massive shift to working from home has proven to be effective in helping employees stay productive. This led a lot of companies—including those that were initially suspicious about it—to seriously consider remote working as a viable and legitimate work arrangement.

Benjamin Kessler’s picture

By: Benjamin Kessler

The full economic impact of the pandemic has yet to be felt. However, it seems beyond dispute that Covid-19 and globalization don’t mix well. Of course, all economic activity is suffering in this worldwide recession—but the global breadth of business may experience an especially acute shrinking effect. To cite just one grim projection, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is predicting a 12-percent contraction in global trade this year, more than double the already cataclysmic 4.9-percent negative growth prediction for the world economy as a whole.

The proximate causes for this are widely known: the unhappy coincidence of China being both the virus’s apparent country of origin and epicenter of global production for countless multinational corporations, the cessation of global travel, etc. Far less clear, at this stage, is what all this means for global business strategy. Should companies keep a low profile and hope for globalization to rebound, or prepare for hasty repatriation?

Farhana Ahmad’s picture

By: Farhana Ahmad

Despite juggling competing priorities, building resilient systems and processes within their organizations continues to be top of mind for business leaders today and is anticipated to be so for the foreseeable future. As such, the first logical step is to turn to existing methods and approaches that have been proven to be effective—of these, lean is a strong contender.

Starting from the beginning: the definition of lean

Defined as “a way of providing maximum customer value while minimizing effort, equipment, time, and waste in the production system,” lean is based on five principles:
• Value is defined according to the customer’s perception of it.
• Organizations must map the entire value stream and eliminate anything that doesn’t contribute to customer value.
• Products and services must flow smoothly to the customer with no interruptions.
• Customer requirements pull value upstream along the process.
• Perfection with no waste is the goal of the production system.

From an applicability perspective, the business process most commonly linked to lean is that of waste reduction, which is summarized into eight key types. This includes everything from motion to overproduction to underutilized talent.

Lolly Daskal’s picture

By: Lolly Daskal

In a recent survey, only 3 percent said they have confidence in corporate executives.

The news was equally dismal for others: 3 percent reported having confidence in government officials, 5 percent in reporters and journalists, 8 percent in small business owners, and only 11 percent in ministers and clergy.

These results show, among other things, how hard it can be to find the leader who can be credible, courageous, trustworthy, ethical, and transparent.

But we all know great leadership is possible—because we ourselves want it.

Here are some basic ways we can be the example of what it looks like.

1. Do what you say you will do. Too many leaders just do whatever they can get away with. Be credible.

2. Do what’s right, not what’s easy. This one can be hard; doing what is right is rarely easy. And many times leaders choose the wrong path. Be courageous.

3. Take responsibility for your actions. Stop making excuses for your decisions and rationalizing your choices. The more excuses they hear from you, the less people will trust you. Be trustworthy.

Richard Fendler’s picture

By: Richard Fendler

Job satisfaction is important to most people, and yet this can be a fairly nebulous concept that is tricky to achieve and also tough to measure in a meaningful way.

Luckily a number of software platforms designed to manage employee recognition have emerged in recent years, as outlined in this comparison list. The upshot is that it is not just easier for businesses to keep their workers content, but also to track satisfaction and thus extrapolate the morale trajectory for the entire organization.

Here is a look at how these platforms work, why they are useful for keeping team members happy, and how analyzing employee contentment benefits the business as a whole.

The basics

Although they vary in terms of features and functions, all employee-recognition software solutions share the same purpose, which is to codify and unify the way that appreciation for people in a workplace is demonstrated by management.

EASE Inc.’s picture

By: EASE Inc.

According to the late quality guru Armand V. Feigenbaum, the hidden factory accounts for anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent of an organization’s total capacity. Feigenbaum called the hidden factory, “that part of your organization that exists to do bad work—not because you want to do bad work, but because the whole process is such that you are driven into it.”

In essence, the hidden factory are those undocumented processes that work against quality and efficiency, creating invisible roadblocks to strategic goals while driving up costs.

Most troubling is the fact that the problems associated with the hidden factory go far beyond traditional quality costs.

In this article, we look at how these hidden processes affect manufacturing organizations, and how they can shine a light on unseen sources of variation and inefficiency.

Jason Chester’s picture

By: Jason Chester

For manufacturers—as for all of us—the past few months have been a blur of fast adaptations and long periods of waiting. At the start of the pandemic, many manufacturers did what they have always done in the face of disruption: adapt and find the fastest workaround for the challenge at hand.

Manufacturers already know that rapid adaptation is an accepted cost of doing business. Uncertainty, risk, and volatility are not new for these seasoned organizations. However, the universal nature of this crisis, and the fact that it’s far from over, have highlighted areas in which complex quality management systems and procedures stand in the way of agile responses and effective operational optimization.

Many manufacturers have taken advantage of the opportunity to examine their operations with a fresh perspective, seeking proactive changes that will pave the way forward in a post-Covid-19 world.

Denrie Caila Perez’s picture

By: Denrie Caila Perez

With most industries shifting to remote work due to the Covid-19 pandemic, companies are looking at how they can innovate the work-from-home experience. Toyota’s Ann Harbor, Michigan, research and development team was set to complete the automaker’s newest generation of the Sienna in March 2020. However, after the state went under lockdown, the team was forced to complete the minivan from home.

According to the team, they were still able to see a production trial of the latest Sienna at Toyota’s Indiana plant prior to the lockdown. This gave the team enough ideas on what kind of changes they needed to make to the vehicle. The real challenge was how they were going to do it from home. Toyota Chief Engineer Monte Khaer shared that the later phase involved what they call “fit-and-finish optimization,” which can be difficult to accomplish by just relying on CAD.


Toyota Engineer Kyle Steinkamp works on the new Sienna minivan with his own tools from home. (Image courtesy of Toyota)

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