In part one of this series, we discussed “DISCIPLINE,” in part two we discussed “TECHNOLOGY,” and in part three we discussed “CORRECTIVE ACTION” as three critical “key indicators” that your printer’s quality program is alive and well. In part four, we will discuss the fourth factor, “EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT.”
The fuel that drives every continuous improvement methodology is IDEAS! Without ideas (and lots of them) the best intended programs will come to a screeching halt. You need ideas at every level and every area of your operation to be successful. You need ideas born out of frustration, or customer concerns, or “ah- ha moments,” or brainstorming sessions, etc. It doesn’t matter how you get them… the key is to create a culture where IDEAS flow in abundance.
Here are some things to look for to determine if your prospective printer has the culture and process in place for generating improvement ideas:
Ask to see the process they have in place to capture and track continuous improvement ideas.
Since the “experts” are the people who do the work, look for ideas coming from every area of the operation. What percentage of their team members submitted ideas in the last quarter? (Active programs should be well over 50%. I’ve seen programs over 90%)
Look to see how the ideas are being handled.
Ask how they motivate team members to submit ideas and participate in continuous improvement?
Is there “gainsharing plan” or some sort of reward system for ideas that are implemented? If they have a plan in place… they will be pleased you asked and more than happy to talk about it!
Without exception, if an operation is not generating a lot of ideas from the “experts,” real continuous improvement will not take place. If you find your prospective printer is lacking in the areas of generating, capturing, tracking, and implementing IDEAS from every area of the operation… you have very good reason to question any quality program they claim to have in place.
FOR MORE HELPFUL BLOGS FOLLOW THE LINKS: