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A quality system is necessary for any company to survive in the market; the company has to ensure that it has means and resources of getting a desirable end product. in all the companies these is usually a flow process from one level to the other, the failure of one of these processes result in bad end product. The function of managers especially in factories is to assure the consumers of quality control and assurances. When the manager fails to do this the factory is expected to have a short market span, several procedures have been designed to address or assist the managers in ensuring that quality of the products is maintained at an acceptable standard. In this case Hank Kolb should realise the problems facing the company cannot be solved overnight and he must design a long term project to oversee the overturn of production misfortune. First he must come up with definition of the key problems
Defining the situation
This time Hank should clearly understand the problems facing the company of which its end result has led to production of low standard products. During this period he should he should take into account what the customer expects from and pinpoint the cause of their underperformance. When these have been accomplished he must set achievable goals for the future of the company, the goals should be within a timeline and budgetary capability of the company. Once he has everything in place then allocation of different duties to all members should be clearly stated, this ensures that all the members are on the same page. It is during this time that the research conducted on the customers like the new designs should be highly considered. Depending on the viability of such research he can decide to perform another one or use the old information.
The suppliers who provide the company with equipment should also be informed of the new project and commitment should be regarding supplying the best items. It is crucial to make all those who are concerned with the company understand the project of improving the level of quality assurance and in no time should assumptions be used. Finally Hank should be capable of obtaining credible information regarding the company at all times because from this information then he can make decisions.
After everyone has well been informed of the reformations in the company's work strategy then Hank can proceed to the evaluation stage. At this point he should familiarise himself with details about how the company has been operating, this can be helped by dividing the process into three parts; process mapping, baseline data collection and creation of information from the raw data. Mapping process should be done by a person directly involved with the processing a map should be designed from the process representing the exact process. It is during such time that details of the newly transferred and inexperienced employees should be noted, just as hank was informed about the delays the mapping should clearly show where the problem lies.
It is advisable that this should be done at different times because different workers always do things variably and hence this divergence should be checked if it creates later problems. When enough data has been collected the project should peruse through it noting down the deviations pointed from the laid down procedures, these are the most probable causes of delays and product defects.
By the time the measure face is complete then the statement problem has been realised, the reasons why the company is not performing well can by now be pointed out. In this stage Kolb is now expected to ask the question 'why is the setback occurring?' or the cause of the problem should be realised now. In this level of business assumptions or guesses have been put to bay and hence the company should always rely on data and further this data should show that significant improvement result on their implementation.
The other part digs deeper into the cause of the problem and identifies the root causes. Kolb should adopt the system of providing employees with an opportunity to explain their reasons for the problems or he can use the five 'whys' until no sense is made to asking the 'why'. These two tactics are very common in helping solve problems below the surface. In the case of Kolb's company many problems can be raised as to why the plastic nozzle is changed every two months, why the design was adopted, why wrong equipment is used and so on.
This stage is designed to help discover the best solutions for uncovered problems; pilot programmes are usually tested before full scale implementation is done. In implementing this stage it critical that all those involved in prior investigation be involved. This ensures that first hand solutions are put in motion to determine how effective they respond to the problem. Since several solutions arise then a criteria is formulated to allow grading of the solution.
The criteria most times include the available time, the cost, ease at which the solution is implemented and to what extent the solution will counter the root causes. At this point the company can decide to buy new equipments for filling, conduct a new consumer research and putting some of the company's agenda on hold for a while like the intended major promotional and advertising campaign or the company's promotion agenda.
This stage is reached when the company has finished the recovery process and can record positive growth from the amendments. This stage entails the maintenance of these procedures at high levels to ensure continued performance. The procedures are standardised and documented for uniformity, the personnel also receive regular training programmes to keep the production at high standards. In the same agenda the company is supposed to create a monitoring system and a response unit to counter any arising issues. This process will help Kolb eliminate problems like the ones that occurred when he was attending the seminar and new employees will receive training before they can individually operate machines.
Kolb has also an opportunity to use the cause and effect diagram to put back the company into quality competitiveness. To design fish bone diagram for the company Kolb has to get a big white board and collect the project members. The first step a fish like drawing should be made then all the members should agree on the statement problem which should be placed on the head part of the fish. To enhance logic the four fundamental blocks of any industry are placed in bold as the major branches attached to the spine they include; management, manpower, machinery, methods and materials.
From this point every member is allowed to contribute his well thought reason for the existing problem and the problem is hanged at its respective block. In cases where one problem is a reason for another problem then it is hang as a sub branch and it is also permitted to have one problem in other branches. This procedure goes on until all the members have no more problems to put across.
Analysis of the fish borne diagram
Once the diagram is complete then the senior management get a chance to analyse the problems. The root causes are also determined in this stage this is achieved through collection of reoccurring problems whenever the task is performed. This procedure should be frequently carried out to supply the management with a view of the company performance and challenges to enable them initiate recovery procedures in time. When such a process is progressively carried out then the problems in the company are tremendously reduced and this is one of the cost effective procedures. Kolb can use his staff for this process to provide him with ground to begin his quality assurance campaign.