Words Of Advice

Dec. 21, 2004
On Change "There are three elements that need to be addressed in change: people, process, and technology. Often the focus is skewed to technology, and people and process are deemphasized in the search for the technological 'silver bullet.' The truth is that everything that gets done gets done through people." -- JLG Industries. "Periodic brainstorming sessions are held with all factory employees to identify improvement opportunities. These ideas link to strategic goals and from this the management team has created a world-class plan with detailed, time-phased assignments." -- Foxboro Co. On The Customer "The direct model allows immediate and direct feedback from the customer base. For smaller accounts, incoming calls are measured on a daily basis and analyzed for exact product/price preferences and response rates to different messages. Server operations has immediate access to sales representatives who can provide real-time feedback from customers." -- Dell Computer Corp. "If a company is truly an exceptional performer, it must have a clear understanding of its customers and the manner in which its products are used. All employees need to be aware of who their customer is and strive to exceed customers' expectations in every way, regardless of whether that 'customer' is the next manufacturing cell or an in-house user down the line." -- JLG Industries On People "Empowerment has been part of our culture for years. Our quality initiatives depend on the trained eyes of each team member to maintain product quality throughout the production process. We further enhanced empowerment with training on conflict resolution, common goals, and the value of each individual's contribution." -- Beiersdorf Inc. "A very mild spring resulted in high levels of inventory in our customers' distribution channels. This required Scroll Tech to shut down the facility in order to reduce our inventories. One week was used for on-the-job training, and another week was used for visual factory training. No Scroll employee was laid off during those two weeks." -- Scroll Technologies On Leadership "A company must foster a culture where risk is considered a virtue and fear is diminished. It must be willing to experiment, try different ideas, and accept failures/mistakes. This must be espoused from senior management and become a way of life." -- JLG Industries "Coaching and mentoring skills are a must, especially for team leaders and management. Team growth requires constant nurturing and feedback." -- Eaton Corp., Aeroquip Global Hose Div. On New Product Development "Concurrent engineering teams must be focused and dedicated. Part-time team participation, or having individuals serve on multiple teams, hampers real team effort (and results)." -- JLG Industries "In order to make significant strides toward zero ppm, the product design team must fully understand and embrace zero ppm from a 'design point-of-view.'" -- Johnson Controls Inc. On Quality "A direct correlation exists between the application of poka-yoke (mistake proofing) and ppm. As our poka-yoke applications increased, our customer ppm decreased." -- Johnson Controls Inc. "Manufacturing teams are responsible for their own quality measurement, tracking, and improvement against goals they receive every six months. Each team member is trained in mistake proofing, problem solving, and internal/external supplier/customer relationships. A support team of quality technicians trains them to use measurement equipment and interpret capability studies." -- Porter-Cable Corp.

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