Best practices for industries to make continuous improvement require focus on the following sections - people, work style, product quality and customer.
Employee selection based on potential: Selection of employees is very important and it should be done on two basic criteria –
1. Does the person really want to work for long time in the organization?
2. What are the applicants' potential/capabilities?
Importance of the individual: Organizations must have true and genuine concern for people. Organizations should provide healthy bonus, perks, home loan for newly weds, promise of upward mobility within the company and holiday trips.
Lifetime employment: Guaranteed employment for lifetime with the company. The employees should not leave an organization even if he is getting a substantially better position and salary. This gives the organization the advantage of stable and experienced workforce.
Company loyalty: Loyalty of a working relationship in which employees recognize that the company is concerned not only about customer, product, share holders but also about them.
Top management involved in quality: The top management should personally involve in all the areas of quality improvement.
Job rotation: Employees should be rotate in different jobs irrespective of their qualifications. This will be beneficial both for the management and the employees.
Very important to have an inquiring mind: Inquiring mind gives/supports continuous improvement in the process. It should be encouraged by management.
Attitude to excel under challenge: Example – the positive influence of adversity.
Commitment to training: More training will enhance your employee’s skill and confidence.
Financial incentive to be innovative: Organization should give adequate financial incentive for employees who come up with innovative ideas for improving quality and productivity.
Consensus management: An idea or concept should aired for comment by workers and middle management and their observations and suggestions should seriously considered by the top management.
Long term management outlook: Organization investments should aim for growth over a long period of time.
Competitive spirit: Competition should be taken as an opportunity to improve.
Zero defect policy: Zero defect policy is a well understood and practiced quality standard to minimize defects in the manufacturing.
Quality supersedes production: Organization should adopt quality supersedes production, in this system each worker is empowered to stop the production line if something goes wrong and they do not fear reprisal for interrupting the production line.
Supplier quality: Poor quality work should not be accepted from any supplier and definitely means an end of relationship with the organization.
Just in time inventory: Just in time inventory will reduce capital investment in materials, storage space, material handling equipment and labor.
Effective fool proofing: Production line should have censor which halts the machine whenever the machine begins manufacturing parts which are outside the tolerance limits and are defective.
Development of suppliers: High vendor quality.
Global reach: Develop the products for global market from the very beginning.
Attention to detail: Customers, whether their employees, their suppliers or ultimate consumers should be constant concern to the organizations.
Market research: Excellent market research determine what consumers want and giving to them.
Just in time (JIT) is an optimal material requirement planning system of continuous improvement for manufacturing process in which there is little or no material inventory on hand at the manufacturing site and little or no incoming inspection. JIT technique helps in reducing inventories, warehousing and other holding costs as well as time. JIT is not about automate the process but eliminates waste by providing the environment to perfect and simplify the process.
TQM (Total Quality Management), set-up time reduction, multi-skilled employees, team work, lean production, simultaneous engineering etc. are techniques that is used to improve organization's operations.
According to American production and inventory control society "the primary elements include having only the required inventory when needed: to improve quality to zero defect; to reduce lead time by reducing setup time, queue lengths and lot sizes; to incrementally revise the operations themselves; and to accomplish these things at minimum cost."
JIT technique can be applied to order taking, purchasing, operations, distribution, accounting etc. JIT production system can make improvements in cost, quality, performance, delivery, flexibility and innovativeness output. The major benefits from JIT are - increased productivity, pricing flexibility, reduced risks, reduced costs and increased response capability.