Quality and Productivity Improvement Plan
Due to the adverse effects of globalization many large organizations have started to cave due to pressure from competitors. Industry continues to seek the means of improving management of resources. The most successful organizations are those that are able to meet and exceed customer expectations and go to extraordinary lengths to outdo the competition. To achieve this state of competitiveness it is essential that quality and productivity are critical success factors for any business organization.
Improve the productivity of your business use the following quality and productivity checklist to assess the performance of your business. The checklist could also be used as a guideline in developing corporate plans.
This checklist is suitable for medium to large manufacturing organizations. However with certain modifications it can be used to assess the operational performance of service organizations too. This document requires a cursory knowledge business terms and technical terms used in productivity and quality management.
This is a detailed checklist of all processes that need to be carried out to assess quality and productivity of business organization. Provide sufficient information on the areas given below.
Section one: Analysis of the Current Situation
- Nature of business, company size, ownership.
- Major markets, principal customer types, market segments
- Profile of the employee base
- Major processes / equipment / technology
- Environmental issues
- Key customer requirements ( on-time delivery, price, after sales etc.)
- Supplier and partnerships
- The profile of suppliers of goods and services
- The most important suppliers
- Limitations with suppliers
- Company’s position in the market
- Numbers and types of competitors
- Principle factors that determine competitiveness
- Changes taking place that affect competitiveness
- Organization vision, mission goals
- Business objectives
- Process and performance objectives
- Customer focused objectives
- Employee focused objectives
- Major new thrusts of the company
- New business alliances
- New technologies
- Approaches process, product and service innovation
The senior executive’s leadership, personal involvement in, and visibility in developing and maintaining an environment for productivity improvement and developing a productivity culture.
- Brief summary of the company’s customer focus and the values that serve as a basis for consistent understanding and communication within and outside the company
- How the senior executives regularly communicate and reinforce the company’s customer focus values with managers and supervisors
- How senior executives improve the effectiveness of their functional areas
- How senior executives develop objectives and measures in relation to the company objectives
- Participate in and use the results of performance reviews and improve on them
The customer focus and satisfaction category examines the company’s relationship with customers, and its knowledge of customer requirements and of the key quality factors that drive marketplace competitiveness. Also examined are the company’s methods to determine customer satisfaction, current trends and levels of customer satisfaction and retention, and these results relative to competitors.
How the company determines near-term and long term requirements and expectations of customers.
- How the company determines the near-term and long-term customer expectations: include:
- How customer groups and or market segments are determined or selected, including how customers of competitors and other potential customers are considered;
- How information is collected, including what information is sought, frequency and methods of collection; and how objectivity and validity are assured;
iii. How other key information and data such as complaints, gains and losses of customers, and product / service performance are used to support the determination.
- How the company evaluates and improves its processes for determining customer requirements and expectations.
How the company provides effective management of its interactions and relationships with its customers and uses information gained from customers to improve customer relationship management processes.
- How the following are addressed for customer contact employees:
- Selection factors;
- Career path;
iii. Deployment of special training to include: Knowledge of products and services; listening to customers; soliciting comments from customers; how anticipate and handle problems and failures (recovery); skills in customer retention and how to manage expectations;
- Empowerment and decision making;
- Recognition and reward.
- How the company evaluates and improves its customer relationship management processes, includes:
- How the company seeks opportunities to enhance relationships with all customers or key customer;
- How evaluations lead to improvements such as in service standards, access, customer contact employee training and technology support.
iii. How customer information is used in the improvement process.
This section deals with the company’s commitments to customers regarding its products / services and how these commitments are evaluated and improved.
- How the company evaluates and improves its commitments, and the customers understanding of the process, to avoid gaps between customer expectations and company performance, include;
- How information / feedback from customers is used;
- How product performance improvement data is used;
iii. How competitor’s customer commitment is assessed.
How the company determines customer satisfaction, customer repurchase intentions and customer satisfaction relative to competitors; discuss how these determination processes are evaluated and improved.
- How the company determines customer description of processes and measurement scales used; frequency of determination; and how objectivity and validity are assured. Indicate significant differences if any, in processes and measurement scales for different customer groups or segments and how customer satisfaction measurements capture key information that reflects customers likely future market behaviour, such as repurchase intentions or positive referrals.
- How customer satisfaction relative to that for competitors is determined. Describe:
- Company based comparative studies; and
- Comparative studies or evaluations made by independent organizations and or customers, for 1 and 2, describe how the objectivity and validity of studies are assured.
Identify trends in the company’s customer satisfaction and trends in key indicators of customer dissatisfaction.
Trends in current levels and key measures and / or indicators of customer satisfaction, including customer retention, segment by customer group, as appropriate. Trends may be supported by objective information and / or data from customers current or recent (past 3 years) satisfaction with the company’s products / services.
The company’s customer satisfaction results with those of competitors.
- Trends in gaining and losing customers, or customer accounts to competitors
- Trends in gaining or losing market share to competitors.
Business and operational results category examines the company’s achievement levels and improvement trends in profits, value addition, quality, company operational performance, and supplier quality. Also examined are current quality and operational performance levels relative to those of competitors.
Trends and current quality level for key product and service features; compare current levels with those of competitors and or appropriate benchmarks.
- Trends and current levels for the key measures and / or indicators of product and service quality.
- Comparisons of current quality level with that of principal competitors in the company’s key markets, industry averages, industry leaders, and appropriate benchmarks.
Trends and levels in overall company operational performance; provide a comparison with competitors and / or appropriate benchmarks.
- Trends and current levels for key measures and / or indicators of company operational performance.
- Comparison of performance with that of competitors, industry averages, industry leaders and key benchmarks.
Trends and current levels in profits value addition of the business; compare results with competitors and / or appropriate benchmarks.
- Trends and current levels for key measures and / or indicators of quality and operational performance of business and support services.
Trends in quality levels and current quality levels of suppliers; compare the company’s supplier quality with that of the competitors and / or with appropriate benchmarks.
- Trends and the current levels for key measures and / or indicators of supplier quality performance.
iii. Comparison of the company’s supplier quality levels with those of appropriately selected companies and /or benchmarks.
The human resource development and management category examines the key elements of how the work force is utilized productively and how the company is able to develop to its full potential to pursue the company’s quality and operational performance objectives.
How the company’s overall human resource management, plans and processes are integrated with its overall quality and operational performance plans and how human resource planning and management address fully the needs and development of the entire workforce.
How the company improves its key personnel processes. Describe key improvement methods for processes such as recruitment, personnel actions and service to employees, including support services to managers and supervisors. Include a description of key performance measures or indicators, including cycle time and how they are used in improvement.
- How the company evaluates and improves its human resource planning and management using all employee related data.
- How all the employees are enabled to contribute effectively to meeting the company’s quality and operational performance plans, summarize trends in the effectiveness and the trends in effectiveness and the extent of involvement.
- How the company promotes on-going employee contributions, individually and in groups, to improve quality and operational performance.
- Trends in key measures and/ or indicators of the effectiveness and the extent of employee involvement
- Evidence of employing productivity improvement through 5-S, QC circles, TPM, Suggestion schemes. Give data in relation to number of circles, no. of suggestions, no. of projects completed etc.
How the company determines quality and related educational training needs for all employees. Show how this determination addresses company plans and supports employee growth. Outline how such development and training are evaluated, and summarize key trends in the effectiveness and the extent of education and training.
- Linkage to short term and long term plans, including company wide access to skills in problem solving, waste reduction, and process simplification;
- Growth and career opportunities for employees
iii. How employees’ input is sought and used in the needs determination.
- How the company’s employee performance, recognition, promotion, compensation, reward, and feedback approaches support the improvement of quality and operational performance.
- How the company’s employee performance, recognition, promotion, compensation, reward, and feedback approaches for individuals and groups, including managers, support improvement of quality and operational performance. Include:
- How the approaches ensure that quality is reinforced relative to short term financial considerations;
- How the employees contribute to the company’s employee performance and recognition approaches.
iii. Indicate average salary, incentive schemes, benefits etc.
How the company maintains a work environment conducive to the well being and growth of all employees; summarize trends in key indicators of well being and satisfaction.
- How employee well-being factors such as health, safety and ergonomics are included in quality improvement activities.
- What special services and facilities, activities, and opportunities the company makes available to employees to enhance their work experience and /or to support their overall well-being.
- How the employee determines employee satisfaction. Include a brief description of methods, frequency, and the specific factors for which satisfaction is determined.
- Trends in key measures and / or indicators of well-being and satisfaction. Explain important adverse results, if any.
- Indicate cost incurred in each area.
The management of process quality examines the key elements of process management, including design, management of day-to-day production and delivery, improvement of quality and operational performance, and quality assessment. The category examines also how all work units, including research and development units and suppliers, contribute to overall quality and operational performance requirements. Examine availability of standards and adherence to work norms.
How product / service and production delivery process designs are reviewed and validated taking into account key factors:
- Overall product and service performance as against standards / measures
- Process capability and future requirements;
iii. Supplier capability and future requirements;
- Measurement of cycle time, efficiency.
How the company’s key product and service production and delivery processes are managed to ensure that design requirements are met and that both quality and operational performance are continuously improved.
How process is improved to achieve better quality, cycle time, and operational performance. Describe how each of the following is used or considered:
- Process analysis / simplification;
- Benchmarking information;
iii. Process research and testing;
- Use of alternative technology;
- Information from customers of the process within and outside the company;
- Stretch targets.
How the company assures the quality of materials, components, and services furnished by other businesses. Describe also the company’s actions and plans to improve supplier quality.
- How the company’s quality and requirements are defined and communicated to suppliers. Include a brief summary of the principal quality requirements for key suppliers. Also give the measures and / or indicators and expected performance levels for the principal requirements.
- How the company determines whether suppliers meet its quality requirements. Describe how performance information is fed back to customers.
How the company assesses the quality and the performance of its systems and processes and the quality of its products and its services.
How assessment findings are used to improve products and services, systems, processes, supplier requirements and the assessment processes. Include how the company verifies that assessment findings are acted upon and that the actions are effective.
The information and analysis category examines the scope, management and use of data and information to maintain customer focus, to drive quality excellence and to improve operational and competitive performance to gain productivity improvement.
The company’s selection and management of data and information used for planning, day-to-day management and evaluation of quality and operational performance.
- How the company establishes key strategic level measures in relation to the company objectives and rapid access to data is assured throughout the company.
- How the company measures and evaluates:
- Middle level measures for productivity;
- Operational level measures for productivity;
iii. Periodical review of results;
- Availability of process and product review and update;
- Shortening the cycle from data gathering to access;
- Broadening access to all those requiring data for day-to-day management improvement;
vii. Aligning data and information with process improvement plans and needs.
- How performance of data from all parts of the organization are integrated and analyzed;
- Customer related performance;
- Operational performance;
- Financial and market performance.
Examine the company’s process, current sources and scope, and use of competitive comparison and benchmarking information of data to support improvement of quality and operational performance.
Give a brief summary of the current scope, sources and principal uses of each type of competitive comparisons and benchmarking information and data to support improvement of quality and operational performance.
- Customer related / Internal Operations
- Product and service quality / Supplier performance.