Simple Continuous Improvement
By Cliff Petit
The Institute of Quality Assurance define continuous improvement, “as a gradual never-ending change…” It’s a tough, but necessary, ask of any business and the manufacture and supply of fitted furniture is no exception.
Competition and the fight for business just gets fiercer every year and no business, large or small, can afford to withdraw from the search to find new armaments. The quest to win the battle for business, existing and new, has to be ongoing. Fall short or sit idle while competitors march on with new ideas and demise is inevitable.
Business academics and industry leaders alike, all recognise that innovation and new product development are key to both a successful strategy and a profitable operation. But in a world where progress and technical advance seem to evolve daily how do you know which to adopt? When is it right to grab an idea and when is it just marketing overload to be ignored? How do we ensure, “continuous improvement” and not drown our colleagues and customers in “continual improvement”?
Many believe that the source of an idea can be a key indicator as to its validity. There has been much written about Continuous Improvement Programmes and surprisingly it’s not all about huge leaps from the R and D department. Many discuss, and place large emphasis on, the need to identify small, effective changes from within one’s own, or industry based, operational workforce.
Listening to operational staff can not only benefit them with a sense of empowerment but can also be of great benefit to the organisation. Those with, “hands on” knowledge can often be the most alert and the most imaginative when it comes to finding small step solutions to not necessarily insurmountable problems.
Hence, a fitting that’s been designed by a fitter… is worth more than just taking note of. Its elegance and efficiency is in its simplicity… as is its business case;
A great example of this is the new Space-Plug…
“Space-Plug works better than anything else on the market… for less money.” It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
We can’t all be John Harvey Jones. But when we’re open to the right clues, especially, coming from the right people, we don’t have to be in order to spot the right opportunity.