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Managing quality is of high
precedence in many business industries today. In business, one of the main goal
for continuous success is to meet the needs and expectations of its customers,
whether through its services or products which they offer. If the business
fails to do so, they may face bad reputation and worse of all, decrease in
customers and revenues. Quality management consists of many concepts, including
dimensions of quality, cost of quality, six sigma, ISO, and quality tools.

            A technique that companies may use to improve not only
quality but also their overall performance is Six Sigma. Six Sigma, developed
by Motorola in 1986, is a quality-control program that provides businesses with
tools and expertise to improve their process. (Russell, 2014) The main goal of
Six Sigma is to develop and deliver products and services to customers
effectively and successfully, and in return, increase in quality and profits.
This approach profoundly relies on statistical data and improved methods to
eliminate any defect which a business may face. There are five steps of Six Sigma
which most businesses use in their daily training: define, measure, analyze,
improve and control (DMAIC). The DMAIC process “is an important system for
existing processes falling below specification and looking for incremental
improvement” (n.d.).

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            Another process of Six Sigma is what is known as DMADV
(define, measure, analyze, design, verify). Although less useful than that of
DMAIC, DMADV plays a role in achieving and sustaining a business’ success. One
can best achieve their business’ goals by utilizing these methods regularly
while also implementing the four basic steps of the Six Sigma process: align,
mobilize, accelerate, and govern. (Russell, 2014) Six Sigma has proven to be
the most useful tactic in the business world which many well-known companies,
such as Motorola and Ford, have credited, thus earning the world’s top
popularity in quality management systems.

            Many firms are using numerous methods to improve
productivity and production. One method that many businesses are adopting the
concept of is lean systems. According to Lean Systems Inc., lean systems are “a
systematic approach to the identification and elimination of waste and
non-value added activities through employee development and continuous
improvement in all products and services” (n.d.). In the lean system, there are
a number of concepts that can be implemented. This includes: lean production,
Kanban, Kaizen, Poka-yoke, and Just In Time (JIT), which I will shift my focus
on in the following paragraph.

            As the name implies, Just In Time (JIT) is designed to
guarantee that materials and supplies arrive “just in time” at a facility just
when they are needed so that inventory is minimized. (Russell, 2014) This
concept was first originated in Japan, generally popularized by Toyota Motor
company in the 1970s. JIT is designed to reduce inventory costs by eliminating
non-essential inventories that are costly and is of no value, thus decreasing
waste. A great advantage of the JIT method is that it meets the demand of a
customer without having to wait too long for their purchase to arrive. A
disadvantage of JIT, however, is if goods are not delivered on time or are
ordered in smaller amounts, the entire process can fail and can become much
more complicated. (Investopedia)

            Rather than having already collected products stocked up
in their warehouse, a business who utilizes the Just In Time system saves money
and reduces waste by providing their customers with products upon request. A
great example of JIT is none other than the company that propagated this
method, Toyota Motors. “The Toyota production strategy is highlighted by the
fact that raw materials are not brought to the production floor until an order
is received and this product is ready to be built. No parts are allowed at a
node unless they are required for the next node, or they are part of an
assembly for the next node” (Wilson, 2015). As a result, Toyota showed
continuous improvement in productivity.

            Deming’s 14 point system can be implemented to help
businesses increase their productivity, quality, and services. W. E. Deming,
referred to as “father of quality control”, traveled to Japan in the 1940s
where he began to teach the use of statistical process control to leaders of
Japanese companies. Soon after, Japanese companies such as Toyota began to see
improvement after applying Deming’s techniques into their business structure.
His philosophic teachings can be adapted to any type of business; from small to
large multinational companies, service industries, manufacturing companies, or
even a one-man operation. (Mind Tools)

            Deming’s 14 point system can be used in all parts and
aspect of life. Waste is a huge part of profit loss and so applying this to our
professional and/or personal life can save us so much time, money, and effort.
For example, Six Sigma is used to solve complex problem. This is especially
applicable in my personal life as it helps keep me organized and persistent
when a certain situation has occurred. I can define, measure, analyze, improve
and control (DMAIC) the problem before taking the next step and instigating a
much serious, unnecessary problem. On the other hand, Just In Time was
developed to receive things that is of value at a certain time. As stated in
our text pertaining to JIT, “If you produce only what you need when you need
it, there is no room for error”. (2014) Personally, this will help me to shift
my attention on things that are most important to me and not waste time on what
is not. This, consequently, will avoid any errors. Needless
to say, the goal of every business is to increase profit rather than losing,
and so, implementing these systems and teaching in our trainings will guarantee
just that.

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