Japanese Dipsticks: How to Measure an Organization’s Quality Culture?
The Japanese assess an organization’s Quality Culture using a few dipsticks:
- They walk through your plant and make note of the visible inventory: incoming; in-process; finished goods
- They visit the workers toilets and make note of housekeeping practices
- They study the safety practices institutionalized in the plant.
The observations on inventory in the plant answer the following questions:
- Incoming : What is the capability of supplier processes?
- In-process: What is our process capability?
- Finished goods: What is our understanding of customer needs?
Since inventory has a cost, the Japanese question: Why should I pay for your inefficiencies?
The workers toilets are a mirror of the Quality Culture in the plant. After all, people make quality. Good housekeeping practices:
- Give dignity to the workers
- Sensitize workers for detecting errors.
Safety practices in a plant breed a Quality Culture. Accidents reflect:
- Failure of a system
- Failure of a process
- Failure of a product.
Safety practices communicate “we care” to the worker.
These practices are well cemented in Indo-Japanese ventures in India. Particularly in the auto industry. For example: Maruti Suzuki, Honda Motors India, etc. They are also institutionalized in Bajaj Auto, Tata Cummins, etc.
Conclusion: Building a Quality Culture is possible in India.
- Businesses should improve the living conditions for workers….. A Quality Culture at the plant will follow.
- Banks should be skilled at assessing Process Capabilities of clients….Inventory is one aspect of Process Incapability and the related Cost Of Poor Quality.
- Civic bodies in the state should not allow humans to carry out cleaning operations of manholes… Human life is at risk.