How are you going to take your business into the future? How will you compete with price-cutting competitors? How will you reduce overhead costs and increase profits? Every business struggles with these same questions. The book The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker suggests that the answer to all of these questions is operational excellence. What is operational excellence? It is being the best at what you do, improving the speed of your business processes, improving the quality of your products and services, and cutting unnecessary steps and costs from your operations.
The Toyota Way lists 14 management principles that Toyota uses to achieve operational excellence. These principles focus on eliminating waste, standardizing processes and learning from experience. They facilitate a continuous flow of quality parts and information precisely when they are required. By following these principles, hidden problems are brought to the surface and employees are trained to solve these problems. The best part is the process is circular, it’s continually improving. Kaizen!
Setpoint believes in Kaizen, which is a Japanese term that roughly means “continuous improvement.” As part of the continuous improvement here at Setpoint, we have studied this book to identify ways to implement these 14 principles within our own company and for our customers. One area that we are focusing on is the way we receive parts. We are moving towards Just in Time so the parts are available to the assembly technician precisely when they are ready for them rather than having them sit for a week or two before they start working on the project.