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How To Reduce Product Defects

Adopting a system that teaches people how to reduce product defects is only as effective as far as it is implemented.In for any business to be able to affect any change, the acceptance of that change must begin at the top and have several proponents throughout the organization.That means that not only does management have to endorse and walk the walk with it, but they also have to get their employees to buy into it.

That is not as easy as most managers like to think.People rarely do something well because they are told to do so.More often people only do those things well, in which they have a stake.If management ordered "improvements" seem like more work or seem to be arbitrary, long time employees will simply not do what they are told to do for as long as they can.When they are finally given the ultimatum, they will continue to drag their feet in the hopes that the new ideas will pass as some fad or, even better, fail - then the employee can say, "I told you so," and who doesn't enjoy a good I told you so momenteven if he or she doesn't actually say those words.

Getting people to be part of the solution can be a huge problem.Each person has a stake in the company, and change often threatens that stake.Each person may use experience as an excuse, believing that he or she has more experience in doing his or her job and that management has no idea what they are trying to do.Each person processes information differently and at different rates of speed; some people need more information and some need very little information.It is the savvy manager's job to figure out what each person needs and how to give it to him or her.

Once the information needs of each person are assessed - and to be clear, it isn't what the company feels that the individual needs when it comes to information, but it is what the individual thinks that he or she needs that is important - the management team needs to deliver the information in a way that is digestible to each person.

For some, it will be important to hear why the new system is being implemented.The company made three million products last year, one percent of them were returned and the company wants to make that percentage lower to be the best product maker in the world.

Unless the employees are getting a cut of the profits, it is never a good idea to use "increasing profit margins" as a motivation behind any change.Smart employees will feel slighted because it will explain why they haven't received a pay raise in the last year, why their best friends were fired in the last round of layoffs and why they may be next in future layoffs."Profit margin" tells the employees what the company really values.As long as the company stays in the realm of "customer satisfaction," "better products" and even "less work for everyone," it will find that it will not demotivate its employees.

There are many different types of programs available that can reduce product defects, but none of them are worth anything unless the people in the actual manufacturing process are behind the changes that the programs will necessitate in any business.Unless management is aware of their team's feelings on the changes, the program will never be as successful as it could be.Employees who buy in to the program will provide more of every needful thing to ensure that the program succeeds.

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