Case Study: Continuous Improvement
Almost 30 years back, Precision Engineering Works Private Limited (PEW), which is the actual equipment manufacturer that specializes in the plastic molding parts for the telecommunication businesses. Many of the major telecommunication service providers are their potential clients. It was the reputation of the company that gave it a strong stand in the market. But somewhere, the crack is being seen because now the competition has increased and many new suppliers have stepped into the industry as they consider it to be a profitable field which further have some serious implications for PEW. In addition to this, the competitors are providing better pricing to the customers in comparison to that of the PEW. These factors have collectively crooked the profitability PEW up to 45%. The management of PEW is further looking for the recent advances and various ways that can be used for the improvement of the company so that once again it becomes the preferred supplier for the customers.
The number of clients is dropping down is a major issue for PEW. Following are the root causes due to which the potential clients of PEW are now preferring other suppliers.
- Increase in the number of players
Undoubtedly, this is one of the reasons that PEW customers are now preferring other suppliers. Earlier they had only one company in the priority list but now since many other people have stepped into the market, the market has expanded, giving the clients a wider choice of products. So, it is important for PEW to retain its brand name in order to get back its customers.
- Focus heavily on price
One of the extensively used competitive strategies is being a low-cost provider.
But it doesn’t mean that you are providing cost just for the sake of attracting customers. Your main aim must be to provide the clients with the best possible value. Value can be maintained by a perfect combination of price, plan, provision, and associations.
In order to make sure that the problems and issues are not occurring again it is important to develop a continuous improvement plan.
A continuous improvement plan refers to a group of activities that are designed with the motive of achieving steady, enduring enhancement to the products, services or the methods by persistent evaluation, measurement, and action. The two most well-known outlines that are used to support continuous improvement are The Shewhart Cycle or the approach called Kaizen. The most commonly used approach is the Shewhart Cycle also known as the PDCA approach.
PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) is a repetitive four-stage strategy that is used for continuous improvement in business process management. This model is also known as the Deming wheel, control cycle or Plan-Do-Study-Act. The main objective of this model is to enhance the process in terms of quality and effectiveness during the product lifecycle management, project management, supply chain management, and many other fields.
Following steps can be followed to develop a successful continuous improvement plan:
Choose small and manageable improvements
Both the companies and the employees will do their best when the philosophy of continuous improvement is set up in small and convenient ways. Say for instance; if maximizing the sales is one of the major objectives of the company, a computable goal must be set (say 5% for each salesperson). Keep in mind that the goals are not stagnant but should be kept to improve frequently.
Monitor improvement with the Plan-Do-Check-Act-Method
It is very essential to check the driving culture of continuous improvement in order to make sure that performance goals are successfully met. This method is repetitive and works as a loop. The first thing that is to be done is to roll out the strategy so that every employee knows about the needs. Once, the employers know what to do, just observe how the work is being done. Set a time period to check if there are some improvements or not. If you find any positive changes, then surely your strategy is working well. The next is the action stage. Though all the stages are very crucial but the act stage is considered to be a critical one. This is the stage from where you get to know about what changes need to be done for the continuous improvement.
Provide timely feedback
There are many companies that tend to struggle working on a certain strategy without getting timely feedback to gather the information. If you have set the goal of increasing sales by 5% following some particular strategy, it is important for you to know whether this is happening in the initial week or not. If it is happening, then there is no need to worry, and if not, you need to introduce certain measures to fix these issues.
A strong workplace culture of continuous improvement forms on the drifts that have some effect on all the businesses. So, it is important for the businesses to plot a sequence of assessable steps, remove all the hindrances that your employers tend to face and release their originality. The above-mentioned steps will surely help the management of PEW to bring a positive change.