Every company strives for excellence, right? No matter the product or service you provide, you should always be working to get better, be better and do better!
A program that fosters continuous improvement is one way to ensure you are working towards these things. You want to invest in your team to build up the right skills necessary to find and solve problems at your company.
While there are many different techniques to help enable the process here are a few ways you can help foster a continuous improvement culture at your own company:
- Ideas – When it comes to continually improving processes on the warehouse floor and in the office, it’s the people actually doing the work who offer some of the best suggestions. Certainly, it can be challenging to get people to question the way they have always done a certain process in order to make it better. That’s why the company has to provide a comfortable work environment where “no improvement ideas are bad”. Internal audits also provide an opportunity for an “outsider” to review and question stale processes.
- Employee Empowerment – Employees should not be limited to suggestions. Instead, they should have the power to test and implement changes. Process changes should be measured and monitored to ensure they provide the desired outcome. Failing to empower employees to make suggestions and actual changes may spoil a continuous improvement culture.
- Management Action- Yes, employees must be able to make suggestions and implement solutions; however, sometimes those solutions do require management approval or additional resources. Management must respond and implement solutions to improvement suggestions. Failing to provide results on a regular basis discourages employee suggestions because they feel as if they are not being heard. When Management positively reacts and provides results to employee improvement ideas, they improve employee moral and encourage continuous improvement.
Part of our job here at Evans is to help our customers make their supply chain more efficient, and no matter which of our services are being utilized, we strive for excellence in this regard. Continuous improvement is something that is used at Evans to help us improve our own processes, which often leads to something that makes it “easier” for our customers! One example that comes to mind is how we developed a new system to help a large OEM manage their inventory.
Do you have any examples of how continuous improvement has helped make your own processes, or a customers, better?
If you could use some help in your supply chain give us call at 313-827-9921 to discuss your unique needs. You can also reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.