Profit margins in the manufacturing sector continue to narrow as costs increase and buyers become more insistent on maintaining or lowering current prices. This leaves manufacturers with little room for error.
This is particularly challenging in the automotive industry where any unnoticed quality flaw can result in the car-maker charging the manufacturer to disassemble all or part of a vehicle to replace an under-par part.
These facts troubled the president of a parts company where quality was running below expectations.
The president had begun to notice a continual increase in the monthly parts reject rate. His concern was elevated by an increasing need to run special trucks to deliver parts that had not passed quality inspection when their normal truck left for its daily rounds.
The pressure from these added expenses and quality inspections was taking a toll on tempers. Departments were fighting amongst themselves blaming each other for the failures.
The president had finally had enough of the lack of teamwork and requested an extreme leadership make-over.
Before solving this problem it was necessary to fully diagnose the situation. The diagnosis phase started with a series of interviews and assessments. From these assessments it became clear the company's leadership had a lack of teamwork and team orientation.
Interviews exposed continual frustration as an apparent wall between union employees and mid-level management became evident. Company leaders are unaware of this divide.
The major finding of the diagnosis was that management was living in denial of the impact they were each having on the quality of failures. Likewise, the president and chief operations officer were oblivious to the wall between salaried and hourly workers. Self-awareness and personal discovery would be necessary to end the epidemic of denial.
To see how this turns out continue at "Bridging the management-union gap increases quality".
© Max Impact, used with permission.
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