A Different Approach to Quality – Total Quality FIRST LINE MANAGEMENT
The traditional approach to Quality, regardless of whether or not we are looking at either Product or Service delivery, is built around the notion that it is a Management responsibility.
The reality on the ground, however, is very different and to make Quality a reality where it really matters, in the evaluation from the Customer, is that it is at the Supervisory or First Line Manager level where the real action sits.
So, what can the Supervisory /First Line level contribute towards Quality and success?
- Setting standards: management at this level is crucial in ensuring that processes and systems are running well at the sharp end of the business.
- Organising Routines and Systems so that they run as effectively and efficiently as possible, all day, every day. Consistency comes from managerial expertise at this level of operation.
- Modifying systems so that Quality improves and the organisation becomes better at its core activity: ideas from the shop floor are all about small, practical changes that can be made quickly.
- Running Lean work systems; making sure activity, of whatever type or design is done as efficiently as possible. Removing and unnecessary or irrelevant activity from the process.
- Waste Control: eliminating scrap, rework and repetition because the task was not completed correct in the first time. Savings here really build up quickly!
- Early Warning Systems: being able to identify, at the earliest opportunity, issues and problems that can then be rectified. This can then form the basis of effective and quick-time remedies to problems and issues.
- Risk Management: seeing first-hand the problems in product or service delivery that have escaped the attention and knowledge of more senior staff who are removed from the sharp end of the business.
By carefully using staff at First Line level we can really improve Quality and increase Customer Satisfaction.
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