Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
We first start to explore what happened to the Big Three automaker in USA. Ford, GM and Chrysler are the 3 top brands and are movers and shakers of the automobile industry in USA. We heard about them going to the Congress meeting and proposing a bail out plan to the Congress. You must be wondering what really happened to them, certainly their products do not lack in quality as compared to that of the Japanese giant like Toyota's.
In the past, according to ASQ Quality Progress Jan 2009 edition pg. 14, Toyota has a defect ratio of 1.5 defect per car compared to 3 defect per car for US automakers in the 1980s. Currently it is about level, i.e. Toyota has 0.9 defect per car compared to that of 0.95 of US automakers. So the quality is about the same which implies that quality did not cause the pitfall of US automaker. HOWEVER, the perception of quality did. Toyota cars are perceived to be high quality for the long commitment and continuous commitment to the capital Q. When we speak of Toyota, first thing that came to mind is quality, compact, fuel efficient and affordable. This bold well with consumer who has for a long time wanted to save on fuel consumption and have a good lasting car for usage.
Second area that we see defeat in US automaker is the COST. The CEO wages for US automaker is scandalous to start with and Japanese company like Toyota has a more hierarchical and controlled wage structure for them, even to the CEO, I believe. And in line with quality, Japanese company like Toyota also has a systematic quality, cost, improvement and effective mind set where continuous improvement is an everyday thing. What is inefficient is immediately taken care of. They do quality thinking everyday from top to bottom of the organization. At the end, since the quality right now is about the same, I believe the cost in producing a car of the same quality by both Toyota vs US automakers must be a huge gap causing the cost of non-quality being passed on to the user. Meaning if you buy from GM, Ford or Chrysler, chances are your car is more expensive than a Toyota not because it is better, but because you pay for 'a not so effective way of doing things'.
A summary from above, concentrate on Quality and Quality mind set across the organization, is the key to business survival in the long run.
And next question you may be asking, what about us Quality Professionals? Are we relevant or should we be the first on the chopping board because we are not exactly in the production line to produce goods for our customer? Or some management may brand it, it is time for survival fight, it is not time to think and spend more on Quality. Well, the time to invest and really push forward for us Quality Professionals is now.
In this economic environment, it is important that quality professionals demonstrate the ability and the promises of Quality as we have seen in articles, text books and concepts, adapt it into our environment and yield the benefits of it. Here are four ideas of how to start with:
1. Communicate the need of Quality across organization. Form action teams to get quality project executed with the buy in from management. Put yourself on the line, and get the buy-in from management to support such cause as to see the result that can be yield. As the environment is turbulent, go for short and effective projects that can yield a lot of savings for the organization or greatly enhance sales.
2. Communicate the need of Quality upwards. Speak to management using Cost of Quality (COQ) concept. Attempt to decipher and study the cost of failure and show how can quality projects and quality initiatives reduce that. Again put yourself in the line, and be pro-active to push through the understanding to management team.
3. Be pro-active and continuously look for ways to improve in terms of quality, processes, reduce wastage, improve output, reduce time and improve output even from each and every employees.
4. Record the results and outcomes of this projects as bolster for your future quality projects. This will be prove to you, your management and also to your organization that quality thinking and quality initiatives is important during good time, more so during the bad times. Sell Quality to your organization so that they embrace it.
So to answer the question, quality is relevant in 2009, and I can see that organization that is able to embrace quality by each and every employee shall emerge from this economic slump stronger, better and more competitive than ever before.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
We had a pretty long holiday. A 2 day holiday for Hari Raya and then comes a working Friday and then off again for the weekend. It was a good break to relax and spend some time at home with family. After that it was the Christmas and New Year in the month of December and come January it is Chinese New Year. Well the flow of holiday seems good while the financial crisis and recession continue to hinder any mood of joyous and festivity. Coupled with the problem with Satyam, the overall outlook of the new year seems to be able to do much better. And of course not to forget our fellow human beings in Gaza, some of whom have died while Hamas and Israel continues to engage each other in a war that is punctuated by cease fire calls on and off, but they actually have been fighting all this while.
I like to spend a long holiday to really sit down and reflect on all this things. I may not be able to change anything at all, but, it is time for me, at least, to sit back and look at everything I understand from a perspective which I myself can accept. Whatever it is, things will get worst, according to the bible in the book of revelation. Probably that is a place to start to find peace in my heart amidst chaos in the world.
Haha.... that is all my ranting today :)
This is where I want to be.... ahhh....
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
From young, I have been setting targets and goals and it has been a few fruitful years. Though some of the years, the target was over-set, which causes me to few a bit down for not achieving it. There were also times, that it was fruitful and able to push me forward very well. I remember there were time that I didn't even know where I kept my resolution. Whatever it is, resolution is a tradition to me and I would go around asking people what their resolution is. Funny but interestingly, most people do not have one or a very vague one.
Here is how you can do it most effectively as far as I am concern. I am no expert but I must say that I have enough experience of it over the past 10 years to know what to do to setup your yearly resolution
1. FOLLOW what your heart tells you. Take time to meditate, think, think and think. Talk to yourself on what really makes you happy and what really propels you forward and make you feel good. Your heart must buy what your head says. Think with the very end in mind. I know this is tough, but when you set this year resolution, think as far as possible what would the end result be from your goals and actions this year. Begin with the end in mind, says Covey
2. THINK big, start small, walk persistently...
3. WRITE it down... anything you do, the one thing you MUST do is write it down. Somehow it helps your brain to stick the info in better.
4. Get an accountability partner to help ensure you follow up
5. Work on it, don't drift. Stick to the wall and look at it everyday. Ensure you move inch by inch towards it. At least millimeters.
There is a lot of good expert out there that have written great books about it, but if you are really serious about it, get excited and go for your goals that you have set out to do :)
In the pic: Still thinking of this vacation place. Forgot the name though.