Original Date: 06/26/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Continuous Improvement
Because Dayton Parts, Inc. (DPI) firmly believes that employee involvement and continuous improvement are essential for the future growth and well-being of the company, focus is maintained on systematic small improvements in company operating policies, management, and personnel involvement in the plants’s daily operation. The manufacturing continuous improvement focus goals are centered on improved throughput, reduced operating expenses, reduced WIP inventory and improved raw material utilization. DPI management maintains that the success of the company is based on communicating with the employees, involving the work force in decision making, providing personnel with leadership, fair compensation, and providing monetary incentives.
DPI is adamant that no one knows more about a job than the person performing it. In keeping with the continuous improvement focus goals, volunteer cross-functional work teams have been established to develop and implement systematic improvements that help make the company successful. These teams, initially led by a member of management, evolve into self-directed work teams that are focused on specific improvement projects. Guidelines, not rules, for team operation have been established and are followed. These guidelines help the team to keep focused on the task at hand. When a specific project has reached completion, the team is either dissolved or addresses another effort that needs improvement.
Although there can be many problems in establishing and developing teams, the rewards are substantial. By empowering and involving the employees in planning their work and making decisions, DPI acknowledges that talents are emerging and developing that previously were neither recognized or utilized. Productivity has increased and cost has decreased at DPI. Consequently, it has gained market shares in a fairly mature business. Growth from a $17M to a $27M business over the past two years is largely attributable to the company’s commitment to the continuous improvement through employee involvement activities.
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