July 17, 2013

IEEE defines JIT/TQC as: “Just-in-time/total quality control (JIT/TQC) is a proven, practical process that attacks waste. Any activity which does not add value to the product is considered wasteful. Reducing waste increases customer service, reduces costs, and improves quality. When a company has installed an aggressive, ongoing ability to improve its operations, it has created a competitive weapon. It is pointed out that JIT needs TQC. The major thrust of JIT is to identify problems; it highlights the barriers and constraints that are causing waste. TQC corrects them. Without an effective means of overcoming the barriers and constraints, JIT would simply pile up missed opportunities. TQC needs JIT. JIT derives the problems for TQC to attack.”

The commitment to Total Quality seeks to develop a dedication to the customer, a predictable process of manufacturing, operations, or service, a climate in which employees strive for continual improvement and the desire to get to the root causes of problems. The TQC philosophy involves people at all levels of the organization. It is a day-to-day operating method which succeeds through shared information, where data is gathered at many key points, both inside and outside the company, to monitor manufacturing quality, service quality, and customer satisfaction. This information can be used to improve methods, cut waste and respond to customer requests.

Just-In-Time fits well with TQC because it has a consistent operating philosophy of problem solving, continuous improvement, techniques aimed at eliminating waste and achieving excellence. JIT requires that everything be done right the first time, so “Quality at the Source” must be implemented to prevent defects before they occur. This works best in an atmosphere of employee involvement. JIT can be implemented in any enterprise on a “low-cost/no cost basis.”

As an operating/manufacturing-production technique, organizations that successfully implement Just-In-Time can expect to experience significant and dramatic benefits:
• 20% to 50% increase in direct and indirect labor productivity
• 80% to 90% reduction in manufacturing lead times
• 40% to 50% reduction in cost of failure
• 8% to 15% reduction in cost of purchased materials
• 50% to 90% reduction in raw material and work-in-process inventories
• 30% to 40% reduction in space requirement
• 30% to 40% increase in existing equipment capacity utilization

So it is, as well, with the training vendors you encounter. Ask them the following questions in order to ascertain whether their offerings will help you meet your TQC and/or JIT commitments:

• How do you select the program subjects you choose to produce? (The CORRECT ANSWER should be: “They are chosen by the majority of our customers to meet their specific needs.”)

• How are your programs actually produced? (The CORRECT ANSWER should be: “They are produced internally by our Instructional Designers, programmers and SMEs. They are then reviewed by some actual customers before being released. They are not produced off-shore in a template environment.”

Have your programs been submitted to a “Reading Level” analysis? (The CORRECT ANSWER should be: “Absolutely — and they test out somewhere between a 4th and 6th Grade reading level, which means the training will be readily absorbed by all of the individuals in your workforce.”)

• How did you shoot the video scenes used in your training programs? (The CORRECT ANSWER should be: “They were shot in real plant environments, using real plant workers and real plant equipment in order to simulate what your workforce will actually see later when they’re on the job.”)

Of course, there are other important design factors to consider when making your evaluations but, for the moment, the above four will give you a very good idea of the credibility of the training vendor you are evaluating.

Organizations committed to JIT/TQC are aiming to be the best in their market segment. Therefore, when choosing media-learning courseware for your employees doesn’t it make sense to partner with only those media-training suppliers that are also committed to producing “the best!”

More on Monday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder
ITC Learning (Mondays & Wednesdays)