Implementing JIT Production
In this section. our objective is to explain how to accomplish liT production. To structure our discussion we follow the steps given in Exhibit 14.10, expanding on some of the ideasQuality Circles Another interesting technique, with which many Americans are already familiar, is quality circles. The Japanese calJ them small group improvement activities (SGIA). A quality circle is a group of volunteer employees who meet once a week on a scheduled basis to discuss their function and the problems they' re encountering, to try to devise solutions to those problems, and to propose those solutions to management. The group may be led by a supervisor or a production worker. It usually includes people from a given discipline or a given production area. like Assembly Line A or the machining department. It also can be multidisciplinary, consisting. for instance. of all the material handlers who deliver materials to a department and the industrial engineers who work in that department. It does hae to be led. though. by someone who is trained as a group leader. The trainers are facilitators, and each one may coordinate the activities of a number of quality circles. The quality circle really works because it's an open forum. It takes some skill to prevent it from becoming a gripe session. but that's where the trained group leaders keep the membership target. Interestingly enough, only about one-third of the proposals generated turn out to be quality related. More than half are productivity oriented It's really amazing how many good ideas these motivated employees can contribute toward the profitability and the improved productivity of their companies. Quality circles are actually a manifestation of the consensus, bottom-round management approach but are limited to these -Ronald groups, .