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EMPLOYEE SUGGESTIONS PAY OFF AT DANA CORPORATION

The Dana Corporation is a multibillion dollar conglomerate that produces truck and car parts a,nd components for both automobile manufacturers and the after-purchase market. Its subsidiary, Dana Commercial Credit Corp which provides leasing and financial services, won the 1996 Malcolm bridge National Quality Award. The employees of Dana Corp. submitted a total of 666,120 gestation-in 1996 or 1.22 suggestions per employee per month. The result of employee input is a steady stream of improvements to the existing operation in the form of  lower costs, less labor, and increased productivity, all of which directly affect the bottom line. Taking advantage of employee knowledge has become somewhat of an obsession at Dana Corp. Says CEO Woody Marcott, "It's a core part of our value system." It begins in the classroom where instructors at Dana University teach employees how to thin about new ways of doing things. A major element Jar' the success at Dana is emphasis on the fact that the workers are responsible for keeping the company competitive. Marcott admits-he "stole" the idea when. he visited a Japanese factory in the late 1980s. Each plant within Dana Corp. runs its own suggestion program, and it appears to be working. More than 70 percent of the suggestions sub matted are adopted by the company.

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