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the staff had a ͞lack of quality attitude͟. Upon investigating a problem on the ͞Greasex͟ line Hank unearthed a series of problems.
Issues Whilst Hank encountered several issues of concern, two stand out as major problems. 1. Absence of quality and as such customer focus 2. Organisational culture
Analysis and reflection 1. Absence of quality The issue with quality is obviously a major one, and obviously the reason Hank Kolb was hired in the first place. No one in the organisation seems serious or concerned about quality. This could have an adverse affect on the customer͛s confidence and faith in the company. I come from a services background. Whilst quality is a bit more difficult to measure in a services industry, it is what makes or breaks your company. The first problem area is the supplier. The supplier is providing an inferior nozzle head. The purchasing department have stated that they will speak to the supplier the next time he is in. In my opinion this is not good enough. If I were in the purchasing department͛s shoes I would be getting onto the supplier as soon as I realised the problem. The reason is if let͛s say one month goes by before the supplier comes in, they would have been using low quality nozzle heads for that entire time and could potentially lose their customer͛s trust in the process. The second problem area is product design. Whilst the can might have looked different to competitor͛s products, it was not tested to ensure it met the quality standards. This goes against the grain where all new products need to be tested prior to hitting the market; otherwise this could have dire consequences to the company͛s image if a product was faulty. We have seen this several times in the real world with companies like Toyota, Ford, Herrons, Dairy Farmers, Arnott͛s who have had to recall products that didn͛t meet the required standard. This hurts the company͛s image. The third problem area is process design. The machine being used for the ͞Greasex͟ product wasn͛t even built for this purpose. This is evident in the amount of work orders during the past month for repairs and maintenance. The company does not have a preventative maintenance schedule in place. Any company needs to act before the fact and not after. A barrier to this though is the fact sometimes a machine is functioning properly but all of a sudden one of its main components gives up. This can͛t be helped and might mean production has to stop. Skilled workers are the bloodline of a company. Putting inexperienced workers in high positions has adverse effects on quality and output. This is evident in this case where the operator of this machine isn͛t even qualified to run it. He was being trained on-the-job. He should have been trained prior to touching the machine. On-the-job training is essential for any employee; however a certain level of previous experience is vital.
The fifth problem area is the marketing department. Senior management seems to lack the vision or policies to ensure quality control and this is filtering down the chain. That is totally unacceptable. Hamler should have been reporting the matter to Kolb the instant it happened. Extensive research and testing should be done for a new product prior to its launch to the market. bragging about how he beat his production quota͟. He is walking on egg shells around the senior staff not wanting to upset them. They don͛t document any problems and it seems like they don͛t care about anything. They have no sense of quality what so ever and this is evident in the comment ͞Who cares if the label is a little crooked or the stuff comes out with a little too much pressure͟. therefore when a batch of reject cans were spotted. This is evidenced by the fact that Wayne Simmons had ͞made a joke. The General Manager told Hank there are quality issues in the company but he couldn͛t prove it. They obviously aren͛t coming to him because they think he can͛t help or he doesn͛t care. The company should plan for quality as opposed to inspect for quality. They should have also tested the design of the can prior to manufacturing it. If a staff member doesn͛t care and finds a . however one month into his job Hank wasn͛t sure if venting the reject cans was a ͞big deal or not͟. For a person who demanded a salary equal to the other directors he is a bit slow to move and learn the ropes. This proves that the message is not getting across to the entire organisation and that the organisation is getting mixed messages in regards to quality vs. It seems quality to them is a joke. Hank should exert his authority sooner rather than later. If the team sees the GM doesn͛t care they won͛t care either. Lessons learnt 1. This reminds me of a statement Colin Powell once made. Wayne Simmons was the same person who manually vented the reject cans and removed their reject tags. This was not done in this case and once again they have failed in their customer focus strategy. Wayne removed the tags and vented the cans himself to ensure the production quota was being met. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Organisational Culture There are problems from the top down with the staff in this organisation. The GM put pressure on Wayne Simmons to cut costs and reduce delivery times. A barrier to this though is staff commitment and moral. He thought this is what the GM wanted. This would have ensured they had a quality product. This will ensure he has a tight rein on everything that is happening. He must communicate with all his directors to fix these quality issues. Either case is a failure of leadership͟. If the General Manager had this inclining he should be out there on the production floor supervising what is happening to ensure quality standards are being met. there wouldn͛t have been any reject cans being manufactured. The GM needs to lead by example and show the way. ͞The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. Ultimately the responsibility lies with the GM. A month in today͛s world is a long time to act and learn the skills necessary for a new role. The GM should be approachable to all staff from the ground up. Hiring Hank Kolb is a step in the right direction for the company.The fourth problem area is the manufacturing department. 2. This is very relevant here. They are obviously putting pressure on the entire process by wanting the product out now even being ͞a little of spec͟. as opposed to reporting it and investigating the problem. Had the company planned for a quality product from the beginning. productivity. This is evidenced in Hamler͛s reply ͞oh fine͟. It also seems they don͛t respect him.
Conclusion & Reflection The Hank Kolb case is a very interesting case as it can relate to anyone. Rushing an order to the market can have a detrimental effect. This causes problems along the way and leads to a lack of service. This was the case with Kolb and Hamler. The case also highlights the importance of staff training. When goods are rushed on the market and they are not up to standard. I come from a services background and whilst quality is important to me it is not as easily measureable as in the case of goods. He was under the impression the problem was fixed. 2. customer confidence will be dented. It does create an awkward working situation and means that not all the information is being passed on and I was only given half a story. It was only after Kolb persisted that Hamler gave the full story. it might not be fixed till it͛s too late. The same applies to goods. as mentioned above a supervisor needs to lead by example and work the floor to see these problems. I have been in the situation before where I was promoted over a person who was a certainty for the job. An accountant for example rushing a client so he can see the next client will upset the first one and it might mean they go elsewhere. .problem and doesn͛t report it to their supervisor. but services as well. Also prior to reading the case I didn͛t appreciate how important preventative maintenance is or how important it is documenting a problem that had seemingly been fixed.e. As documented above a GM must lead by example. To overcome this barrier. The case changed my perception as to how a GM should act. i. After reading the Hank Kolb case. This is the case in not just goods. in the case of Wayne venting the cans and then shipping them. staff supervision and staff morale. it occurred to me how important quality is.