Promoting improved performance standards in the quality assurance department of a manufacturing company is a challenging task since the behavioral patterns are rather rigid. However, in companies such as the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, where the performance standards define the levels of customer safety, is a necessity. Although Deming’s principles described by Bird, Kundu, and Perez (2010) were viewed as a part and parcel of the healthcare environment, they can also be applied to the environment of aircraft manufacturing to promote the development of new and improved leadership qualities in its members.
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For these purposes, the focus of the principles should remain on the organizational issues and the design of the tools that will help reduce the number of defects produced (Kubiak & Benbow, 2009a). Thus, the principles of sustainable use of resources can be applied to the environment of Sikorsky, leading to a significant rise in product quality and a drop in the number of situations in which staff members overlook defective products.
Particularly, leaders can be created in the realm of the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation with the help of Deming’s framework by creating an elaborate set of values for the staff members to comply with, as suggested in points 1 and 2 (i.e., designing a consistency of purpose and a new corporate philosophy). By promoting the idea of customer satisfaction and safety among the employees, one is likely to develop premises for reducing the number of defects omitted by the employees. Additionally, the emphasis should be shifted from consistent inspection of every item checked to the provision of reports that state the outcomes of the staff’s performance. Thus, the general trends in the company’s QA department performance can be located.
Regarding the issue above, the training sessions contributing to faster acquisition of the latest knowledge and the finest skills should be created. As a result of the innovation mentioned above, the idea about the necessity of unceasing learning (i.e., lifelong learning (Harris, 2013)) can be planted in the employees’ minds. Consequently, the staff will acquire the necessary competencies, triggering a rapid increase in the QA performance and the reduction of defective products omitted in the course of checking.
The outside issues, particularly, the problems with suppliers, will also have to be fixed. Seeing that the inconsistencies in the information sharing process are typically the root cause of the problems with suppliers, a rigid schedule and the application of the latest information technology tools should be advised as the means of improving the quality of relationships with the supplying companies (Kubiak & Benbow, 2009b).
By limiting the number of standards to a set of crucial ones and focusing on encouraging people to excel in their performance as opposed to scaring them with penalties, the company will also be able to improve the current performance of the QA department by Deming’s principles. Last but not least, the continuous quality improvement should become the central element of Sikorsky’s philosophy.
Even though Deming’s principles are applied to the environment of healthcare in Bird et al.’s (2010) article, the focus can easily be shifted toward the promotion of quality enhancement in the realm of manufacturing environments, in general, and an aircraft company, in particular. Flexible and accessible, Deming’s principles serve as the foundation for making not merely a change in the firm’s performance, but a difference in the employees’ perception of quality and customer loyalty.
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Bird, K.,Kundu, A., & Perez, G. D. L. (2010). Using Deming’s principles to create the next generation of healthcare leaders. The Journal for Quality and Participation, 33(2), 15-18.
Harris, P. (2013). Developing high performance leaders: A behavioral science guide for the knowledge of work culture. New York, NY: Routledge.
Kubiak, T. M., & Benbow, D. W. (2009a). Enterprise-wide deployment. In The certified Six Sigma Black Belt handbook (2nd ed.) (pp. 14-20). New York, NY: ASQ.
Kubiak, T. M., & Benbow, D. W. (2009b). Leadership. The certified Six Sigma Black Belt handbook (2nd ed.) (pp. 22-23). New York, NY: ASQ.