What are the characteristics of a world class company?

C

Cordon - 2007

Marc said:
Blast from the Past - Current opinions?

What is a 'World Class Company'?
What is your definition of 'World Class Company'?

Was 'World Class Company' a 'Buzz Word'?
Is 'World Class Company' still a significant buzz word?

Four years ago one of the big 4 (recreational industry) was demanding all its suppliers to become ISO certified within x amount of years. They came in a audited us about a month after they made the announcement; we had 7 minors and 2 majors :) . As we were working to correct these findings we had a visit from the president of one of our major suppliers (who is a giant in their industry) and was telling the him of our need to become ISO certified or else...... Heres what he said:

"You are the leader in your industry, you set the standards that everyone else follows". He went on to say "tell them your not going to get certified and see what they do, they won't go to your competitors because they know they can't deliver on time and their product is junk".

Love that story!
 

Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
Cordon said:
...we had a visit from the president of one of our major suppliers (who is a giant in their industry) and was telling the him of our need to become ISO certified or else...... Heres what he said:

"You are the leader in your industry, you set the standards that everyone else follows". He went on to say "tell them your not going to get certified and see what they do, they won't go to your competitors because they know they can't deliver on time and their product is junk".

Love that story!


Great story, and it is always nice when an outside expert says nice things about us. However, it is quite possible that a robust "world class" ISO system would have increased your lead in the industry.

Being the leader does not necessarily make you world class. At one time GM was the leader as well. But, because they did not strive to be excellent (world class) they lost their top position and now are running to catch up. It did not take many years either.

Another example was Maytag went from excellent to poor quality in about 10-15 years...
 

harry

Trusted Information Resource
I did some googling on ‘world class manufacturing’ and found 69.5 million threads. I found this:

Book Reviews: World Class Manufacturing Casebook: Implementing JIT and TQC by Richard Schonberger

Schonberger is often credited as originator of the phrase “World Class Manufacturing”. Since the early 1980’s he has been publicly beating the Just-In-Time drum. Although the popularity of JIT in general and Kanban systems in particular has waxed and waned over the years (remember Quality Circles?), the basic concepts are here to stay:

Inventory hides problems and increases costs.

Cutting inventory forces you to solve these problems.

A ruthless depletion of inventory logically leads to a manufacturing line with closely coupled stations, where each station begins work only when the downstream station requires it. Thus inventory is pulled through the line rather than pushed through it.....


Most of the sites were set up by various consultants and looking at their training calendars, it is apparent that training had been dwindling since 2004. I think this is the reason why we are hearing less of this term today.
 
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pthareja

Sidney Vianna said:
In my opinion, a "world class organization" perpetually drives dysfunction out of their processes.

I appreciate Sidney to have defined in terms of dysfunction; though dysfunction if taken as a defect will never converge to world class Quality. If Dysfunction is taken as a process, the tenets of world class are likely to be present.

In my article published in FOUNDRY (July-Aug 2006), I defined aWorld class foundry as:

ATypical Definition
"A World Class Foundry (WCF) is one which integrates the latest-gen machinery with (process/ work) systems to facilitate business development governed around cast products only, duly based over a high accent on Product Substitution or New Product Development."
For I believe that the industry must pride in one's vocation, and support the processes to excellence in product development, Quality, Safety, Environment and productivity improvement, and cost reduction.

The paper also carried a nine point questionaire and I shall be glad to share a copy.

Thareja
 
M

Madfox

Funny, this subject comes up quite a bit at the "mom&pop" shops during ISO assessments; sometimes the karma is positive and sometimes negative....

Positive: "Oh, wise auditor, you see much. Please enlighten us as to how we can improve and make our customers happier!"

Negative: "Did we pass? Good, send the NC's to the management rep and don't let the 'door hit ya where the dog bit ya! You've audited us, we make (1,000/10,000/1,000,000) (screws/parts/fasteners) a (day/month/year) and we've never had a (complaint/return/dissatisfied) customer!"

Generally I'm not a big time fan of referencing "Gurus," (Gees, Jack Welch and his girlfriend and their column in "Business Week:" GET A ROOM!!!), but I think "Good to Great" was great!

To me, in my 'not so humble opinion,' the GREAT companies I visit track down and kill every issue that leads to customer dissatisfaction. The good companies have a low rate of returns/PPM, but still accept it as a "cost of doing business."
"You know how it is, we can't be perfect!"

Well the GREAT companies know that too, but still want to get as close as possible!!

The Madfox
(Read Drucker...not the Quality Gurus!!!)
 

Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
Funny, this subject comes up quite a bit...

To me, in my 'not so humble opinion,' the GREAT companies I visit track down and kill every issue that leads to customer dissatisfaction. The good companies have a low rate of returns/PPM, but still accept it as a "cost of doing business."
"You know how it is, we can't be perfect!"

Well the GREAT companies know that too, but still want to get as close as possible!!


Very well put!


(Read Drucker...not the Quality Gurus!!!)

Note: Drucker was a Quality Guru. Jack Welch, however, is not. A PR merchant, perhaps...
 

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
To me, in my 'not so humble opinion,' the GREAT companies I visit track down and kill every issue that leads to customer dissatisfaction. The good companies have a low rate of returns/PPM, but still accept it as a "cost of doing business."
"You know how it is, we can't be perfect!"

Well the GREAT companies know that too, but still want to get as close as possible!!

"World Class" is fuzzy and meaningless. It means "any company that I think is doing better than mine," but no one ever bothers with actually defining what "better" means, or providing any long-term data to support the idea. In reality, mistakes are inevitable, and always will be so long as humans are in control. To deny that fact isn't GREAT, it's delusional. You're proposing a false dilemma, namely that you can't simultaneously grant that mistakes are inevitable and do what you can to prevent them and make customers happy.

If you want to measure the "class" of a company, look at what happens when times are tough. Practically everyone will make money in a booming economy, but the best companies ride out the cyclical storms because they know that they're coming, sooner or later. How many Baldridge winners have gone belly-up, or have had serious problems staying afloat when the chips are down? How many have done mass fourth quarter layoffs in order to satisfy short-term expectations? How many of those have said, "Our people make the difference!"?


(Read Drucker...not the Quality Gurus!!!)

Leave us not forget that Drucker was the progenitor of MBO, and never disavowed it as far as I know. I think there's a lot to be learned from Drucker, but I also think that he set the tone for a lot of bad decisions, and much of what's wrong with American business may be traced back to his doorstep.
 
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pthareja

"World Class" is fuzzy and meaningless. It means "any company that I think is doing better than mine," but no one ever bothers with actually defining what "better" means, ....!
Fuzzy ? Yes but not meaning less. Infact imho "World Class" awaits to be defined properly. That is why this thread is alive since 9th Sept 2002: when Andrews raised “This question is for the gurus.What are the characteristics of a world class company? How does a company go about achieving this?

Over a popular saying we could extrapolate: 'a world class company is... who world class does..'. It is in the conduct and attitude of the organisation to conduct business in an ethical and society/ nature friendly manner such that no stakeholders are hurt, while the company churns out a product which is best in class, whom even the competitors envy (not jealously) Rightly so...

a “world class organization” perpetually drives dysfunction out of their processes.!
That is how a world class company draws the good will and blessings of society and the support of customers at large as Jim Wynne rightly says:
If you want to measure the "class" of a company, look at what happens when times are tough. the best companies ride out the cyclical storms...
.

The proof of pudding is in the pie. Proof of a “world class organization” is in the sustainability. Sustain it will if the organisation remains at the forefront of technology to engage in Quality and class which is envied and benchmarked as a role model, while it continually superceedes operational efficiencies duly interfaced with strategic and tactical improvement actions.
Priyavrat Thareja
 
R

RichBubb

K. Bhote's book, "World Class Qualty" (2nd edition) has chapter 1 & 2 discussing just this type of question. Note of caution: Mr Bhote is an acquired taste, and he makes it very clear he has no sympathy nor tolerance for some users of inferior quality techniques and/or systems. But he does back up his assertions, albeit with sometimes a little less than neutral language. His 1st edition was riddled with errors and difficult to understand examples. The 2nd ed is better.
Benchmarking is one of his "Ten Powerful Tools for the 21st Century" (Chapter 3), but the WCQ book is primarily about problem solving, and his methods are sure to raise some eyebrows if you start to use them. For example, I tried MEOST (Multiple Environment Over-Stress Testing) just one time where I work and the results raised the many eyebrows, and got some people a little upset that I proved how ineffective everyone's pet system really was. I think the saying goes, "Sacred cows make the best steak."
Hope this is helpful.
 
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