Here at Central we recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of our Continuous Improvement Programme (CIP) SQWASHE. The programme has been designed to focus our attention on the core values of our business; Service, Quality, Wellbeing, Safety, Health and Environment, with an underlying Accounts section for making improvements to our efficiencies.
The original brief was to provide a method for tackling issues in a timely manner which was visible to everyone. The need to be able to demonstrate that we are continually striving for improvements is from our Quality Management System, as well as our Health and Safety System – and helps us to maintain and improve our accreditations.
This September saw the launch of SQWASHE in our Fitting Shop and was also the first full month for our sales office. We now have 83% of the business on board with the programme, with boards in seven areas of the business, and we are well on target to have all staff included before the end of the year.
The ultimate goal of SQWASHE is to make an improvement every day, whether big or small. Here are some recent examples of how our approach to continuous improvement has helped the wider business:
Winding: Having identified a need for a more energy efficient solution for our smaller jobs we have bought and installed a smaller curing oven which is already in operation in our workshop.
Machining: After monitoring machine usage, our radial arm drill, which was located in the centre of our machine shop has now been relocated and will be permanently installed at Penrhyn Court, providing some much-needed space.
Stores: To help improve efficiency we now stock Steffa seals in 5mm increments which reduces the need for ordering meaning we can respond to requirements immediately.
Sales: A full review of the data we hold for our customer contact details/data is underway. This will improve office based efficiencies for all EMIR users. We have also completed a full overhaul of our sales meeting room.
Transport: A full review of the lifting equipment and sheeting has been completed which has been issued to the flatbacks and will be monitored daily.
If something doesn’t work first time, then try and try again
Remember - a countermeasure may not always work first time, it might take a few goes, but the first step towards fixing an issue is trying something. It’s also important to ensure that we’re maintaining the countermeasures – all these improvements form part of our LRQA Quality Management System which is critical to the business and will be audited and monitored to ensure we’re on track.
The philosophy of our SQWASHE programme is to provide a platform to raise issues and, working as a team, to come up with a countermeasure to fix it. Our regular meetings provide a daily forum where we can discuss what is preventing us from doing our jobs to the best of our abilities and more importantly, provide suggestions on how it can be improved.
By taking small steps we can achieve a bigger goal.