It is estimated that more than 90% of the world's companies are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This leads us to think that these types of companies are in one way or another the engine of the global economy. With the economic success of the world driven by the power of SMEs, it is worrisome that only 50% of these small & medium-sized companies survive more than five years. How many entities in the glass industry fall within this category?
Those statistics give a lot to think about, and that is the reason for this article. Easy decision making, innovation, flexibility, and rapid growth are the main characteristics of small and medium enterprises, which in some cases provide for rapid success and in others, an inevitable and unforseen slide towards failure.
In the glass industry, where architecture, design, and construction meet, it is a world full of emotions. The term "emotions" is used because of the somewhat stormy relationship between art and engineering. The supplies of architectural glass are a mixture between small workshops that cut and produce decorative or artisan pieces of glass to fit the envisioned features to a larger volume facilities with a more continuous production that seek standardization and efficiency in an effort to consistently meet higher demands.
For a growing company, the challenge brought by the necessity to change the way it thinks, is not an easy one to face. Many within the company who "have done the same job for more than 20 years" find it difficult to see and accept a different way of doing things. Process changes and measuring results whether in sales or production may be daunting. The habits of emergency solutions and the unplanned may govern behavior. The belief that no complaints means everything is satisfactory might be typical. There are many paradigms that must be reformulated in order to implement a more standardized and efficient method that helps the sustainability and growth within this industry. Standardization and efficient methods of operation just might be the lifesavers that enable rescue.
- The benefits of being able to innovate in a small organization provides many advantages to the business. An uncontrolled innovation can become a new line of problems, complaints, and claims that can alter the image of the organization and frustrate the traditional production line of the organization.
- Innovation and change flexibility that allow companies to customize service or products immediately may fascinate the customer. However, in many cases, these laudable characteristics generate trauma on the road where costs are not quantified and much less remembered in the next 6 months.
- Many small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe that experience can benefit more than a formal process of quality inspection. This is another challenge that hinders the implementation of quality management methods that could revitalize a company.
There are many conceptions that have been formed from experience that need to be shattered by cold, hard, facts. Even though we may have the body of a small business, why not develop the mind of a large organization with the adult-contemporary emotions of a standardized culture? In psychology, being adult means taken on a logical approach to business with rational solutions despite emotional commercial hurdles. Where art and engineering mix, process driven solutions can help you navigate the waters.
There are five basic elements to start dipping your toes into the ISO-9001 (Quality Management System) water that I would like to share:
1. Training and awareness of quality in the organization, creating a new culture.
2. Establish the processes, document and measure them.
3. Create knowledge in root-cause analysis and problem solving.
4. Review, audit and follow up.
5. Awareness of continuous improvement.
I invite you to be part of this challenging group that seeks to offer a better product and service to its clients under an international certification: ISO 9001: 2015
Join, share, improve!
Lisett Guevara-Gulnick 90daysolutions.com