One of the most powerful management concepts to have originated from Japan (and there are plenty of them) is Jidoka. Best described as ‘intelligent automation’, this concept was originally by Toyota to ensure that its production line became very efficient. It used empowers machines to interrupt the production line if and when an erroneous situation originated. The idea behind this concept is that defects should be stopped automatically using localization and isolation so that they do not get carried forward, thereby getting bigger. There are many advantages to using Jidoka at the work place. They include:
– Ensuring that the number of defective products is drastically reduced so as to become negligible. This brings down production costs drastically since wastage is eliminated.
– Improving the quality of products that are manufactured, ensuring that customers are always satisfied when they buy your products.
– Identifying problems early on in the manufacturing process so that they can be rectified easily and quickly without holding up production for very long.
– Reducing the instances of equipment breakdown, thereby decreasing equipment repair and replacement costs. This also ensures that there is no gap in production.
– Increasing overall productivity at the workplace.
– Increasing employee morale by giving them the authority to interrupt production whenever they detect a mistake. Feedback from employees is a very important component of this system.
– Reducing the need for full time inspectors since process capability will become high.
– Reducing the need for lots of people on the payroll since workers can be made to supervise more than one machine at the same time.
As you can see, the benefits that Jidoka offers are directly related to your company’s profitability since they help improve quality whilst reducing costs at the same time. Of course, there are certain expenses associated with making this happen. However, the benefits of having a good reputation in the market because of the ability to produce high quality products cannot be overstated.
It is very important to know how to do Jidoka in the right manner. The best way to do this is to bring a management consultant on board. This person will set up various systems and will also advise you regarding the changes that have to done in various work processes. It is also important to get co-operation from all employees in order to make this a success. Training programs will help ensure this.