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1. Identify the root cause(s) that lead to the problems using appropriate tools and techniques.

2. Develop a continuous improvement plan to ensure the problems and issues are not repeated.

3. Elaborate on the competencies required from PEW management and employees to effectively bring about the change.

Discussion

The Precision Engineering Works Private Limited (PEW) is one of the leading companies to be present and their service to the customers has evolved over a span of thirty years. PEW is a manufacturer of the original equipment that is entirely based on plastic moulding parts dedicated for the execution in the telecommunication industry. The company maintains a clear reputation among the customers who are mostly the service providers of the telecommunication sectors (Kerzner & Kerzner, 2017). The goodwill with the customers has provided the company with an opportunity to prosper over the long tenure. However, at the moment the company is facing some of the critical issues for which it is facing difficulty to maintain its steady flow in the market (Burke, 2013). As there are new suppliers in the market, the customers are getting enough available options to choose from, as result of which the company is facing tough competitions in the commercial market.

The purpose of this assignment is to provide effective solutions as a business improvement consultant to the Person Engineering Works Private Limited (PEW) so that they are able to counter the rising problems within the company. The tenure for meeting with the solutions is not more than three months for which a quick action is required. The effective solutions to be provided include the identification of the root causes that are leading to the problems applying some of the dedicated tools and techniques (Fleming & Koppelman, 2016). In addition to it, a continuous improvement plan is to be developed that will provide an assurance that the problems and the issues are not repeated in the futuristic forthcomings. Ultimately an elaboration on the required competencies from the PEW management and the employees to successfully bring about the change in the system is to devised in the form of Business and Strategic Management, Technical management and Leadership (Heagney, 2016).

The following sections include the identification of the root causes, the continuous improvement plan along with the competencies.

To implement successfully the solutions to problems in a particular company, the foremost criteria to be brought into consideration is the identification of the root causes arising in the particular scenario. The identification of the root causes is very much essential because it help to formulate a plan through which effective solutions can be easily structured to overcome the problems. To identify effectively the root causes to the problems, proper selection of the tools are required along with application of the proper techniques.

The different types of tools that can be applied to address the identification of the root causes are as follows:

Stratification is one of the effective tools that can be applied in order to bring in an operational change in the system. Stratification is one of such method that involves segregation of data into various sub categories and classification of the data group according to a particular cluster, standard, division, class or levels (Sarkar, Mukhopadhyay & Ghosh, 2013). This method will be effective in nature and it will help to drive out meaningful information to understand the root causes of an existing problem in PEW. One of the root causes of the arising problems within the company is that the data is not properly categorised and classified properly. Effective stratification will lead to a position from where the company will be able to develop a fair idea about what are the forthcoming risks and take actions accordingly related to the impact of the risk (Gijo, Bhat & Jnanesh, 2014). Stratified data helps the management to be more consolidated about overcoming situations occurring within a particular set of time.

Identification of root cause(s) of the problems

Another effective tool that will be helpful to provide an effective solution so that it can be applied in order to bring in an operational change in the system is the Histogram. Simply put it can be said that Histogram is an ideal graph that aims to represent the number of items subjected to various categories of a related sample. The Histogram has similar characteristics to that of a bar graph with the help of vertical bars that are concerned with different heights. The vertical bars along with the heights represent the different groups along which data are grouped (Wieneke & Davey, 2014). The  histograms has some of the typical characteristics that includes categorization of non discrete data. There are other characteristics as well that draws contrast between a histogram and a bar graph. Unlike bar graph, the histogram has does not have a discontinuity of data. Histograms will help the PEW’s senior management to maintain a static flow of data (Iqbal, Wang & Gao, 2013). There are several emerging problems recently in the company because the insights collected by the management were grouped with discontinuity and the defected patterns across different categories were not studied properly.

Another effective tool that will be helpful to provide an effective solution so that it can be applied in order to bring in an operational change in the system is the Check Sheet or the Tally Sheet. A check sheet in general can be in the form of metrics, a structured table or in a form for collecting data and analysing them critically. The other term of this very effective tool can be coined as the tally sheet (Ashokkumar, 2014). The name is given so because the information collected with the help of this effective tool is generally quantitative in nature. This tool will be very much effective in nature for Precision Engineering Works Private Limited (PEW) since the company is facing a lot of issues in addressing the various factors of the company such as the supply chain, business rivalries, a significant loss in the profitability and failing to provide the employee satisfaction. The incompetency to provide enough employee satisfaction has resulted in a dip in the retention rate (Yasutake et al., 2016). The main cause for this type of issues is that the management team of the company failed to collect proper information and sort them to get an idea of the potential threats and the unattended areas.

Another effective tool that will be helpful to provide an effective solution so that it can be applied in order to bring in an operational change in the system is the Cause-and-effect diagram (“Fishbone” or Ishikawa diagram) coined by Kaoru Ishikawa. This is the most important tool in addressing the issues and finding out the root causes of those issues (Desai & Johnson, 2013). It will be appropriate for PEW because this tool is specifically meant for the manufacturing industry and the PEW is focussed on manufacturing original equipment for the telecommunication industry. The main objective of this tool is to identify the root causes of a problem. Here once the problem is defined, the factors leading to the problem are identified. The causes in the manufacturing industry is usually grouped in some of the major categories such as people, methods, machines, material, measurements and environment (Kenett, 2014). Figure 1 displayed in the appendix displays a typical Fishbone diagram that talks about the causes that led to the problems and tough competition for PEW. This diagram will be helpful in determining the root causes of the problems. The defects in the measures have been tactfully addressed with the help of the dedicated fishbone diagram.

Stratification (Divide and Conquer)

Another effective tool that will be helpful to provide an effective solution so that it can be applied in order to bring in an operational change in the PEW system is the Pareto chart or the 80-20 rule. Vilfredo Pareto who was an Italian economist first coined this rule. This rule is totally based on the fact that the 80% of the effects of a management failure corresponds to the 20 % of the causes (Koripadu & Subbaiah, 2014). This 80-20 rule is not constrained to the concept of a lean project, rather it is considered as the thumb rule of business that says 80% of the sales are backed by the 20% of its customers related to the business. This tool will serve as a vital six sigma tool for the PEW industry in most of the ways as possible. It will help the company to determine the causes for which the problems are taking place. It will provide an idea to cope up with the problems and present it with best of the solution (Akpolat, 2017). Therefore, with this tool it can be inferred that in order to decrease the rate of failures, it is a must to limit the causes of the failures to a level of minimum. The Pareto Chart will be definitely effective as it will help to highlight the important factors that are vital for the cause of failure

Another effective tool that will be helpful to provide an effective solution so that it can be applied in order to bring in an operational change in the PEW management system is the Scatter diagram or Scatter plot. The scatter diagram is a tool that is used in the lean six sigma to establish a relationship between the overall effect and the causes that are affecting the company in progressing (Jia et al., 2013). The dependent variables off the problems are plotted on the Y axis while the independent variables are dependent on the X axis. An equation is formed by join the dots in the form of Y = F(X) + C where C is a constant. This relationship can be in the form of a polynomial equation, curvilinear, exponential, logarithmic, linear and quadratic. The relationship between the effect and the causes is entirely dependent on the correlation between the two (Luppino, Hosseini & Rameezdeen, 2014). Here in this case of PEW, the causes and the effects are found to be interdependent with each other. The slope of the equation of the scatter diagram is defined by the variables of the equation.

The ultimate effective tool that will be helpful to provide an effective solution so that it can be applied in order to bring in an operational change in the PEW management system is the Control Chart or the Shewhart Chart. The control chart has been named after the Walter Shewhart is a statistical that in general helps in determining if an industrial process is within a range of control and has the capability to successfully meet the requirements of the customer as defined by them (Xanthopoulos & Razzaghi, 2014). The control chart will be beneficial for the PEW industry because it will address the processes accordingly that is whether the process is stable and has the capability to meet the requirement of the customers. It will be helpful because that the present conditions has led the company to a potential loss in the customers. The specifications of the control  chart includes data plotted against the X-axis, an average or mean, an upper line or the upper line and a lower line (Jones-Farmer, Ezell & Hazen, 2014). It will help PEW to predict the process performance and understand the productivity.

Histogram

From analysing the causes and the problems of the failures the following assumptions can be made.

Assumption Number

Assumption

Assumption 1

Emergence of new suppliers led to a loss in the supply chain.

Assumption 2

Newer options led to a loss in the customer base.

Assumption 3

It is due to the loss of customers, it has become hard to win new contracts.

Assumption 4

Better pricing by other companies led to a tough competition in the market.

Assumption 5

All the factors combined has led to the reduction of profitability by 45%.

Assumption 6

Inadequate employee motivation for which there is a loss in the employee retention rate.

Table 1: Assumptions drawn from the root causes

(Source: Author)

With the application of the seven tools in the above sections, it has been detected that there are several problems that have proven to be the root causes for the manufacturing industry of PEW leading to a loss in profitability, customers, suppliers and the employees working within the company. One of the significant problems that was identified with the help of the application of the seven tools is the poor management of the company (Lema?ska-Majdzik & Okr?glicka, 2015). Other problems identified include the reluctance in the quality service and also not paying enough attention to the stakeholders associated with the supply chain and resource allocation.

To speak about the actions taken to mitigate the problems rising in the case of poor management of the manufacturing industry of PEW, the Total Quality Management or TQM can be used to take care of the addressed issues within the company. It is a management tool that can be used bring effectiveness within the system with the help of its eight key principles (Hutchins, 2016). The application of the TQM for this manufacturing industry needs to be customer oriented, process centric, involve an integrated system, continuous improvement, relevant decision makings, strategic and systematic approach, removal of the communication barriers along with involvement of the employees.

To address the systematic continuous improvement plan, numerous resources are required for its successful implementation. The resources required in the case of PEW manufacturing industry is going to base on the category of the cost benefits. The three categories of the costs include the preventive costs, appraisal costs and the failure costs. The preventive costs will involve the quality assurance, training of the employees and prior planning. The appraisal costs will be covering the assessment of quality audits along with the feedbacks and ratings from the customers. The failure costs will address the different aspects of the internal and external failures.

Cost category

Description

Preventive Costs

Quality assurance, training of the employees and prior planning.

Appraisal Costs

Assessment of quality audits along with the feedbacks and ratings from the customers.

Failure Costs

The different aspects of the internal and external failures.

Table 2: Resources required for PEW

(Source: Author)

The overall continuous improvement plan is expected to result in the effectiveness and enhancement of the services with the application of the proper solutions. After application of the continuous improvement plan, it is important to monitor on the actions of the plan. This will ensure the fact that the improvement plan is working according to the expectations of the company. This process of the follow up actions must be executed in a cyclic manner so that it reflects a continuous improvement of the processes. The cyclic process will enable the managers to have a substantial grip over the integral processes.

The PEW management and its employees are required to have various competencies in the form of the Business and Strategic Management, Technical Management and Leadership (Minello, Alves Scherer & da Costa Alves, 2014).

The business competencies for the PEW will ensure the proper fulfilment of the needs and the requirements of the customers. It is required for the PEW to be more customer centric rather than being workflow centric. It is the lookout for the company to meet the customer satisfactions (Wheelen et al., 2017). The company should look upon the fact the services are properly delivered along with better pricing. In order to facilitate the increase in the profitability it is highly essential for the company to look upon its associated stakeholders. The strategic competencies for the PEW will help them to proceed further with a strategic mind set.

Check Sheet (Tally Sheet)

The technical aspects of the manufacturing company of PEW should be managed by the Technical management team to reduce the problems and proceed with the factors of success. The company should entail upon the implementation and improvement of the technical equipment for binging in an effectiveness to the system. An improvement in this area will help the company to be more productive and effective in due course (Rice, 2013). The company should also invest upon the online equipment to enhance the online sale of the products so that there are more number of customers for the company. Further, this will also increase the profitability of the company.

Leadership is an important factor that plays a key role in determining the welfare of a particular company. In this case, it is noticeable that the leadership of the company has been depicted with a very reluctant approach for which the overall performance of the PEW has been hampered in the commercial market. The leader of the PEW is expected to have the essential dedicated leadership skills for the company (Bolden, 2016). The leader of the company should have been more dedicated towards his approach of work. If the leader of the management had shown a little notion of dedication, the above mentioned problems would not have come up. A dedicated leader pertaining the necessary leadership skills will allow the employees to be more motivated and inspired towards their work. The leadership qualities requires a person to understand the necessary requirement of the company so that the issues can be easily mitigated.

Conclusion

From the sections mentioned in the above units of this report, it can be concluded that there is a serious need to structure a plan and detect the key areas beforehand, were the concerned company is lacking. The problem areas are needed to be detected and analysed according to the needs of the company. Formulating a con tenuous improvement plan will enable the company to run through the process where the company will be able to move forward with the help of some dedicated techniques. The detection of the problem areas is essential to get an idea of the concerned risks so that proper actions can be taken. Through the continuous improvement plan, the company will be able to improve the services and take actions against the problem areas that are required to be kept under strict supervision. The competencies for the company will open a new doorway of opportunities for the PEW.

This report has been able to successfully identify the problem areas using specialised quality management tools. In addition to that, the report also provides a detail information for the continuous improvement plan along with the competencies. 

References

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Ashok Sarkar, S., Ranjan Mukhopadhyay, A., & Ghosh, S. K. (2013). Root cause analysis, Lean Six Sigma and test of hypothesis. The TQM Journal, 25(2), 170-185.

Ashokkumar, D. (2014). Study of quality management in construction industry. International Journal of Innovative Research in Science, Engineering and Technology, 3(1), 36-43.

Bolden, R. (2016). Leadership, management and organisational development. In Gower handbook of leadership and management development (pp. 143-158). Routledge.

Burke, R. (2013). Project management: planning and control techniques. New Jersey, USA.

Desai, M. S., & Johnson, R. A. (2013). Using a fishbone diagram to develop change management strategies to achieve first-year student persistence. SAM Advanced Management Journal, 78(2), 51.

Fleming, Q. W., & Koppelman, J. M. (2016, December). Earned value project management. Project Management Institute.

Gijo, E. V., Bhat, S., & Jnanesh, N. A. (2014). Application of Six Sigma methodology in a small-scale foundry industry. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 5(2), 193-211.

Heagney, J. (2016). Fundamentals of project management. Amacom.

Hutchins, D. (2016). Hoshin Kanri: the strategic approach to continuous improvement. Routledge.

Iqbal, A., Wang, H., & Gao, Q. (2013). A histogram method for summarizing multi-dimensional probabilistic data. Procedia Computer Science, 19, 971-976.

Jia, G., Ni, X., Chen, Z., Hong, B., Chen, Y., Yang, F., & Lin, C. (2013). Measuring the maturity of risk management in large-scale construction projects. Automation in Construction, 34, 56-66.

Jones-Farmer, L. A., Ezell, J. D., & Hazen, B. T. (2014). Applying control chart methods to enhance data quality. Technometrics, 56(1), 29-41.

Kenett, R. S. (2014). Cause?and?Effect Diagrams. Wiley StatsRef: Statistics Reference Online.

Kerzner, H., & Kerzner, H. R. (2017). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

Koripadu, M., & Subbaiah, K. V. (2014). Problem solving management using Six Sigma tools & techniques. International Journal of Scientific and Technology Research, 3(2), 91-93.

Lema?ska-Majdzik, A., & Okr?glicka, M. (2015). Identification of business processes in an enterprise management. Procedia Economics and Finance, 27, 394-403.

Luppino, R., Hosseini, M. R., & Rameezdeen, R. (2014). Risk management in research and development (R&D) projects: The case of South Australia. Asian academy of management journal, 19(2), 67-85.

Minello, I. F., Alves Scherer, L., & da Costa Alves, L. (2014). ENTREPRENEURIAL COMPETENCIES AND BUSINESS FAILURE. International journal of Entrepreneurship, 18.

Rice, A. K. (2013). Productivity and social organization: The Ahmedabad experiment: Technical innovation, work organization and management. Routledge.

Wheelen, T. L., Hunger, J. D., Hoffman, A. N., & Bamford, C. E. (2017). Strategic management and business policy. pearson.

Wieneke, M., & Davey, S. (2014). Histogram-PMHT for extended targets and target groups in images. IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, 50(3), 2199-2217.

Xanthopoulos, P., & Razzaghi, T. (2014). A weighted support vector machine method for control chart pattern recognition. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 70, 134-149.

Yasutake, K., Miyoshi, E., Kajiyama, T., Umeki, Y., Misumi, Y., Horita, N., ... & Tsuchihashi, T. (2016). Comparison of a salt check sheet with 24-h urinary salt excretion measurement in local residents. Hypertension Research, 39(12), 879.

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