During the more than 8 years in which I have participated in Continuous Improvement (CI) projects with Casa Sauza, we have come to realize that this is a trendy subject and that increasingly more and more companies want to apply it. There are many advantages to having a system that helps us to be more competitive, however there are many issues to consider before deciding on any of the tools, that is of course, if you want to overcome the obstacles that every company faces in a quick and effective way. Find out which are the issues to consider in this articles.
What is Continuous Improvement?
We must start by understanding what is Continuous Improvement. It is a philosophy of constantly trying to improve and optimize processes, services and products. Without leaving behind the increase of productivity as well as the decrease of productive costs.
As a result of this philosophy, a company becomes able to provide a better product or service to its clients, which gives it an added value over the competence's products. This is the real reason to apply a CI system. These days, any company is part of the Globalized competition, where there are increasingly more innovative companies with greater price competitiveness. They are all trying to gain market and some even struggle to maintain the market that they currently have, so we ask ourselves the following question:
Why should my company focus on Continuous Improvement?
Based on our experience, companies need to become more competitive if they want to keep subsisting or increasing in today's global market. Any company, no matter its size, ends up competing in the global markets, which is why all companies need to move real fast since, the more competitive they are, the longer their markets will survive.
What options does a company have in order to become more competitive?
The main question that company leaders need to ask themselves is: Am I aware that the company needs to improve and needs to think and do things in a different way? Company leaders must understand and be convinced of the company's needs. This is the core issue on seeking to improve. As for this premise, the natural option or cycle that a company should go for is to improve every year, month, day, minute, second... but in a planned and organized way.
A company shouldn't grow without a planned direction, it must have a compass, know where to go, and plan accordingly. Once the company knows where it's headed, it must plan the guidelines that need to be carried out, always focused on the improvement of the company as a whole.
What things do I need to consider in order to start improving as a company?
First, the methodology that will be carried out should be defined. In order to do so, you must know the company well and visualize its future. These two aspects can provide a good point of reference when choosing a system and its continuity. At Casa Sauza we have decided on ISO and TPM systems. In some cases, this leads to working with an independent company, one that focuses on giving advise on these systems, which from our point of view, it is a great option to consider.
Having a best practices external adviser or not?
These companies and their experience may provide good feedback as well as more specific suggestions, which may decrease the time that you would spend making changes. This doesn't mean that you need to work with these companies in order to achieve your goal. What we have seen at Tequila Sauza is that there are lots of brilliant people in our company who are able to provide the initiative and knowledge necessary to make positive changes within the company itself.
To wrap things up, the following aspects should be taken into account:
- Understand well why a CI system focused on the client, needs to be applied.
- Be committed to the improvement vision and to the changes that it all implies.
- Leaders must be committed to the CI vision and to spreading it with the rest of the team.
- Schedule measurable objectives that will work as indicators of change.
- Choose a CI System.
- Decide if and external agent will be needed or not for applying the system.
We understand that it is not easy to know where to start from at the beginning of the search for CI. We, at Casa Sauza, we have decided to use CU tools such as the TPM system and the ISOS. Not all companies use these two systems however, we adopted them because of the advantages that these tools offered to our company.
Want to know more? Click below:
How to Know What Tools of CI to Use in My Company
Come to Casa Sauza yourself and see how with the modernization of our tequila production processes, we have managed to deliver the purest tequila in the industry.