DET Voices #18 Continuous Improvement in Work and Life
By Delta Electronics (Thailand) PCL. - Published September 22, 2023
Kaizen, or continuous improvement, is a way of life in the manufacturing industry and at Delta, we encourage everyone to always look for ways to do things better. No matter if you work on the factory shopfloor, warehouse, office and or lab, you can always find ways to be more efficient and provide new value.
Did you know that Kaizen 改善 is simply the Japanese word for improvement? During Japan’s post-war rebuilding era, US instructors taught it as an industry concept to continuously improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. Later, Toyota successfully implemented many kaizen features used in our factories today like lean manufacturing, the PDCA Deming cycle and even the stoplight system for operators to alert supervisors and act immediately.
In our Continuous Improvement special of DET Voices, we hear the thoughts of four Delta Thailand frontline workers who answer the following questions: 1. Why is continuous improvement important? 2. What continuous improvement plans and actions do you do now? 3. What are some more improvements you want to help drive in our workplace? 4. How do you want your career to advance and what areas do you want to grow in as a professional?
1. Suchart Whanhom
In my personal opinion, continuous improvement is an improvement to make the product more up-to-date and reduce waste in the production process. When production processes become easier, it makes it easier for employees to work. We can then produce more products faster than before. For example, in the past, we used to have cell phones with push buttons. Nowadays, phones are continuously improving and developing into smartphones without buttons, and you can make face-to-face calls. This is one example that shows if we continuously improve our products or work, we can create innovations or new products.
For improvement in operations, we normally use the PDCA or Plan-Do-Check-Act standard. For the production process, we must comply with the ISO9001 system. Delta has passed the ISO9001 exam, and our operations are according to existing Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) or Operation Instruction (OI). All procedures are consistent with ISO9001, and we have continuous measurements to ensure compliance. We follow this principle in our work.
To improve our workplace, we created a knowledge or data management system to teach our next-gen talents. Currently, Delta has a DMS platform that allows us to upload or download knowledge on everything. Anyone can access and learn on it which I think is important because we can exchange opinions between the new generation and the veterans to continuously improve and develop and reduce the generation gap. The older generation has rich work experience that the next-gen may not have. Older employees can also use DMS to update their tech know-how and skills. Thus, we can improve and develop our organization to the next level.
Delta is a continuously growing company, and I am ready to grow with Delta. Another thing I want to do is be a trainer to help those of any generation to make it. I want to help create a company culture that employees identify with because it makes them feel important. I think this will make us more professional. As far as we know right now, on the HR side, the training department has brought in some new people who have the knowledge to effectively train employees within the company. I think these developments will push us to grow together.
2. Nithit Thanatchakanjanakul
I think that constant self-improvement, both in knowledge and increased experience, is key to creating job expertise today.
Personally, I will improve my own testing work to increase efficiency and develop testing and developing outstanding work pieces. Right now, we have a work, study, design, implementation and development program to achieve maximum efficiency in our teams.
As for additional improvements, we should focus on adding new technology such as AI that helps us with maintenance or implement more automation systems to be ready and keep up with current technology.
I want to grow personally with a prosperous and sustainable company. I also want to grow in a systematic way and have clear goals for my work and progress in my career at an efficient and appropriate pace.
3. Tanchanok Lipikarnwon
Personally, I think that continuous improvement is to make our work easier and more convenient. It may be a small improvement at a time, but the process of development will be to change our existing work process for the better.
Nowadays, we have a plan to improve quality because there are quite a lot of requirements from our customers. This plan involves workmanship, discipline or even process issues. Therefore, we provide training for operator employees to help them understand our process better. We also provide an opportunity for operators to give their opinions on how to improve their work. Finally, we share this feedback with the support team so they can come in and test whether the work process can be improved or not. If it can be optimized, it will make the entire work process easier for our operators.
Personally, I think I want to improve and change in terms of my mindset because I see that many people who are working right now are stuck doing the same old things. Some don't dare to act outside of the box because they are afraid of change. I want more people to accept change and be open to learning new things. Now we work together in many roles at many levels including operators, leaders and managers. We are different ages including Boomers, Gen Z and Gen Y. I want everyone to be able to accept each other's opinions.
I want to grow with the company, and progress to a leadership-level position. My leadership can be an inspiration to others because I think that I can develop various necessary skills and be ready to learn to reach new goals effectively.
4. Chotika Siriluck
Improvement is important because it keeps us aware at all times. We keep thinking of new ways to work and how to make our work achieve the goals we planned.
Today, we have a plan to develop people because people are the driving force of our organization. Our people must have skills in many areas, such as work knowledge and know-how in management and operations. We bring in operators to teach them theory and practice and we exchange ideas and discuss various issues they encounter. We then take this information to use in everyday improvement.
These days I want to improve the mindset of people in our organization. Because right now in our organization we have both old and new generations working together. The older generation has experience but no fresh ideas while the new generation has knowledge and technology but lacks experience. Therefore, we would like to organize an activity to encourage icebreaking for better teamwork and reset the mindset of each generation to accept each other.
As individuals, we must study and master our duties and develop to improve ourselves all the time. Find new projects or ideas then set personal goals and KPIs to develop and expand to reach the company's objectives.