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An ongoing improvement plan can increase the quality of a product or service an organization produces. To develop a successful improvement plan, an organization must have a well-designed strategic plan that is in agreement with the mission and visions of the organization. This paper will discuss how quality is linked to 3M’s strategic plan objectives, analyze the process improvement plan that the organization currently uses and give examples of the tools and techniques used to measure quality. Lastly, this paper will show who has the ultimate responsibility for quality assurance, and the extent to which the organization’s process improvement plan is related to the organization’s strategic plan.
Strategic planning and strategic objectives allow an organization to achieve consistency and competitive advantage for its management and products. When used effectively, both are linked to improving the quality of the organization’s product through effective time management, total quality management, and mass customization (Melnyk & Swink, 2005).
3M is aware of the importance of effective strategic planning and strategic objections and how both are connected to continuously improving quality products. 3M promotes quality inside and out and is proud to announce their Quality Statement: “3M promises you innovation, quality products and service from a company you can trust” (3M, 2007). Their quality policy is to develop, produce, and deliver on time, products and services that exceed their customers’ expectations. In order to make this happen, 3M has implemented rigorous quality systems that are continuously being improved to keep up with customers’ demands. In addition, their manufacturing and service operations are registered to the internationally recognized ISO 9001 quality standard.
3M places a strong emphasis on quality design, utilizing problems and waste prevention to build quality into their products and processes. All 3M products are manufactured to 3M specifications and undergo testing to assure conformance.
Continuous improvement at 3M has become a way of life. One of the key strategies of all their manufacturing locations is to constantly improve their processes. Each site uses a quality tool kit to help meet objectives. 3M also uses many customer satisfaction measurements to determine their performance in the marketplace. The main driver of their continual improvement efforts for their business and manufacturing processes is Six Sigma (3M, 2007).
Melnyk, S., Swink, M. (2005). Value-driven operations management: an integrated modular approach. The McGraw-Hill Companies.
3M (2007). Quality statement. Retrieved on October 15, 2007 from www.3m.com