Over the years, operating and management strategies have taken on new names, new packaging and even become their own “fads” within industries. Who can forget Quality Circles in the late 70’s or TQM in the 1980’s? Today, there’s TPM, TPS, Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, Training Within Industry (TWI), and Value engineering. There’s ISO, TS, QS, AS 9100. There’s SPC, PPAP, APQP, fishbones, paretos, scatters, and many hundreds more.
Regardless of what you call them or what buzz words are attached, most companies want to deliver products of impeccable quality, on time, at costs that will generate the highest profit margins. If the pursuit of these goals is viewed as a short-term strategy, with a defined life span, it doesn’t fit the most appropriate and impactful name of all: Continuous improvement.