Originally published in Quality Magazine: 2/1/2017
Successful companies depend on high quality. Without it, all other elements of a business fall away. Each year, we recognize companies that place a high priority on quality and provide examples of how they achieve these results. The Quality Leadership 100 offers a closer look at companies making quality a priority.
Whether they are making parts for SpaceX or the local hospital, quality is always top of mind. Successful companies often use lean, ISO, or Six Sigma to achieve high quality results, but no matter which method they use to get there, the customer benefits from the results.
Each year, the BNP Media Market Research Department conducts this survey for Quality. Results are tabulated and the top 100 companies are ranked based on continuous improvement and internal quality programs in place; contribution of quality to profitability and shareholder value; average number of hours monthly that employees receive quality training; scrap and rework as a percentage of sales; warranty costs as a percentage of sales; and registration to various standards such as ISO 9001.
Western Consolidated Technologies • Fremont, IN • https://www.kelcoind.com/
Western Consolidated Technologies, a division of KELCO Industries, makes precision-engineered plastic seals that are used in nearly every industry.
“Our parts are not sexy,” says Kimberly Kelly, chief operating officer, but “customers know when they are not there.” Without these parts, there are leaks.
The advantage of such a part is that there are seals in everything, so even during the recession, business remained stable. They do a lot of cross training so employees can handle various areas of the business.
Lean has been huge for the organization—profit doubled when they started to put lean in. “We’ve been on a lean journey for quite some time,” says Kelly. “With lean and the quality system, we don’t see them as mutually exclusive. We do everything in our power to merge those. Both systems have a strong emphasis on employee engagement. We think that makes a huge difference for our customers.”
WCT emphasizes safety, quality, delivery, cost, and growth, and measures each factor every month. The biggest factor to success is employee engagement and training, Kelly says. When operators feel empowered, they perform better.
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