Imbibe Perfect Quality at Every Step of Business to Stay Ahead in the Race
Gorur Sridhar is a Freelance Quality Consultant at Gorur Consultancy with more than 30 years’ experience in OEM and Engineering Services companies. His expertise encompasses NPD, NPI, Value Engineering, Supplier development, Testing, Lab setups, and Field Failure analysis in varied domains such as Automotive, Construction, Mining Equipments, Aerospace, Medical devices, and Engineering services. Prior to beginning his consultancy, he has held prestigious posts such as Manager – Operations Excellence, Manager – Quality, DGM, and Dy. Manager, among others. He has several patents against his name such as ‘Multiple target anode assembly and system of operation’ and ‘Through terminal and X-ray tube.’ He has a profound knowledge of ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100. He has completed B.E. (Mechanical) from Bangalore University.
Here, he has shared the gist of his vast association with the industry.
The Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has recently recognized Mr. Sridhar as the Zero Effect Zero Defect (ZED) Consultant. ZED is an excellent maturity model and comparable with the other quality models that are in existence. It is very reliable because of its transparency and objectivity. The Government of India has an aim to certify industries with ZED. Post-certification, these industries will receive benefits and tax incentives, etc. To bring this into reality, a couple of State Governments have made ZED certification mandatory. Mr. Sridhar is of the opinion that the MSME and also the Manufacturing sector should leverage the ZED initiative and expand their business by leveraging the services of ZED Assessors, Consultants, and Trainers, as and when required.
Mr. Sridhar has observed that the mindset of people relevant to the quality of products and services has undergone a change. Several companies have shut down not because of the scarcity of orders but inadequate quality. In the past, companies used to dictate terms regarding the quantity of production and delivery schedules. Presently, customers insist on ‘On-time’ delivery with ‘100% Quality’ and are reluctant to compromise on these issues. So, companies have to move on from QC to QA. However, this is a far-fetched dream for most companies. These three decades have also witnessed the introduction of novel concepts such as TPS, Lean, and 6 Sigma, etc. Companies’ management has now abandoned preaching and focused more on teaching and teamwork. Since the past five years, Mr. Sridhar is running his own consultancy. His observation is that each organization is in need of a Quality department with a scapegoat. In our industry, quality is not regarded as each person’s accountability but a customer requirement. Because he is quality conscious, he is in demand, and his impartial view of a quality system of an industry is highly esteemed. So, he has no regrets of taking the bold step to go on his own.
The contemporary industry does not lack process and documentation. The basic ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System is the stepping stone for the Manufacturing industry. Mr. Sridhar opines that we must put into action the knowledge, tools, techniques, latest technologies, and block chains to make this documentation result in our gain. For this, our Process approach has the highest significance.
Mr. Sridhar has concluded that in our industry training is looked up to as a ritual with planned targets. However, the real goals of a training; which are to improve skill sets, increase the knowledge base, seal the knowledge gaps, and enhance the efficiency of an individual; are not pursued. In about 99 percent industries, the efficacy of training is not assessed. The trainings are not backed up by follow-ups and implementation so that the ROI is obtained. Several industries also neglect trainings. The attitude can be well understood by this example. A CFO commented, “What if we train employees and they leave?” The CEO replied, “What if we don’t and they continue with us?” As a matter of fact, the top management must be trained so that they are committed to the lower levels. Then, this lower level must be continuously trained and monitored. In our country, rather than the ‘carrot’, the ‘stick’ can be more effective.
Mr. Sridhar has witnessed that the engineering college syllabus does not make a student ‘industry ready’ and an institution-industry gap exists. Consequently, students cannot perceive industry scenarios. Again, an effective training is the way out. At this point, the HR role is very crucial because the HR can assess the baseline knowledge of the participants on a scale of 1 to 10 and schedule proportionate training for batches of equally skilled participants. Another solution is that some finishing schools upgrade the knowledge of outgoing students and bring them at par with the latest in the industry. Such schools plan out courses after collaboration with industry personnel.
The ‘Make in India’ initiative is a golden opportunity for those industries that want to invest in quality rather than quantity. My personal advice is that personnel in industries should look up to quality as a way of life. Quality should be a final resort but a priority at each step. They should realize that the quality role is not as glamorous as the design role, but the quality role soaks you with knowledge right from the initial design till the product becomes unfit for service. We all should look up to Henry Ford, who has revealed the secret in one sentence—“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”