Continuous improvement practices and product quality performance at TATA chemicals Magadi limited
Continuous improvement practices (CIPs) is a combination of processes that make up a system aimed at achieving improvement in performance. In the manufacturing sector, this system generally include simplifying production process through elimination of waste. Acquiring and utilisation of technical knowledge for process analysis and problem solving are fundamental to continuous improvement practices in the manufacturing sector. The basic principle of continuous improvement practices is the application of multi-problem- solving approaches for establishing and addressing job-based problems. The main aim is for continuous improvement to rise to new benchmarks with every problem that has been solved. The purpose of this research was aimed at establishing the relationship between continuous improvement practices and product quality performance at Tata Chemicals Magadi Limited and the extent to which Tata Chemicals Magadi Limited has implemented continuous improvement practices. The current study applied a longitudinal case study. A self-administered questionnaire was the key data collection instrument. The data collected was analysed by descriptive statistics with the help of probit model. The study established that to achieve product quality performance, Tata Chemicals Magadi must embrace continuous improvement practices which include; Lean Manufacturing, TQM, TPM, ISO, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma. The study further established that the company‘s top management strive to drive and provide actual support to continuous improvement practices aimed to achieve product quality performance by continually improving effectiveness on CIP and is dedicated to the improvement and implementation of continuous improvement practices. The study concludes that For Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd to achieve product quality performance and remain competitive and profitable, the company should embrace continuous improvement practices. For the firm to maintain these strategies, it is important to embrace the following aspects; top management commitment, constancy of purpose, team work, process orientation, support of customer focus, management reviews, qualified human resource base , infrastructure, inventory reduction and improving production flow and finally, Innovation research and development as well as sufficient strategies like; Lean Manufacturing, TQM, TPM, ISO, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma implemented to minimise effects and therefore upgrade product quality performance. This research recommends that considering the hefty resources organisations incur on production, much concentration and focus must be on lean production to help manufacturing companies achieve optimal costs and such companies need to create separate sections dealing with lean continuous improvement functions to enable easy control and monitoring of costs. Tata Chemicals Magadi is advised to increase her resource commitment to staff training so as to develop intellect and skills on continuous improvement practices and as a result professionalism should be encouraged at all levels of the organisation and which should not be restricted to the management only. To achieve product quality performance there must be a strong attention to plant efficiencies and improvement of overall equipment effectiveness .
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