Continuous improvement focuses on improving the satisfaction of all ST interested parties. It is achieved through breakthrough projects and on-going incremental changes to the products, processes, our quality management system and our organization. It covers all aspects of our business.
In ST, we are committed to continual improvement at all levels. We recognize individual and team contributions to achieving this objective through corporate and local recognition programs for excellent individual and team performance.
We encourage employees to identify conditions that impact performance, bring them to the attention of their management and propose solutions. This action is supported by an employee suggestion scheme .
We use a process approach, according to ISO 9001 management system definition, to achieve continual improvement. It follows the different steps of the Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle defined below:
Continuous improvement is guided by our corporate vision and objectives. Policy deployment and review allows us to cascade goals and improvement plans, covering each entity’s contribution to improvement. Communication, teamwork and knowledge sharing allow us to connect people to information and people to people .
The search for excellence addresses quality cost and service items for any processes using fact-based methodologies.
- For sporadic issues, 8D Team Problem Solving methodology is used to put in place a short-term remedy, find the root cause and fix the problem. A team is initiated as soon as a problem arises, such as a customer complaint.
- For chronic issues, which also are opportunities for improvement, the 7-step Quality Improvement Process is used, including area selection, project definition, identification of problem causes, corrective action plan, action plan implementation, holding the gain, and cross fertilization.
- For chronic problem solving and breakthrough improvement, DMAIC methodology is used. DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control . It is a systematic, scientific and fact-based methodology which provides a structured and sequential application of tools for breakthrough improvement in the pursuit of cost reduction and customer satisfaction. DMAIC projects are selected at company, site or customer level to achieve outstanding improvement in a short timeframe with a focus on resources leveraged by the methodology.
Measures for monitoring the level of improvement include
- Employee opinion and customer surveys to gather feedback from customers and employees. It provides an opportunity for dialogue and for subsequent implementation of appropriate action plans to improve satisfaction.
- Self-Assessment, based on the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) model , to assess and improve processes.
- Internal audits and process reviews to check compliance with requirements and put in place improvement plans.
Improvement actions are taken, their effectiveness is verified and they are standardized if proven effective. This is a continuous cycle, that is renewed with the identification of further areas for improvement.
More Information and Contacts
For more information please contact your local sales representative or contact our technical support