Quality matters to everyone at Daman Products Company. The footprint of Daman’s quality system stretches from the production floor and distributor services to purchasing, maintenance and information technology. Even human resources and administrative service areas bear responsibility for ensuring quality – of Daman’s products, as well as the way Daman provides value-added service to its customers.
The collaborative quality system has evolved over nearly 15 years of building and nurturing a culture of continuous improvement at Daman.
“We focus on managing and improving systems, not managing people,” Larry Davis, Daman president, explained. “Our servant leadership model is based on a culture of continuous improvement and trust where people are challenged, accountable, responsible and generally work without supervision.”
Davis believes that mastery, autonomy and purpose create the heart of a company culture that excels in productivity and satisfaction – with its customers as well as its employees.
“We have created an environment that has melted away typical departmental territorialism and conflict,” he said. “People are more knowledgeable, have more authority, are trusted to do the right things, and accomplish more than we could have imagined. They also enjoy their work life more than when they were lorded over and treated like children.”
Quality control is totally integrated into the manufacturing process at Daman. People who do the actual work are entrusted to determine the quality of their operations. And they are empowered to identify and implement ways to improve quality issues as they arise.
“We’ve created a Quality Team with representatives from every aspect of our company,” Davis explained. “That gives us a broad perspective on every issue.”
Everyone on the team embraces an attitude of continuous improvement. That state of mind includes asking hard questions until good answers emerge. They also know that “problems can only be solved where they live,” a leading tenant of continuous improvement.
Addressing the issue in context of where the work is performed engages employees and pulls forward their best abilities, according to Davis. Other quality team members help with problem-solving by maintaining a continuing dialogue, support and encouragement.
A strong credo in Daman’s approach to quality issues embraces an understanding that no problem is solved forever. Countermeasures may create new problems in other areas of the organization. By recognizing the good that can come from continually probing, experimenting and rethinking solutions, the Daman Quality Team maintains its true course of continuous improvement.
“Sustainable, positive change occurs with a relentless focus on continuous improvement,” said Davis. “Nearly 15 years into this journey, we know we are more effective company today.”