In any business, there is always room for improvement. But what should be the focus of those improvements? According to Shigeo Shingo, there are four purposes of improvement, and they should be prioritized in the following order: easier, better, faster, and cheaper. Let’s take a closer look at each of these priorities.
There are four purposes of improvement: easier, better, faster, and cheaper. These four goals appear in the order of priority.” – Shigeo Shingo
The first priority of improvement should be making things easier. This can mean making a process simpler or less time-consuming. The goal is to make it easier for employees to do their jobs so that they can be more productive and efficient. For example, if a company is still using paper forms instead of an electronic system, that would be an area to focus on improving. Making the switch to an electronic system would make it easier for employees to input data and access information.
The second priority is making things better. This can mean improving the quality of a product or service, or making it more user-friendly. The goal is to create a better experience for customers so that they will keep coming back. For example, a company might focus on improving its customer service by training employees on how to handle difficult situations or by increasing the number of staff members available to help customers.
The third priority is making things faster. This means reducing the amount of time it takes to complete a task or process. The goal is again to make employees more productive and efficient. For example, if it takes too long to process customer orders, the company might focus on streamlining its order fulfillment process. One way to do this would be to invest in new technology that automates some of the steps involved in fulfilling an order.
The fourth and final priority is making things cheaper. This means reducing costs so that the company can increase its profits. For example, a company might focus on reducing its overhead costs by downsizing its office space or by switching to a cheaper supplier for raw materials.
In any business, there are always opportunities for improvement. By prioritize improvements in the areas of ease, quality, speed, and cost-effectiveness, companies can create a more efficient and effective operation that will ultimately lead to increased profits and happier customers.