….and how can this System improve your company’s performance?

Who are we? 


QCD Systems LTD has been implementing the QCDSM/SQCDM system of Lean Manufacturing and Management principles into companies on all five continents for the last 35 years. QCD Systems LTDis the New Zealand branch of the company and was registered in 2008.



Over these years we have come into contact with many different systems purporting to be quality improvement and employee involvement systems. Observing their performance we have concluded that the only way to ensure that productivity and efficiency improvements in all aspects of a company’ become sustainable especially after the consultants have departed, is to embed the process where it belongs, i.e. with the people of the company.

Focused on the Employees

True employee involvement means that they become the promotors, controllers and guardians of their work and in this way are able to manage the outputs in their areas of operation. This also applies to the management structure of a company where the responsibility is ‘pushed down’ as it were, to where it belongs. The management structure must facilitate the involvement of the people and uses the same principles to manage their functions.

QCDSM/SQCDM, therefore, focuses on the people of the various departments within a company and sets up a methodology to enable them to measure how well their procedures are performing. One of the other functions, of many, is their ability to measure their customer/supplier relationships within the supply chain of the company by using their ideas and suggestions to continuously improve it. Of course, their safety will be paramount in their decision. The major difference with QCDSM/SQCDM is the methodical involvement of the people using up to the minute data recorded on the charts in their daily, weekly Green Room meetings.


Building strong relationships within the department and between departments is the key to this System’s success. Why this is so important is because the day-to-day management of a department in manufacturing, for example, relies on the interaction between the employees in order to solve the problems and issues that arise. Working together to do this is very important and therefore a free and trustful sharing of ideas and suggestions must be present. The same applies to the administration departments. Another vital aspect is to keep track of and manage/respond to both the external and internal customer concerns. The Green Room meetings are the places where this is recorded and managed.

The Green Room meeting process

QCDSM/SQCDM works in a very simple way. Each department or area – depending on the size and organization of the company – sets up what is called Green Room meetings. These are held daily at the beginning of shifts in manufacturing, or weekly at mutually agreed times in service and administration areas.

The daily meetings are referred to as the 1st Level meetings. The purpose of the meeting is to measure the performance of their processes in producing the product or service since last they met. The visual charts in their meeting place reflect how well the procedures they use are performing within their area. They also measure how well they have supplied their customer/s and how well their supplier/s are supplying them. The system then sets up a method of communication between customers and suppliers to resolve the issues. At the heart of all these methods is the concern for safety and how well the safety procedures are being maintained.

In this way, when negative measures are recorded, the people of the area now have the opportunity of solving the issue/s using their expertise and experience. This is usually reflected in the ideas and suggestions that they offer and which are recorded in a database.

The same process applies to the management structure through the 2nd Level and 3rd Level or higher meetings and so on depending on the size of the company. These are set up according to a set of rules as their purpose is to ensure upward movement of issues and downward support and decision-making.

In every company we have worked in over these years this simple methodology engages the people and especially their managers in controlling their areas. Their productivity and efficiency levels increase remarkably.

Below is an example of a Green Room meeting. Notice the selection of charts. If you recall the main purpose of the exercise is to ensure that their procedures are being followed and are producing the results intended. The Q.C.D.S.M. set of charts is designed to give accurate feedback to the employees of the area.(A  company may decide to begin the meetings with Safety, hence S.Q.C.D.M.)

The Quality charts measure the performance of the supply chain. It contains 4 sets of three charts. Internal and External Customer Concerns (issues from Internal and External Customers and Suppliers), Defects Received and Defects Produced. The Cost and Delivery charts ensure budgets are met and customers are satisfied. The Safety and Environmental measurement charts ensure that the employees are following safety procedures and the Idea/Suggestion tablet becomes the discussion centre for the employees to become involved in problem solving and continuous improvement.

Each measurement in every section, e.g. Defects Received in the Quality section, has three separate charts to record the issue. The first chart is the RAW DATA chart.  This is simply to record the accumulation of issues in a vertical column posted for the next meeting. The vertical axis reflects the number of incidents, e.g. from 0 to 50, perhaps numbered in suitable increments. The horizontal axis shows the days of the week in the months. Each day is a column. (See the next picture below.)  Above is a typical Green Room wall with a set of charts for 1 area of one department. E.g. Finance, HR, Mixing, Packaging etc. Each wall has a section for Idea and Suggestions and also for Environmental issues.


The centre chart on the right of the picture below records  any defect from an Internal and/or External SUPPLIER. It is a monthly chart and records the days on which the issues occurred.

The Left side picture is an enlargement and the horizontal arrow highlights the issue – ‘Change Order from Customer Service.’.

An Internal Supplier – The Customer Service Dept.

changed orders 6 times – on 7th, 21,22,29, 29 30th. 

The created manufacturing issues for this department,. Details are below.



The 3rd chart is known as The YTD -Year to Date chart and records every issue each day with a vertical bar each vertical cell is an issue on that day.

The top chart of the 3, the RAW DATA chart, shows the issues every day for the month. The Pareto or MATRIX chart – center chart, defines each issue. The bottom chart summarises the events per month.

The Idea/Suggestion process

Why gather people together daily or weekly and have them discuss their performance? Perhaps the simplest but the most important reason is to give them the opportunity of recognizing the issues that their customers have and whether their suppliers are giving them what is required and that they have the means to rectify these if within their control. They have the option of escalating the issue if they cannot resolve it. This is why the Idea/Suggestion tablet in the Green Room meeting is so important. It is the data that the people of the area need to see to address the issues that they are creating or issues that are being imposed on them and outside their control. The ability to deal with these issues – the data from the charts – and resolve them is the reason why having meetings daily and weekly are necessary.

How does it work?

Every time an issue arises as seen on any one of the set of charts during the meetings, the opportunity of getting the people involved in their resolution is made possible. They cannot deal with every issue in one meeting. They select the top five and begin the process of dealing with these. BUT, the role of the Leader is to ensure that the issues received by the area are monitored and prioritized. Perhaps an issue cannot be resolved, but it surely can be diminished until a full resolution is obtained. This is why the Idea/Suggestion Tablet and process is critical to a well-run meeting and department.

Below is an example of a print out of the database recording the ideas in the Green Room. The colour GREEN shows which have been implemented. Yellow – the ideas are in the process of implementation and examination. Red, not implemented at present but will be referred to at a later date if feasible. The health of the Green Room meeting is reflected in the performance of resolving issues through the direct involvement of the people in the meeting.

Here is an example of an Idea/Suggestion Tablet used in the Green Room.  Each week the raw Tablet on which Ideas/Suggestions are manually posted can be printed out in this format if wanted. Otherwise the tablet will remain in the handwritten mode.

(Click on the blue link below. Another link appears click on that to view the Tablet. Use the return arrow at the top that page to return to this page.

I&S Status

Another example:

ICC:ECC Stabi copy.png

The Try Z seminar

This is the Unit


As with all methods or systems, there must be a starting point. Our starting point is the presentation of a 2.5-day seminar called Try Z during which the participants are able to actually use our LEAN methodology in a classroom environment. www.qcdsm.com

By focusing on building 15 plastic model cars in a production line (these models are made up of 68 different parts for each model) the focus on productivity and efficiency improvements is on the development of efficient, simple and all-encompassing procedures which are tested, trained and monitored to ensure a Lean supply chain. The purpose is to set up a production line with 6 operators to produce 15 units with no defects and which run straight down a set up track – repeated 3 times.

The seminar incorporates many opportunities to understand how the removal of waste enables higher productivity and efficiencies, for example, how workplace organisation is essential; how the interaction between customers and suppliers is critical for a smooth operation and finally how Safety and Environmental practices enhance the process. In every group we have trained the quality improvements are in the region of 90-100% after 3 attempts. After each production run a Green Room meeting is held and the charts displayed on the wall of the training room reflect virtually every aspect of the production run. These charts record not only the time per unit, but also the time per station, the quality at each station etc.

Productivity improvements are between 25 – 33% percent. Groups that have had absolutely no previous knowledge on how to assemble or ‘fix’ these models let alone set up a production environment have achieved the improvement.  They are able to witness that their involvement in writing the DPS (Detailed Process Sheets) documents and training the operators to perform their procedures can and does result in improved quality together with improved productivity and efficiency at the same time.

The Try Z Seminar, while using a production type model, is applicable to each and every department in a company. This learning trains and utilizes many Lean tools. It reveals to the participants how practical it is to control their areas and how their expertise, accompanied by expert knowledge, is able to help them to continuously improve the work they are performing. It also reveals how important the customer/supplier relationship of the supply chain is within the company as well as between their immediate and external customers and suppliers where applicable. After this initial first step, the company will now have a group of employees and managers who have experienced how Lean tools work and will be able to use this experience and knowledge in their own areas. This is where a company can move to the second step to set up the process of QCDSM/SQCDM in their facility.

As a company, we regard our commitment to implementing this methodology to be very important. We have a long record of continuous involvement with companies we have worked in. We look forward to the opportunity of working with you in your company and presenting you with a methodology for continuous improvement through direct employee involvement or assisting you in maintaining and sustaining the process after a period of implementation.

Below are a few of the measurements used to indicate to the participants the process of QCDSM/SQCDM. {Please go to our web site – www.qcdsm.com– and click on the tab – Try Z Seminars.

The final run: The World record – 0 Defects 1066 seconds.

The chart below sees the incremental but remarkable improvement from the 1stProduction run. No one in the group had seen or worked with these units. They are made up of 68 different parts – plastic plates, nuts, washers bolts, ball bearing wheels etc. and they had to develop procedures to build 15 of these units with 3 production runs. They are allowed 6 operators and each production run there must be 6 different operators.

PowerBar, January 28th, 1999.


The first attempt results were: 2557seconds with140defects;

2nd run -Reduced to 1846 seconds with  45defects.

They rewrote their procedures:

 3rdrun     1066 seconds with 0 defects.

 The World Record has not been  broken yet from PowerBar in Boise, Idaho.


QCDSM to provide training support online

We have used Skype and Hightail. The latter enables us to manage customer’s projector from our computer using the WiFi process. We then conduct the training to the assembled people.  This is a very good option also for follow-up and maintenance.

In today’s highly competitive world every company is seeking ways to reach out to their customers, improve their market share and grow their businesses and finally, are very concerned that they have their people fully involved. No matter what decisions are taken to achieve these goals, little progress can be made in their implementation without the full participation of ALL members of the company. Empowering and enabling employees to not only share their goals but to actively participate and promote them is the greatest challenge to this success.

Consistent Quality, Competitive Cost, On Time Delivery, Excellent Safety and High Employee Morale are goals that are obtainable provided you have the process in place to achieve it. QCD Systems has developed this process and has had over 35 years experience in transferring this expertise to companies in many countries. We are very eager to share this process with you, contact us today to find out how we help you take your company to the next level.