Stop to Fix Problems and get Quality Right the First Time

The fifth principle of the Toyota Way is:

Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.

Quality for the customers should be the driving force behind any company’s philosophy. Quality should be built in your company and your production processes.

This means that you need a method to detect defects when they occur and automatically stop production so an employee can fix the problem before the defect continues downstream. This reduces costs and is more effective than inspecting and repairing quality problems after the fact.

You should also build a support system that can quickly solve problems and create counter measures. The development of a company principle of stopping or slowing down work when a problem is detected and getting the quality right enhances productivity and profitability in the long run.

Building in Quality Is a Principle, Not a Technology. In the Toyota Way of doing things, what matters when improving quality is enabling the process and the people. You can spend a great deal of money on the latest and greatest technology for the light signal for help, and have no impact whatsoever on quality.

Instead, you need to constantly reinforce the principle that quality is everyone’s responsibility throughout the organization. Quality for the customer drives your value proposition, so there is no compromising on quality, because adding value to your customer is what keeps you in business and allows you to make money so everyone can continue to be part of the company.

Summing-up: The more you attack problems and fix them, the more the organizational culture will begin to see the simplicity in doing so and the benefits realized by not having as many breakdowns or repeated repairs. This will build momentum toward a change in culture of not tolerating problems and continuous repairs.

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