It has been my experience that this philosophy does not work unless the chief is entirely committed to the program. A factory I worked in was failing. We had cycled through five factory manager in five years. Our unit costs were over $1100 dollars and we lost $400 dollars per unit, but corporate maintained us to stay in the market. Our throughput numbers averaged 2.5 , consistent with other factories in the company, but below others in the industry.The sixth manager instituted a combined TQM and HPM program, based heavily on Demmings principles. He also told us that corporate was looking at us with a hairy eyeball, and if we did not improve we would all be out of work. He then flogged his management team and drove the ideas that the techs were the cause of all evil out of them.
He was committed to the program, provided training, and by stringently quashing any of the above mentioned shenanigans, won the trust of the proletariat. He did this by regarding mistakes as learning experiences and instituting programs to prevent them in the future. I made an expensive mistake. I was required to rewrite a repair procedure to prevent a similar occuracne and present it to all four shifts so that no one else would make a similar mistake. For this I was given a bonus, instead of a disciplinary write up. I bought into the program.
We had three months of hardship when throughput suffered due to production tools being down while being truly fixed, as opposed to patched. But then things started rolling. Unplanned downtime was vastly reduced as planned preventive maintenance was emphasized. Downtime overall went from over 35% to less than 10%. Throughput went from 2.5 to over 5, a best in class, industry wide. And unit cost dropped to just less than $600 per. We were profitable!
Unfortunately this was a smaller factory and economy of scale was against us. Also the market for our product, being cyclical in nature, hit a downturn. We were closed, and the workers mostly sent to other facilities within the same company. (Thank goodness for that)
The factory I was sent to purported to embrace the same manufacturing principles, but as Edgar has stated, does not really "Drink the Cool-Aid" thus there is distrust between the "bourgeoisie" and the proletariat. Therefore, while we still make a healthy profit, due to a skilled workforce and excellent engineering, the system could function a whole lot better if the upper management would truly employ these principles, learn to trust, and earn the trust of the line workers.
This concludes my rant. Carry on.