Original Date: 02/01/1991
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Total Quality Management
Litton Guidance and Control Systems Division (GCSD) is committed to implementing Total Quality Management (TQM). The key to TQM is designing and building quality into products at the beginning. Problems are addressed by changing the design and/or the process, not by increasing inspection operations.
Like many companies, Litton GCSD has long recognized that incorporating TQM principles was the basis for improving sales performance and increasing its competitive edge in the national and world markets. They recognized many successes, but were not satisfied with the total results. Product quality, customer satisfaction, productivity, and employee involvement (EI) although improved, were not at expected levels. Certain elements were lacking in this early TQM implementation such as total management commitment and participation, EI, systematic improvement of tools and techniques, and the removal of organizational barriers.
Lessons learned during the early to mid-1980s led to a revival and furthered significant improvements in Litton GCSD’s TQM. The key to its success lies in the people and teams that are part of the infrastructure; the application of systematic improvement techniques and tools; and the significant training received in structured problem solving and continuous improvement techniques. There are currently almost 400 teams with 40% (1500) white-collar membership.
Key practices sponsored by Litton GCSD management include:
An extensive EI process which emphasizes the team concept and people empowerment, with the emphasis on “empowerment” instead of involvement.
Active customer teaming with DOD, the local DPRO, and prime contractors.
An aggressive supplier partnership program (SPP), which has resulted in nearly 90 certified suppliers.
An elaborate variability reduction system employed throughout the Division. As a company, Litton employs every TQM tool such as Quality Function Deployment, statistical process control (SPC), Taguchi, and design of experiments (DOE), but the crucial difference is they are customized to the problem being resolved.
An aggressive concurrent engineering approach applied to all new designs which embrace DOD 4245.7-M and NAVSO P-6071 as division policy.
TQM continues to work well at Litton GCSD for many reasons. In teamwork development, one type of culture and tool is not used - the local culture is addressed and tools are tailored to the technology of different operations; teams are part of the Litton GCSD infrastructure; there is considerable training - approximately 2-3% of an employee’s time is in formalized training; and management is committed to providing the necessary resources to support TQM.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.