A culture of quality: Arginta Engineering UAB
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“There are no bad employees, just bad managers” (Tomas Jaskelevičius, Business Development Manager, Arginta)
Arginta Engineering UAB, based in Vilnius, Lithuania is an engineering system supplier to the energy, pulp and paper, oil and gas, railway and lifting industries. The company specialises in contract manufacturing including engineering, welding, painting, assembly and the installation of on-site services.
The company currently comprises a team of 200 employees and has also developed a wide cooperation network with other Lithuanian manufacturers.
Gintaras Kvietkauskas, Director of the Arginta Group, believes strongly that quality and improvement should be owned by everyone in the company rather than being policed by management. Arginta Engineering UAB delivers complex engineering systems to world-wide companies, so product quality is an absolute must. As each product is unique there is no way to set up an automated process so reliability rests with the employees. Employee involvement in developing the quality and efficiency of the process enables the company to be amongst the market leaders and to be present in the world-wide market.
The company has created a series of empowering practices to support a quality culture. Tomas Jaskelevičius explains that there is a system to involve all personnel in searching for solutions and preventative measures. The Quality Department shares the issues with the people on the production floor and works with them in developing action plans. Everyone is involved in the action plans and have weekly discussions on the process.
As Tomas says, “this transforms all the people into quality inspectors”.
Weekly meetings enable engineers to learn from other’s mistakes not just from their own. Each person has their own strengths and specialisms; sharing them with others makes the whole team stronger and more flexible.
Tomas goes on to explain that because the competitive environment is very tough today, the company needs to seek and employ every possible innovation. Each employee can propose an idea, it is then evaluated by the management team and discussed with the people, and if it is seen as valuable it will be implemented directly.
Tomas is clear about the benefits of employee involvement, not least because it provides workers with increased competence and secure employment in a developing global company.