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Santa Cruz Guitar Company

Create a Vision and Demonstrate Commitment


The SCGC has defined its values and mission in the most uncomplicated way possible. They want to be a
niche manufacturing company and serve their customer base that appreciates their aim for perfection in
every single product they make. Their commitment to thorough perfection is displayed in every step of
the manufacturing process.
Learn the new philosophy
The policy of working in the SCGC was an antithesis of the quota system. The luthiers were directed to
build one guitar at a time. There was no formal quality department in the company, but every employee
was responsible for quality. So the company was a group of quality driven employees who strived for
performance excellence.
Understand Inspection
As the company did not have a formal quality department, the responsibility of inspection was entrusted
on employees at all levels. Also the process of making a guitar, divided into seven steps, had various
degrees of inspection at all levels.
Stop Making Decision Purely on the Basis of Cost
SCGC has laid this policy for the procurement of the raw materials that the tonewood purchased should
be of the highest quality. There is no compromise on the quality, the purchasing department is not
burdened to push for targets.
Improve Constantly and Forever
SCGC has promoted improvisations through its fundamental processes of guitar-making. The human
involvement in making the product makes constant improvement inevitable, which seems to be the very
factor that makes the company unique and pro-customer. The management also encourages its
employees to enhance their skills either by taking external courses or by a hands on practice that allows
them to build instruments through personal use. These opportunities allow the craftsmen to explore
new techniques in guitar making.
Institute Training
As mentioned before, SCGC management encourages its employees to improve their skills by taking
external courses on guitar making. Also, the basic criteria on which a person is recruited is his passion
for guitar making. This makes it simpler for the management to advocate training, where the employee
is curious and open to learning.
Institute Leadership
The style of working of SCGC was perhaps to make every employee, every luthier, a leader of his own
position. And by leadership they did not give sheer power to that employee, but entrusted them with
the independence of decision making and responsibility of the quality of the part that they made. In fact
a part did not go ahead for processing till the luthier did not feel confident about its quality. They
worked in such an environment where they were encouraged to go out on their own and open a luthier
shop someday.
Drive out Fear
SCGC has been successful in driving out fear from its luthiers by entrusting them with a sense of
responsibility of the quality of the part they make. The part of the guitar does not move ahead to the
next station unless the luthier and the senior luthier are satisfied with its quality. This institutes a sense
of achievement and belongingness and consequently drives out fear.
Optimize team efforts
Eliminate Exhortations
The SCGC management has designed a near perfect system with a combination of automation and
human involvement. The process applies the use of automated machinery for making small parts, and
where precision is required, and advocates human involvement otherwise. This system eliminates
quality problems due to the workforce and induces real responsibilities rather than superficial focus on
quality.
Eliminate Numerical Quotas
The system which has been put in place by the SCGC management does not bother about fulfilling
targets to boast about in their annual reports. They plan to make a mere 800 guitars a year, but of the
highest quality. The appraisals of the craftsmen and luthiers are dependent on the quality of each guitar
they make, rather than the number of guitars they make.
Remove Barriers to Pride in Workmanship
SCGC has promoted a sense of pride in its craftsmen and luthiers. By giving them the sole responsibility
of supervising what they make, by installing a sophisticated computer numerical controlled equipment
in their facility to make precision parts and by promoting continuous education on guitar making among
its luthiers, SCGC has set a very good example of how to instill a sense of job satisfaction in its
employees.
13. Encourage education and self-improvement

Santa Cruz Guitar Company encourages the workers to take external courses or practice to enhance
their skills and allows them to build at least two instruments per year for personal use. This gives them a
chance to explore new techniques and makes them more efficient with the existing process.

14. Take action to accomplish the transformation

SCGC workers are encouraged to go out and start a luthier business.