Creative activities are also part of the challenge for the Special Award for TPM Achievement (Level 2), in the form of focused improvements designed to increase added value. However, the activities at this level are biased towards increasing existing added value by doing even deeper kaizens on the sorts of topics already being addressed (this is the meaning of the term ‘ground-breaking’). They are the kinds of activities designed to increase the added-value content of existing products, make them more cheaply than any other company can, and satisfy production demands orders of magnitude more quickly.
In TPM Level 3, by contrast, being creative means becoming an industry leader and producing unique products of a type that have never existed before, as illustrated in Figure 12.18. This is what is meant by ‘Creative TPM’ at this level.
It is also possible to categorise the activities carried out at Level 2 as focusing on securing repeat sales from existing customers and markets, while those at Level 3 focus on developing new customers and markets. If a company can secure global support by developing new customers and markets quicker and with better timing than its competitors, it will naturally be able to achieve the top levels in its industry in a variety of output indicators. It will also be able to maximise the efficiency with which it utilises its resources, achieve the best possible cash flow efficiency, and establish the conditions necessary for its continued prosperity. In summary, while TPM Level 2 aims to generate higher profits in situations where products are already being sold, TPM Level 3 aims to generate additional profits by creating new situations in which products can be sold, and expanding these.
In other words, TPM Level 3 is targeted at creating and expanding cash inflow, thereby putting in place the conditions for the company’s continued prosperity. These are the challenges companies face as they go for the Award for World-Class TPM Achievement, and they will constitute the main thrust of their activities at this level.