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Independence : A Numbers you need to know series

Independence : A Numbers you need to know series

This week was Independence Day in the US. Most countries celebrate either independence or founding day. I was curious about different traditions around the world and found that:

  • In India, they fly kites to celebrate freedom.
  • France begins with a traditional military parade. While that might not seem unique, it’s the country where they started, and I didn’t know that.
  • Also in France, fire stations open their doors for parties on this day to raise money.
  • Indonesia has Panjat pinang, a greased pole on the top of which is placed prizes and you can try to shimmy your way up to get one.
  • Adelaide (Australia) competes each year to break the world record for the most inflatable flip flops in the ocean on their day.
  • In Finland, they light two candles and place them in the windows of their homes, a tradition they believe originated in the 1920’s.

No matter how you celebrated the day, you did so to celebrate (perhaps) a day away from the typical day you have. I’m grateful to those shops that stayed open, as it was a great chance for me to do some of the errands and things I don’t usually have time for.

What do you not have time for in your life? In your shop?

QUALITY MANAGEMENT

The number one response we get to this question is quality improvements. Every day, your team has one goal: to get products out the door as efficiently as possible with the highest quality. They are driven to complete the work you’ve given them. This is measured mostly by time in the shop. Did you (or did you not) get the product shipped on time?

This belies the issues that the team has in doing so. Once they’ve solved something, they move on. The job is really to get it out the door. Maybe you will have them report on issues in the next daily huddle. Maybe you record them and track those numbers as metrics. Do you know what issues you’ve had repeating on you and what you can do about it? Do you know how to eliminate the source?

QUALITY CONTROL

For those who study quality control, it’s a measure of quality completed by taking samples of finished goods and comparing them to the original standard that was written before the work started. It is a smaller footprint of your overall quality program. The results can be tracked on paper or in Microsoft Excel or Access if you don’t have a system.

The issue with quality control is that it is the result of your quality program, more specifically the quality assurance steps you take to ensure compliance of your product to your design. It’s a limited look at the output. It says little about the process you used to get there – good or bad, working or not. If the final product measures up, quality control earns a checkmark.

Your business, however, may not.

QUALITY ASSURANCE

Quality assurance is a broader view of quality and should, in a well-run shop, encompass quality control. We find that this is the shortcut that many manufacturers take – sacrificing quality assurance and relying on quality control. A true quality assurance program ought to:

  1. Give you confidence that your product will be made right. The first time.
  2. Track and reduce the amount and type(s) of non-conforming work you have.
  3. Keep an entire audit trail of the work that has been done. Even, especially, the corrections.
  4. Design a strategy for quality.
  5. Identify areas where repeated quality issues and production slowdowns occur. Investigate these areas. Report on the findings and design a remediation plan to solve / eliminate them.

These items are things that a good quality engineer would be trained to do. They are, however, without a set plan or strategy, running around solving the quality issues you currently have and do not have the time to pursue these. Think about giving your team an expanded set of tools to do what they need to in quality for your organization to lower your overall costs, improve your productivity and performance and gain market share.

Next week, we’ll talk a little further about quality and how to resolve things for good. Until then, spend some time assessing the visibility, productivity, and flexibility you have into and with your team.  Push the Connect button to learn about how we help teams with this.  Or, if you have a question, reach out to info@cimx.com.  We are here to help you save money, time and get your Production under Control

Contact CIMx Software to see how a Manufacturing Execution System can improve production control for you.

 

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