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Complete revamp of quality systems required - Major pitfalls I should try to avoid

M

Mezzaluna

#1
Hello to the good people of The Cove. I have been using this site for advice for a while and for that I am grateful. I am now going to ask for some advice.
I have recently been employed as Quality Engineer for a company that makes a wide variety of standard and specially designed furniture.
I have just been summoned to the Operation Manager's office. He wants a "Broad program" seeking "the direction required" to "formulate a strategy to implement a quality program". This will cover Design for manufacture, supplier Quality Assurance, Inwards goods inspection, finished goods inspection, manufacturing, assembly, and product tracking.
In a month I am to supply the broad program with bullet points etc for his edification and perusal. A big task I know - i was wondering if the team has ever been given such a request, and what the majorpitfalls I should try to avoid.

Many thanks in advance,

Mezzaluna.
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#2
What is the current situation (is there *really* no existing quality program?) and why is management doing this (if you know)?
 
C

Craig H.

#3
First, Mezzaluna, you are in the right place. Welcome.

Now for the task at hand. Surely you are doing some of these things already? If so, make a list (or, better yet a spreadsheet, like Excel) of what is being done now. Then, compare it to where you want to be.

One approach would be to use the ISO 9001:2000 standard as a guide (this is not the only approach, but in your case it might make things both easier and more effective). You can use the standard without registration. Some here would even suggest that, I think! The main thing is to get a big target to shoot at, then find out where you are in relation to that target (called gap analysis). Next, look at the gaps and decide which "chunks" you want to pick off first and go from there.

And, do a search here if you have a question. If a search does not answer your question, then start a thread.

Remember, you are most definitely NOT the first person to go down this road!
 
M

Mezzaluna

#5
Thanks for the quick response!
Current stuation:
No real QC on manufactured (metal) parts
No inwards goods inspection
No outwards goods inspection
No product tracking processes
Very weak at communication between showroom (order point) manufacturing and assembly
A poor Continuous Improvement system that very rarely gets to the root cause
Poor document control
A nice healthy blame culture.
BUT...a new CEO and Operations Manager who are Quality concious - Hence my employment.

Hope this is enough info!

Mezz.
 
J
#6
Mezzaluna said:
Thanks for the quick response!
Current stuation:
No real QC on manufactured (metal) parts
No inwards goods inspection
No outwards goods inspection
No product tracking processes
Very weak at communication between showroom (order point) manufacturing and assembly
A poor Continuous Improvement system that very rarely gets to the root cause
Poor document control
A nice healthy blame culture.
BUT...a new CEO and Operations Manager who are Quality concious - Hence my employment.

Hope this is enough info!

Mezz.
Wow!! you really have a job ahead.
Let's see what we can do here......
My first question would relate to your job in the company. "Quality Engineer". Is there a quality manager or are you it?

If, as I suspect, you are basically it and given the description above I would suggest a nice 10 or 12 point list of the goals needed to achieve. Then you can build on this providing as much or as little detail as the boss wants right now. This will be a sales presentation to convince the top dogs of what needs to be done and that you (and they) are the ones to acheive it.

It sounds as though your first task will need to be getting some good solid numbers on quality costs, scrap rates, scrap types etc.

I also believe that the only way that the "Blame" culture will end is by the CEO putting his foot down HARD on those who use it. He needs to talk tough about quality and, if need be, a little discipline to shake things up. Then throw some rewards to the quality minded.
Challenge those who complain the most to come up with solutions.

I find I'm rambling a bit here. Sorry.

On a list I might include such items as:
*GET A HANDLE ON QUALITY COSTS
*DEFINE PROCESSES
*REVIEW AND DEFINE RESPONSIBILITIES
*ACCOMPLISH TRAINING ON QUALITY RELATED TOPICS.
*BEGIN A PROGRAM TO CONTROL PROCESSES AND COSTS
*TRAIN TEAM LEADERS AND START IMPROVEMENT TEAMS
*DEVELOP A PROCESS OWNERSHIP ENVIRONMENT

These are only suggestions of course, but I find a brainstorming list like the above helps to bring a little focus to the problems.
Best of Luck and keep us informed.:agree:

James
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#7
I'll probably pick up more on this topic next week, but I do want to say the concept of selecting the ISO 9001:2000 Standard for Quality Management Systems and conducting a "gap analysis" (estimating the gaps between present practice and "ideal" practice and then deciding how to fill the gaps) is an excellent idea.

First, if you don't have a copy of the Standard and some of the allied documents, we can steer you to where they can be purchased (hard copy or electronic format.)

Second, the comment, "dont write yourself into a corner" from Pilchard means "don't put so much detail into your plans for people to follow when performing activities that they may always be "violating" one of the petty items." Leave some leeway for individual variation and individual initiative. Concentrate on the output of your processes and the inputs and process steps will be almost "intuitive."

I'm definitely on the side of the argument that says use the Standard as a guideline rather than a prescription and that you probably don't need to stretch for formal registration to the Standard by paying a third party auditor/registrar to confirm you conform to the Standard. In the case as you describe it, you probably don't even have to make a public "self-declaration" of compliance, just use the Standard to organize your business processes.

The most important part of the Standard for your operation (IMHO), will be documenting your plans for how folks will perform work activities. This helps assure consistency from one day to the next and helps by serving as a "curriculum guide" for new employees.

The second, equally important part will be Internal Audit and subsequent Management Review to confirm you are following the plans, or, if not, whether the actual activity is better than the written plan. In such a case, it might be worthwhile to modify the plan to match the activity. Internal Audit and Management Review help provide a roadmap for continual improvement.

Above all, think of the Standard as a tool for helping organize your operations and recordkeeping efficiently and consistently. Many of the clauses in the Standard are good, common sense concepts employees and managers can readily accept as "helpful" rather than "meddling."
 
Last edited:
M

Mezzaluna

#8
Thanks for that
I'm quality manager in all but name - i've got one guy working for me an I think if I perform then they'll "Managerise" me at a later date.
I've worked in ISO 9000/9001 compliant sites before, so I've got a lot of knowledge, but you're right - it's a big empty canvass at the moment.
They were 9001 compliant about 6 years ago, let it lapse and now there's a lot of old wilted procedures that need a kick up the pants.

The blame culture comes from the manufacturing sites (2 of them) and assembly site AND the showrooms (3 of them) all being quite a distance apart. A lack of face to face communication.

I'll take your suggestions on board, and thanks very much.
 
M

Mezzaluna

#9
Current bullet points to address

Hello there folks,

After digesting your suggestions, I have compiled a broad bullet list of points to address. Comments would be appreciated!

Here's wishing you all a holiday away from Quality, and also Quality holiday.

Mezz.


Assess current position and perform a GAP analysis.
• Perform company self-assessment (or use external consultants?)
• Define business priorities
• Understand current strengths and areas for improvement
• Decide on what needs improving
• Use Value Stream Mapping to clearly map out current processes and identify problem areas.

Tasks
• Obtain a copy of the ISO 9001:2000 standards for reference purposes
• Select departments for introduction within the factory as “quality showcase” areas
• Create Internal Auditing Schedule
• Develop “process ownership” environment
• “Quality Awareness” refreshers / seminars
• Review current continuous improvement system.
• Implement quality records systems
• Detail a non conformance procedure
• Establish QA area and invest in measuring equipment
• Establish Business Process Charts (Graphing of KPI)
• Develop the concept of “delighting customers” (internal and external)

Management Team
• Mission Statement?
• Regular management Review of systems
• Review Quality Policy

Design Team
• Re-enforce “Design for manufacture” principles
• Perform Design and Manufacture Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA’s) involving the manufacturing team, assembly team and Process Engineering
• Review of new product implementation procedure and enforce
• Drawing reviews from a quality control / design for manufacture viewpoint
• Review drawing release procedure

Inwards Goods Inspection & Supplier Quality Assurance
• Supplier Quality Assurance documents to be the norm
• Random Sampling (with switching rules between tightened and normal inspection)
• Establish QA contact with all suppliers to ensure continuous feedback.

Work In Progress / Product Tracking
• Documented procedures,
• Job Instruction Sheets,
• Documentation review procedure
• 5S
• Attribute Charts
• Gauges
• QA Drawings?
• Product Identification (component number & quantity)
• Total Preventative Maintenance
• Pull Systems
• Visual Systems
• Manufacturing Layouts (detailing the manufacturing process, tools, gauges components required and cycle times)
• Regular departmental quality meetings

Finished Goods Inspection (Assembly)
• Tick lists for each finished product:
• Job instructions for all standard product (reviewed annually)
• Job number Identification on finished items for product tracking purposes.
 

Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
#10
Good Stuff. I think you've got it. However, I would recommend buying the ISO 9004:2000 standard, instead of 9001. You get all the same 9001 text, word for word, but 9004 has a lot of additional stuff that gives a lot of great ideas.

Good Success.
 
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