How to Introduce the Quality Function to the production floor in a bad environment

L

LesPiles

#1
100 $ Question, for which I need the light of my fellow quality practitioners!
Question is: How to introduce the Quality Function on the production floor?

Background: The plant is unionized and has 40 years of history behind it. Quality has always been ensured by the production function. We are by the way an EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services). We have already experienced a lockout several years ago (some people still wears some scars). Many different departments are facing severe pressure. A major client is having about 40% of the pie, we?re trying to develop other business cores, we have technological products, personnel receive very minimal training, internal communication is seriously lacking, quality department is (as in many environments) understaffed, roles and responsibilities are unclear, planning and control systems are at best very problematic, several improvement initiatives including Lean have failed, priorities flickers, productivity is poor, leadership is questionable, lack of unity, many silos, lack of clear vision, ineffective management process change, many of "primadonas" in the head of each departments.

I have to introduce the "Quality on the floor" to reduce errors to customers. Some of these errors in the past have surprised us in the past, some even by their stupidity. Errors are more and more costly and hurt our reputation.

The question: "How would you do that ? How would you introduce Quality on the Production Floor ? ?
 
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normzone

Trusted Information Resource
#2
Re: How to Introduce the Quality Function to the production floor in a bad environmen

There's a way into that logjam - it may not be successful, but it's good that you're trying.

How long have you been there, and how did you come to be tasked with this duty?

You won't be able to solve all those problems. You'll need to drill down into the root causes behind whatever product issues drove you to make this post, and address those.

All these other factors may be contributing to that problem, but you need to start with root causes.
 
V

Vthouta

#3
Re: How to Introduce the Quality Function to the production floor in a bad environmen

Hi,

This is really a good question and challenging puzzle for you to solve in your firm. This is my personal opinion and advice's on how to get this done.

1. Make an organizational kind of chart on the floor, who reports whom,etc..

since its EMS - Customer service, production supervisors,managers, RMA coordinator, scheduler, etc..
This will help you to flowdown how are the requirements met by your team and helps to review how communication is going on back and forth.

2. Try to implement Quick response quality control (QRQC)..Everyday the cross functional team from Engineering, quality, Production, customer service, purchasing and materials manager meet to review all the customer complaints on the flip board. While going through the customer complaints, action items gets assigned to process owners - for eg: Engineering change has not gone through, fixing work instructions, making quality alerts, review the process controls etc

Initially there will be lot of customer complaints on flipboard, slowly they go down as the days increases, because you would be reviewing day to day customer issues

If you can collect data for 4 weeks, you would know where are the problems happening like labels, ECN's not been executed right, missing information on work instructions, doc-control issues,etc. this will help you to fix root causes.

1. Day 1 - Customer complaint is discussed - Review immediate containment - assign action items to stakeholders
2. Day 2 - Review what has been executed, follow-up,etc if everything goes fine, it will be fixed
3. Day 3 -....

Slowly as the days progress, everyone in your team will be held accountable as they know what it needs to be fixed. There is a QRQC article on forum.

This could be tracked on a spreadsheet, but it requires team effort to go through.

All the best and wish you all the success.

Vik
 

RoxaneB

Change Agent and Data Storyteller
Super Moderator
#4
Re: How to Introduce the Quality Function to the production floor in a bad environmen

With all due respect, "leadership is questionable" is my largest concern. Is senior management willing to lead and support the organization on this endeavor? If not, I don't anticipate much success. :(

But if you're willing to take some initiative, why not get the guys on the floor involved in the identification, root cause analysis and problem solving? If they're the ones making the product, they probably have a lot of ideas. Employee engagement is also a key factor in the success of any initiative.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#5
Re: How to Introduce the Quality Function to the production floor in a bad environmen

With all due respect, "leadership is questionable" is my largest concern.
I wholeheartedly agree. When I read "quality on the floor", I ask, who is introducing quality in the office?, who is introducing quality in management? who is introducing quality in sales, purchasing, etc...

Cultural transformation has to be happen enterprise-wide, or is destined to fail. And, without a question, the site leadership management has to know what it takes and be the first ones to change.

This type of change can not succeed from the bottom up, in my experience.
 
A

Alpine

#6
Re: How to Introduce the Quality Function to the production floor in a bad environmen

A fish rots from its head. And the litany of issues you describe confirms this. If leadership is questionable, who has charged you with the task of introducing quality on the shop floor? I agree with Sidney, site management needs to sit down and change first. Once they start leading, communicating the shop floor will follow. If you try a bottom up change, the view will be why should we care when senior management doesn't.
 

outdoorsNW

Quite Involved in Discussions
#7
Re: How to Introduce the Quality Function to the production floor in a bad environmen

If management is not on board with your quality improvement project, I would start with a few small projects that

-Are low cost to implement
-Are quick to implement
-Are suggested by production workers, or production gives positive feedback before implementation (to get production buy in)
-Have easily measureable results

By getting some quick wins with data to support the benefits, you hopefully can swing people to your side and gain support for more complex projects.
 
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