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Metrics and Statistics for Improvement - Easy to implement

TPMB4

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
Hope this is the right section for this.

Basically I am trying to get a more statistical approach to improvement. I guess that is because I am new to quality and want to make a difference in a company that basically does things right just doesn't measure it like they should. Can anyone direct me to the right path?

Background - automotive 2nd / 3rd tier supplier and other sectors. ISO9001 for a decade without issues. Our products are a mix of metal and soft materials which can have a higher degree of tolerance. Characteristics used to define the products are mostly dimensions and weight. The metal products have their dimensions defined by the tooling so basically it is down to a visual inspection (burrs, splits and other visually determined defects). Mostly production consists of small batches with some parts repeated daily. We are talking anything from 25 parts up to 3000 parts per week which often gets split into smaller batches (especially the larger runs in the thousands).

I am looking for advice on data collection - must be very simple as the operators will be recording it and, well how do I put this, they are not likely to record anything that is too complex. Basically I am thinking something simple like listing the quantity of rejects / re-works. Something that can be done with a simple tally on their work records for the shift. My thought is to record this possibly related to PPM to adjust for batch size.

I reckon there are more metrics that I could start recording but I must stress that if it is not very simple to record it will not get done. Analysis will be done by me so as long as I can get my head round the statistics (good chance of this as I have the right mindset for this and did a lot at uni) then it can be done. Also the management will need to buy into it so I need the greatest bang for their bucks (management will include the owners).

Further background - we optimise processes to reduce waste for all new parts. Any new product has its processes changed repeatedly until there is very little wastage, downtime and rejects. I never realised we are a lean organization just don't prove it.

Any advice?
 
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Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
I've got some materials that should be useful at http://www.efcog.org/wg/esh_es/Statistical_Process_Control/index.htm

Yes, I believe there are easy to gather metrics out there. And likely if you have ANY production or financial data you could raid it for metrics. Be careful though to at least start with the mission and vision and try to see what you might "ought" to collect to see if you have any blind spots.
 
P

PaulJSmith

#3
I'm having trouble reconciling these two statements:
...a company that basically does things right just doesn't measure it like they should.
and
ISO9001 for a decade without issues.
Surely there are some manner of metrics already in place?

Absent that, I think you might consider starting at the back end - product shipped vs customer complaints/returns - and start working your way backwards through the processes ... at least in a general sense, until you start to get some idea as to where the big issues are (Top 5?).

I suspect there are many people in your organization who already have a pretty good idea of what the problems are and what needs to be improved. That usually proves to be a valuable resource to mine as well. Plus, you get the added bonus of people feeling like they have a voice in the improvement process right up front.
 

TPMB4

Quite Involved in Discussions
#4
We track customer complaints/rejects as ppm. We don't get many customer rejects so pretty scarce data. I guess I'm struggling to find metrics that we could measure that would result in a significant improvement compared to the cost to collect. Could be wrong though but I reckon you'd end up with limited returns the closer you are too zero defects / ppm values below 20-25ppm,
 

michellemmm

Quest For Quality
#5
We track customer complaints/rejects as ppm. We don't get many customer rejects so pretty scarce data. I guess I'm struggling to find metrics that we could measure that would result in a significant improvement compared to the cost to collect. Could be wrong though but I reckon you'd end up with limited returns the closer you are too zero defects / ppm values below 20-25ppm,
Have you considered expanding your metrics beyond product quality?

For example: Delivery, Services, Value. i.e. Voice of customer! Perception of customer!

I used to use Multi-dimensional factorial analysis to get an overall picture of performance for both suppliers and customers. Another parameter you can measure is business/sales expansion for that customer.
 

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