Of course, every organization is really concerned about manufacturing quality, not just quality inspections. A rush to meet quality inspections, or a concern about random inspections, should never be the focus. Instead, companies should seek to get ahead of quality inspections by improving their overall quality throughout.
Identifying Areas of Improvement
Why do organizations follow processes? Because processes yield consistent results. When you have a step-by-step process, there are areas that can be improved. When flaws are discovered, the causes for the flaws can be easily uncovered. Organizations have to be able to establish better process discipline if they are going to have any hope of improving their manufacturing quality.
If processes aren’t resulting in consistent results, then they aren’t being followed. An organization has to ask itself the following questions:
- Is the process detailed and coherent enough?
- Are machines being setup as they should be?
- Is training adequate for all involved?
- Are shortcuts being taken in the process?
- Is the process reasonable and reliable?
Consider the fact that employees cannot follow processes if they don’t have the appropriate tools available. If the processes are too vague, employees may be trying to follow the processes, but may still be following them in an unproductive fashion.
Establishing Better Process Discipline
If your organization isn’t following its processes, where do you start your improvements? You need to develop a strong process discipline, which includes:
- Developing a team mindset. Involve more disciplines into processes and make sure that everyone is working together to achieve the same goals.
- Valuing the customer perspective. What does quality mean to the customer? The customer is always right in terms of the products that they desire. If your customers aren’t getting what they want, it could be a lack of process, or it could be a failure to identify what they define as value.
- Understanding the cost of quality. Quality always comes at a cost, whether it’s in terms of time or material. But there’s value in quality as well. Understanding the ROI of your quality will help you understand how much you can invest into process management.
- Surfacing and solving problems completely. When issues with quality are revealed, they need to be explored and resolved. It can’t be a cyclical process of waiting for sporadic quality inspections. Quality should be a continual process.
Establishing a better process discipline involves taking action to ensure equipment and products are of the utmost quality. The term “quality inspections” does not necessarily mean you have to check 100% of the products every time; however, random inspections may not always be the most suitable option either. 100% inspections may take a lot of time, but can ensure that all of the product is the best quality possible. AQL inspections are efficient and can yield almost equally representative results as doing a 100% inspection, if sampled properly. See this chart below to determine whether a random inspection or a 100% inspection is more appropriate for your business at a given time:
|When to do an AQL Inspection||When to Check 100% of the Product|
|If your business works with multiple suppliers||High cost of product delivery|
|Your product accommodates 2-3% of defective goods.||Suspicion of poor quality (especially if the supplier failed the first inspection)|
|Yield large amount of product||Probable chance that a bad batch was sent after inspection|
Validation of Your Company’s Processes
To validate your company’s processes, you first need to define requirements. You need to make sure key steps and controls are followed. And you need to identify the most critical parts and the highest risk. All of this comes through data collection.
Data provides real-time guidance and intervention, making it possible to address issues right away. Safety management software can be a critical component to the process of automating data collection and streamlining improvement and optimization.
When employees are able to follow quality guidelines, they will. Often, employees fail to follow processes because they aren’t given the tools and resources they need.
Safety management software is only one part of the puzzle, but it’s an important part. With the right software, companies are able to collect data relevant to the quality and productivity of their organization, without having to invest a lot in additional administrative hours.
Quality inspections can be monotonous, but Anvl makes the process more engaging and proactive- not to mention, it’s easy to use and provides data in real time. Anvl allows you to identify any defects before it becomes a time-consuming issue. Continue to push for improvement by observing quality trends over time and identifying areas for greater productivity and worker safety.