How to introduce clear rules on quality control

In many small manufacturing companies the lack of clear quality regulations is a norm, so when the complain appear, it is always an employee who is guilty – "because if the owner was in his shoes he would have done it better”.

The method

The easiest method of checking if you have a clear rules on quality control is 0/1 possibility of establishing who was responsible for the mistake: an employee or quality rules failed, each time the job botched was spotted.

You might be shocked, but it is important to say that the role of an employee isn’t guessing how to do things the best for the company, know everything, and perfectly balance efficiency with care to detail…

 

Why is it worth to crate and develop clear rules regarding the quality control:

  1. OPTIMIZE THE COST – this is you not a coincidence, who decides which  % of time is optimal for monitoring and … of course there are less complaints.
  2. AUTOMATION – with each job botched (and they always will happen) there is something you can fix, to avoid it happening again;
  3. TIME SAVING – you can introduce new employees much faster;
  4. BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE STAFF – everybody knows what to do and how good they work (it i salso a proof in labor court if you want to punish an employee).

Imagine how you would work, whether many daily used devises such as laptop, or car were made if thousands of people involved in production proces, were only guessing if they did their job correctly ?.

How to create good quality control guidelines:

Speaking from 10 years of experience in consulting and observation of companies from automotive industry, there isn’t a better option than creating and placing near workstations quality guidelines in a form of a table. Columns which may appear there can include information about:

  • Who: so who is performing monitoring, because ex. an operation can be controlled twice: by an operator and at random by a foreman
  • What: whether a parameter is checked ex. color, weight, lack of sharp edges, etc.
  • How and What with: the checked color ex. by using sampler, by naked eye, in the laboratory, against the light?
  • How often? Each piece, 1 out of 100 or maybe first 5 and than every 10?
  • How it should look? The difference of 1 shade, no smudges, 98% accurate?
  • Remarks? Here you can write different tips based on your experience ex. that color has to be checked after 2 minutes from leaving te machine
  • quality control

In my opinion using photographs with examples OK / NOK  to visualize potential defects of the product is 100% necessary and it has the greatest influence on effectiveness of quality control.

Feel, that organization pays off

  1. Designated areas and marking at the production hall and at the warehouse

The principle is very easy: designate the area near the machines and in your manufacture to:

  • Use the space optimally and faciliate the transport of materials;
  • Quickly recognize 4 types of products: in production, to be checked (if it is the last stage), Checked OK, Incompatible NOK
  • Prevent mixing your products from different categories (especially OK and NOK)

quality control quality control

When you think about designated areas you probably have in mind painted lines on the floor, but the choice is much wider: markings on the walls, colorful containers, tags on pallets –  it should be convenient and practical for you. There are few more TIPs below:

  • Instead of directly painting lines on the floor it is better to test them with special floor tapes, where it will be easy to adjust the right setting;
  • Regarding colors: in production; items checked; incompatible
  • The best way is to have double ares by machines (for processing and after processing),
  • Very clearly separated checked products from other categories
  • It is recommended to use some simple numeric system for the production hall and machines

Similarly you can use the area policy / other markings inside the warehouse (both for dispatching and collecting of materials). Exemplary areas to design inside the warehouse (depending on the industry):

  • stock: keeping ready made goods / raw materials, checked by a stock boy, and indicated as „in stock” in a computer system
  • unloading – unloaded from the truck, waiting to be checked and placed
  • incompatible – incorrect deliveries to be returned / awaiting explanation
  • to be dispatched – items prepared by the stock boy and ready to be send
  • packaging / preparation: the area to complete the orders.
  1. Mark items / batches with one number,

If I approached a pile of products being produced at your production hall, would it be possible without guessing to verify which products are they, for whom they are being made and what is the stage of that order?

In practice it a piece of paper with penned numer of the order and alternatively the numer of pieces is sufficient. Then it is possible to check on the computer / board with a production plan, who is working on them and how many are there ready made.

Regarding the numer, it is best to use your own internal numer, than the one provided by the Client. It is best to use numbers like the ones used by Prodio, so the following order number / a year.

A common practice is putting the order number on the packaging / final product. Thanks to this approach, it is easier to respond to potential complaints, because you can find the order in the system and see the working history with 100% effectiveness.

Just START, and you’ll see it is not that bad.

 

While reading previous advice you thought: „WHEN AM I GOING TO DO ALL OF THAT? IT WILL TAKE AGES! WE HAVE TO PRODUCE, NOT PLAY MANAGERS”. 

Please note, that there are 3 typical mistakes regarding development of your production:

  • Don’t do it at all – if you are scared but the amount of work to optimize your production, you put things off for the time when there will be less orders…but this will never happen and the chaos will prevail or you will be only searching for new orders and new customers.
  • It’s a one off revolution in the company (it is usually connected with an audit for a client / ISO 9001 / there was a big fuck up). New documents and new tools are created in a rush, but later everything goes to a folder, because nobody believes in it. (If you wish to read more on how production management software can simplify ISO norm system n your company click here)
  • You analyse too much: it is easy to see based on a software example, when you do many different tests searching for a perfect solution, but picking faults in each system, until you opt for customized solution, which is too expensive…

HOW TO DO IT IN 2020 TO BE SUCCESSFUL?                                        

Superb know-how regarding products built in real time!

What you really need is a REAL TIME DATA and you have the whole 2020 for it.  That’s why it is so important to do everything in real time.

With each product / type of product:

  • Open a card / create a new product in your software – but write only absolutely necessary data for the worker to see.
  • While producing something go down to the production hall, take a photo and write exact parameters – do it on your mobile phone best.
  • Observe / talk to your employees – let them share some details with you, which are worth adding for the future use.
  • After finishing production verify productivity based on the real production data and than enter them to your system.

…after 3 months you wil have  so much data, that it will pay for the effects ?

 

Instead of looking for an expensive ERP-s start with something simple!

The discussion is it worth to spend huge amounts on ERP system is a longer one, because many companies after introducing such systems see more disadvantages than positives – so be wiser.

Instead of analyzing and debating introduce Google Docs / Prodio in your firm today, test it and you know what…  …even if after 6 months you decide,that it i stoo simple for you, you will know exactly what data is needed in ERP system.

 

 

What are you waiting for? - test Prodio!

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