Increase Productivity & Reduce Waste: Integrated Quality Management, Six Sigma & Process Control
In a global marketplace, organizations must continually search for competitive advantage. This often translates to higher quality products and services, delivered at lower costs. A structured approach to Quality management, process improvement and process control has the potential to deliver key advantages in the marketplace, creating differentiation to increase customer satisfaction, reduce cost, and improve value-driven relationships.
In traditional organizations, Quality Systems may be established using mis-matched collections of paper records, spreadsheets and internal databases that are both inefficient and ineffective. The bureaucratic management system that results drains resources, frustrates employees and seldom results in any of the business benefits they were meant to attain. An electronic Quality Management System removes bureaucracy to reduce the time, effort and cost of achieving compliance to customer or industry requirements. Critical documents, always of the correct revision level, are available in real-time to process personnel to prevent waste due to procedural errors and their associated time delay. Quality improvement and waste reduction opportunities, identified via audits, feedback from customers or process personnel, and results of process control strategies are promptly identified, prompting Corrective Actions jointly managed by key stakeholder groups. Action items from CAPA, audits and strategic business initiatives are tasked and tracked for optimal efficiency and feedback as Six Sigma process improvement projects. Approvals are seamlessly communicated as necessary throughout the stakeholder groups.
Six Sigma Design & Process Improvement
Likewise, well-meaning process improvement projects can become stymied by limited resources, a lack of stakeholder buy-in, or a less than thorough implementation process. Strategic business decisions, as well as daily operational issues, are decided without the benefit of data, or with the use of improper analytical tools to correctly understand the nature of the business environment. A properly designed and implemented Six Sigma effort will integrate prioritization and deployment of improvement opportunities and strategic business development issues into the middle to upper levels of management, where they are inherently aligned with the strategic business objectives. The Six Sigma approach for resource allocation, coupled with the DMAIC/DMADV project methodology, builds buy-in within the key stakeholder groups, reducing the time, effort and cost associated with achieving Quality System compliance, business development and business performance improvements.
Process Capability, Validation & Control
Modern supply-chain practices value consistency in input to meet the ever-increasing demands of their client-base. Internal and external customers alike recognize the reduced cost and increased efficiencies associated with predictable levels of quality and timeliness, whether in their support processes such as billing and engineering or the revenue generating processes comprising the core of their business. Statistical Process Control (SPC) provides the means to recognize and achieve greater consistency in fulfilling customer requirements. SPC is an essential component of the Six Sigma DMAIC/DMADV project deployment methodologies, providing the baseline estimates of existing processes in the Measure stage (or new processes in the Design stage), as well as the means to control the process or its input in the Control/Verify stage. Whether accessing data via keyboard entry, electronic measurement equipment or from MRP or LIMS databases, today's SPC software provides rapid yet advanced real-time analysis of process data, including: alerts to online and offline users; customized reporting through Excel, Word templates, or a secure access-controlled web interface for remote management, field operatives or customers; and integration with process documentation and instructions. SPC software is one of the essential tools to maintain an advantage in today's competitive marketplace.