By Mark Porter
Quality is a key component to your company's corporate image, a large part of your mission statement and vital to your continued success.
Equipment manufacturers are continuing to incorporate quality control features into their machines.
There are certification programs such as ISO that can install procedures and policies that maintain high quality standards.
Software can also help in maintaining high quality control levels that will ensure you continue winning jobs and maintain an excellent reputation.
1. Customer Profiles
Typically only the CSR or company owner knows exactly the ways a customer wants their jobs produced. By creating a company profile you make this information accessible to all employees 24/7. This ensures that jobs are produced correctly and on time.
What overs are acceptable. Is a PO required to start. Won't accept deliveries after 5pm. Must use their truck. 5 Samples must be supplied. The demands go on and on.
Whenever there is a question about a job the answer is at every employees' finger tip.
2. Electronic Orders
Electronic Job Tickets vs Paper Job Tickets provide immediate delivery of job information to the plant. Think of the process you must go through when there is a change to a paper ticket. The change is received in the office and made on the ticket. The ticket is the printed 3-4 times and a CSR must distribute these revised tickets through out the plant and find the old tickets to ensure no mis-information is present. This represents a time delay in production working with accurate information. The result is potential extra costs and incorrectly produced product.
With an electronic order the revised production information is distributed to plant employees the second it is received from the customer. The changes are highlighted and in fact can change right before your employee's eyes. No delays - Greater Quality Fewer Costly mistakes.
3. Automatic Email Job Confirmations
Automatically confirming the specifications of the Order you just opened with the customer ensures that the job is started properly and it shifts the responsibility back to the customer. If there is a mistake in the information used to open the job it can be caught immediately.
Also if a confirmation is automatically generated for each change made to the order then you have a complete history and approval of each change or lack of change. If the customer knows he will get a change order for each change conveyed to your company and makes a change and does not receive a change order he knows to check up.
4. Problem History / Non Conformance
Tracking problems and solutions associated with jobs, customers, vendors, employees, departments and even processes can maintain a high level of quality.
First you are creating a knowledge base that can be used by all employees to solve future problems. Flagging problems that result in waste that exceeds allowable tolerances ensures Management is made aware of issues that may result in short counts.
Video can be attached to non conformance issues to help substantiate claims of problem with materials provided by the customer or demonstrate proper procedures to maximize quality.
Lastly a Non Conformance program can be used as a teaching/training tool to educate customers on the ways to prepare jobs to ensure maximum quality. Not only does it help quality but strengthens essential customer partnership relationships.
5. Job Inquiry
A strong Job Inquiry program puts information on all aspects of a job at your finger tips.
- This ensures information is not lost
- It encourages employees to look up information because it is easy to do. This avoids employees relying on their memories and making mistakes.
- Information is made accessible to all employees as soon as it is received improving quality and reducing errors and extra costs
Quality is a vital portion of any successful company's strategic approach to business. A combination of good equipment, certification programs and software can maximize your quality assurances.