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62 SMT007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2019 closed-loop systems and practical procedures that enable employees to manufacture and consistently deliver quality products on time to customers. The quality management sys- tem certifications should not be your end goal; customer excellence should be the goal of an effective quality system. ISO provides valuable guidelines on imple- menting quality management systems to the various standards. One document that every manufacturing leadership team should read is "Quality Management Principles" from the International Organization for Standardiza- tion (ISO) [1] . This document delivers practical information in establishing the fundamentals of a quality management system, including: • Customer focus • Leadership • Engagement of people • Process approach • Improvement • Evidence-based decision making • Relationship management These principles provide the basis of how an effective quality management system should be developed. The guidelines in the next para- graphs provide supplementary guidelines to these quality management principles. These are five practical and proven approaches that can help you re-engineer your quality manage- ment system for customer excellence. 1. Lowest Common Denominator: Less Is More I once audited a printed circuit board assem- bly factory and asked for their document list- ing. The listing was impressive and had over 500 procedures that had been created over 15 years. These procedures had comprehensive instructions and technical information that gave the impression of assurance. However, as I asked operators and technicians in the pro- duction line to explain their process steps and point out the steps of the procedure, it was quickly apparent that they knew their processes well but were not familiar with the respective procedures. The process engineer knew where to find the information in the procedure, but the end user—the operator—was not so sure. To address this common issue, some compa- nies have created work instructions as the least common denominator of information that every production line personnel should master. These companies have also created technical documents that support these work instruc- tions for trouble-shooting and problem-solving purposes where engineering is involved. As you evaluate your current quality sys- tems, put yourself in the shoes of the end user, and create simple-to-read, value-added instruc- tions. Also, your supporting technical docu- ments should not be lengthy. Keep the most essential and useful information available to support your operations. 2. Redefine Your Training Philosophy Is your training program built to satisfy the ISO auditor? Or is it built to elevate your com- pany's performance into a world-class orga- nization? Training can be a controversial topic in organizations. Defining the return on investment on hours trained can not always be quantified in accounting. How many hours can you let employees off the produc - tion line to invest in training? Is your train- ing program ISO-compliant? Does the current training material provide value to your opera- tions? Those are questions that are discussed in every organization. Here is an approach that companies should consider taking. Don't make training a bur- den to operations; instead, make it part of the operations process. Training can be incorpo- rated as part of your day-to-day operations and a deliverable for every employee during the day. Design a training system where your production supervisors, process engineers, or area trainers can allocate a small percentage of the time each day to carry out on-the-job training. The key component here is to make it simple so that you cover a small element of knowledge each day—possibly 5 to 10 minutes with each operator. During the year, you will have covered at least 1,200 minutes of one-on- one training per operator, which equates to 20 hours of essential, practical on-the-job train-

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