Design007 Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 65 of 107

66 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2020 ganizations that are already successful, grow- ing, and profitable. An overwhelming menu of options exists for how to get certified, with offers for everything from procedural manu- als to quality management software to on-site consultants. Our first question was, "Where do we start?" Our journey began with an internal focus. Leadership decided what we wanted from ISO certification. We were not interested in just a badge for our website. To make the investment worthwhile, our goal was to create a system that would drive continuous improvement, grow the business, and improve profitability. To start, we reviewed our quality policy. Did it represent what we truly believed? Once the team all agreed that these were words we lived by, we built our system to support every aspect (Figure 1). We then considered how much we were go- ing to invest in the process. What is the cost of quality? We set up a spreadsheet to com- pare "good spend" (activities like project plan- ning, internal audits, 5S methodology, calibra- tion, preventative maintenance programs, pro- cess improvement, training, management re- view, risk assessment, etc.) vs. "bad spend" (rebuilds, repair, equipment breakdown, over- build, order holds, RMAs, etc.). Our goal was to spend less overall on quality activities and move the scale toward more proactive spend and less reactive spend. We then charted the progress on a monthly basis. The costs associated with items like scrap and rework were not a surprise, but the deep- er we peered into our own manufacturing pro- cess, the more opportunity for improvement we found in the "hidden" costs of quality. Some of the biggest opportunities are found in the places and people that we depend on most. ISO 9001:2015 focuses a great deal on organi- zational knowledge, meaning information that is not documented; this is also known as tribal knowledge in most companies. For example, a customer called and asked our CSR to place a reorder for them. Our new employee was hap- py to help, and the order was placed in our ERP system, built, and delivered in 24 hours. Unfortunately, the wrong revision was built due to changes made on the previous build and not properly documented to ensure the fu- ture builds would be correct. A senior associ- ate would have known what questions to ask to ensure the proper order was placed. Can you relate? Part of the ISO process involves ferreting out "stuff employees just know" and making it available to and useful for the broader or- ganization, as well as a process for follow up and correction to address customer complaints to ensure it doesn't happen again to anyone else. This specific case required the documen- tation, training, and instruction that ISO stan- dards provide. We had to admit that there were many of these types of improvement opportunities that went well beyond the manufacturing floor. Hir- ing an outside consultant was critical to our success. We have a lot of experienced people on our team who have played a huge role in establishing Sunstone's reputation for deliver- ing quality. A fresh perspective on our opera- tion would ensure objectivity as we evaluated and improved our processes. We reached out to the American Society for Quality (ASQ) for help choosing a consultant Sunstone Circuits' Sample Quality Policy The entire Sunstone Circuits team is committed to providing the highest overall experience for our cus- tomers. Through our dedicated focus on our employ- ees, community, and environment, we are able to thoroughly understand our customers' needs and strive to profitably meet or exceed those expecta- tions every time. We back up these comments with goals of greater than a 99% production satisfaction rating, 99% on-time delivery, and around-the-clock, daily customer support attained through continuous improvement and our "customer first" culture. Work- ing toward these common goals is critical to ensure the effectiveness of our quality policy. Figure 1: Review your quality policy and make sure it represents your organization.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Design007 Magazine - Design007-Feb2020