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96 The PCB Magazine • October 2015 ArTiCle by Andy Thomson EchoSTar The culture of any organization influences the net output of any product or service it pro- duces. That being said, the manufacturing of products brings complexity with an order of magnitude that can affect the net output at any given point along the build cycle, starting with the sub-component supply chain to final pack. Manifestations of breakdowns along this chain are failure to make schedule, poor quality, scrap, excess labor (rework) and field returns. External ramifications are loss of revenue, loss of custom- ers and inability to win new customers. In this article, I will try to show the interrelationship between a plant's culture and its final product, which are not only the shippable goods, but also customer service, revenue and profit. The four cornerstones to a manufacturing plant's culture are discipline, training/tools, motivation (plant citizenship), and self-worth. These four cornerstones need to be set in that order, and they are constructed by elements that make them weaker or stronger in support- ing a culture that functions optimally. Each one mutually supports the other, which can create a self-reinforcing effect. Discipline By far the most important, discipline, when properly implemented and maintained, starts the process. Discipline must be all-encompass- ing to be employed properly. Management must be fair and consistent across the board, with no distinction between salaried and hourly em- ployees. The implementation, or changes as to how accountability in the factory will change, needs to be clearly communicated. A date of implementation should also be set and a grace period of no more than a week, where employ- ees are verbally warned for infractions that had in the past been ignored by management. After that grace period, normal disciplinary proce- Plant Culture: a Direct Contributor to Quality, Output and Predictable Manufacturing

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