Who Wants to Be a Hero?
Find, prioritize, and fix problems--fast.
I have a great story. It’s a common type of story about moving to a new company, a new position, and starting all over again. As little kids, we called it a do-over. On the golf course, we refer to it as a mulligan.
In this case, the new chance is about building your credibility from scratch (again) and making a recognizable mark at your job. Most of all, though, it’s about knowing yourself, what you can do, and putting your stamp on something new to make your name known.
It’s about being a hero—sometimes all over again.
Change for the Better
The people I’m talking about have been heroes before in many cases; manufacturing is full of them. They made changes that saved their companies money, reduced waste or scrap, reduced customer complaints and returns, and were therefore viewed as quality heroes.
Whatever their circumstances, these are people who need to make an impact—but not just any impact. It needs to be a visible and positive impact, and it needs to happen as quickly as possible. The faster the impact is recognized, the better they look; the bigger the impact is, the better they look. And after all, who doesn’t want to look good at their job?
The change they bring to their company may not be particularly new to them. But it’s new to their employer. It’s quality intelligence, based on manufacturing data that are collected every day combined with their expertise of how to leverage that information. It gives them the ability to find, prioritize, and fix problems—fast.
New Guy to the Rescue!
The story I heard was about Joe, a quality manager who was new to his company, maybe eight months on the job. He was able to convince his boss to allow him to implement a small proof of concept with real-time SPC-based quality management software on one line. He had it up and running in about three months. After six months, the results were good enough to convince his boss to approve adding the next two lines.
He was sitting in his office one afternoon looking over reports and there was a loud knock on the door. Before he could say anything, in bursts the CFO. Glaring down at Joe, he says, “What the hell have you been doing down here?” Joe’s face drops. His heart skips a few beats, then starts racing. His palms start sweating. He gathers himself, takes a deep breath, and asks, “What do you mean, sir? Is something wrong?”
The CFO’s straight face breaks into a big smile, the glaring turns into a gleam, and after a long pause he says, “Everything you’ve done has started saving us money! A lot of money. I’m seeing a direct correlation to your start date and the bottom line. I want to know what you’re doing because we need to do it everywhere in this plant and across all the plants in the company! I’m listening; start talking.”
Well, Joe just about falls out of his chair. That’s the kind of impact quality intelligence can have at a company if the new guy decides he wants to be a hero—and can find a way to just get a foot in the door.
So, How Does this Happen?
The key is results. Look for an SPC software solution that will help you not just gather more data but gather the right information across your lines, plants, even your enterprise.
Think about the huge quantities of data that you may already be gathering on the shop floor—maybe on paper, in an Excel spreadsheet, in historians, OPC Servers, or other databases. The right software can help you, the quality manager, roll up and aggregate those data.
Aggregated data can give you and your company the ability to see problem areas, things that may have existed for a long time, but previously went undetected—and can show you the way to react accordingly.
First look for a quality solution designed with a centralized data repository. If all your data reside in one place, you can easily roll them up across all your shifts and production lines, across multiple plants, or different products, and gain a big-picture view of quality for your operation.
Be sure you can also compare and contrast almost any data, on one single report, regardless of whether the data represent different units of measure, different characteristics, different spec limits—it just doesn’t matter. With that capability, you can really start prioritizing what to fix first.
That’s when you start putting on your cape. You roll up those data, collect your thoughts, and then show upper management where the problems are (or better yet, the potential problems), and work with them to formulate a plan for improvements.
Then when the changes you make start affecting the bottom line, you have achieved your goal. You are a hero! And in our world of manufacturing, heroes get paid more!
Learn more about InfinityQS quality solutions.