3 Ways to Ensure Quality Products

March 31, 2016 3:00 pm
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posted within Continuous Improvement, Supply Chain Development

ensure quality

Written by: Christopher Marcum

Like all manufacturers, you face a common battle in the quest to succeed—the battle to ensure that what you produce, both to and through delivery, is of the highest possible quality. This means confirming not only the physical and material specifications of your products, but also their performance in the customer’s hands.

The three proven strategies, listed below, can be employed to ensure the production of high quality and reliable products. Getting these basics right can set the stage for implementing a more refined approach like Lean, Six Sigma, Kaizen, and so on—but more importantly, they are an aid in keeping your customers satisfied to grow your business.

1) Select and use Reliable, Thoroughly Vetted Suppliers. How do you know the new supplier you lined up won’t provide your firm with defective materials? You can avoid that problem by selecting suppliers who hold ISO 9000, CMMI, TS 16949 (automotive), C-TPAT (security), AS 9100 (aerospace), or other industry-recognized quality certifications. Suppliers with these certifications regularly submit their production processes and controls to objective third-party audits. This ensures that the supplier’s products and services are consistent, reliable, and repeatable. By selecting suppliers who earn and maintain industry-accepted certifications you are ahead of the game.

2) Check it Out: Inspect Continually. Conducting inspections throughout the manufacturing process (beginning to end) will go a long way in ensuring your products measure up. For starters, have your inspectors verify such aspects such as quantity, unblemished appearance and workmanship, and proper packaging. Experts recommend inspections at the very beginning of the process, at 30–50% completion, and just before shipping (100% produced, minimum 80% packaged) in order to find, isolate, and correct any problems as soon as possible. Perform these regular and rigorous inspections throughout the manufacturing process so you can catch any quality issue internally before the part has been shipped to your customer.

3) Test, Test, and Test Some More. How will you know if your product performs as it should? Instead of finding out the hard way (i.e., unhappy customers), establish an internal process for performing regular and random testing of your product(s) and/or part(s). You can implement a reasonable quality assurance program simply by using industry standards to measure your product’s physical properties and assess its performance. Test your product’s fit, function, and performance to avoid unnecessary product rework that costs time and money.

Which of these 3 ways will you try today ? 

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