Role of Quality Manager

  1. Quality Standards.  Documents and records are used all throughout the company.  Nobody should know more about quality, compliance and processes than the Quality Manager.  Your experience with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), ISO standards (i.e. ISO 9001), or 21 CFR 820 within a regulated industry are important to managing and controlling documents and records.
  2. Quality Project Management.  A Quality Manager is also a project manager managing corrective action, process improvement, and auditing projects.  One must have strong self-motivation, the ability to work independently, and within a team environment with strong follow up, organization and prioritization skills and excellent attention to detail helps too.  Perhaps most important of all is understanding the financial – risk-reward – trade-offs in good project management.
  3. Business Process Documentation.  A Quality Manager must be able to understand, comply, and improve established company policies and procedures.  Developing standard work, policies, procedures, job aids, and business process communications are a part of the job.  A Quality Manager is also a technical writer.  Familiarity with policy and procedure writing will help you to succeed.  Technical writing conveys technical information using active voice construction, instructional design, and desktop publishing methods to transfer information into understandable and useful information.
  4. Document Control.  As the Quality Manager, your Knowledge of the Quality documentation process, Document Control practices, and managing documents, records, forms, and work instructions is vital to maintaining your company’s compliance program.  A Quality Manager may be the Document Control Manager responsible for organizing documents into an easy to use and fast retrieval system.  Users need their policies and procedures to conform to requirements.  If they cannot find them, then they cannot follow them… Document control is an important priority.
  5. quality managerQuality Communications.  It might go without saying but explaining business process compliance to others is what a Quality Manager has to do.  Being able to understand a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form helps others to follow and conform to the established best practice.  Communicating compliance and conformance is done using software such as Microsoft Word and Excel, training using PowerPoint, process mapping using Visio, Statistical Process Control (SPC) using statistics, as well as document revision control software for policies and procedures management.
  6. People Management.  A Quality Manager should not be afraid of asking questions, collecting business process information, and working with others in a positive and collaborative manner.  Business processes include sensitive accounting and financial processes too.  So, you must be comfortable speaking effectively and communicating directly with all levels of personnel.
  7. Quality Auditing.  A Quality Manager performs some of the quality audits.  Supply chain audits, process audits, and may even lead ISO audits an act as a Lead Auditor managing teams of auditors.  Clearly understanding the compliance requirements, collecting objective evidence, and writing up audit reports ensure the quality management system is operating effectively.
  8. Problem Solving.  The Quality Manager solves problems, typically in situations where general standardization should exist, but may not be operating effectively.  Using process mapping techniques, lean, or Six Sigma process improvement methodology is essential to reducing waste and being effective in the Quality role.   A delicate balance exists between resolving problems yourself and identifying those situations that require management intervention for a solution.  Good political judgment is required where quality and compliance are concerned.
  9. Team Player.  The Quality Manager is involved in teams and meetings at every level of the organization.  Management reviews, material reviews, supplier reviews, corrective action reviews, process improvement teams, audits, customer visits and strategy discussions.  A good Quality Manager is involved with many areas of the company.
  10. Quality “Go To” Guy.  The Quality Manager is the person that everybody goes to to get answers about quality.  Product specifications, supplier requirements, testing, inspections, part verification, equipment calibration, corrective actions, non-conformances, workers compensation, benchmarking, voice of the customer, and on and on.  The buck stops here at Quality.

 

Source: www.bizmanualz.com

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Customer Focus – Quality Principle

Organizations depend on their customers and therefore should understand current and future customer needs, should meet customer requirements and
strive to exceed customer expectations.
• Increased revenue and market share obtained through flexible and fast  responses to market          opportunities

• Increased effectiveness in the use of the organization’s resources to enhance
customer satisfaction
• Improved customer loyalty leading to repeat business.
• Researching and understanding customer needs and expectations
• Ensuring that the objectives of the organization are linked to customer needs and expectations
• Communicating customer needs and expectationscustomer
throughout the organization
• Measuring customer satisfaction and acting
on the results
• Systematically managing customer relationships
• Ensuring a balanced approach between satisfying customers and other interested parties (such as owners, employees, suppliers, financiers, local
communities and society as a whole).

http://www.iso.org

Customer in Defining Quality

The Growing Role of the Customer in Defining Quality

Four key factors drive the intersection of customer and quality:

• The role of quality within an organization

• Integration of goals in strategic planning

• Level of transparency on quality goals and reporting

• How the quality measures are used.

It is clear that many organizations are becoming true partners with their customers in order to maximize the value for both stakeholders. Organizations’ definition of quality, the actual quality processes, and using quality measures to drive performance and culture are all closely tied to customers. Because quality and customers are so closely aligned in successful organizations, the two concepts are intersecting into a customer-centric quality culture.

While manufacturing organizations tend to use mature quality practices—in regards to governance models, availability and use of metrics, quality management frameworks and certifications, and training—do their practices include a focus on the customer? What defines a customer-centric, quality culture and what are the driving factors of its success?

To answer these questions APQC(American Productivity and Quality Center) conducted correlation analysis on data, specifically for the manufacturing industries, from American Society for Quality – The Global Sate of Quality survey conducted by APQC for ASQ. The customer-centric quality culture can be defined by four statements that elucidate the organization’s relationship with its customer around quality:

Most of the survey respondents indicated they agree with the statements. However all cultural attributes were not weighted equally. The emphasis was placed on customer service and product performance, rather than two-way engagement or quality and what it means to the customer.

source: http://www.industryweek.com

The Role of Quality

The Role of Quality

 As organizations evolve quality from merely being a ‘checking the compliance boxes’ to really using quality practices to impact and empower staff to make improvements and address customer needs, there is opportunity for a greater return on investment and improved customer satisfaction. Organizations that use quality as a source of competitive advantage, operational excellence, or as a continuous improvement activity are much more likely to embrace the customer-centric, quality culture.

For example organizations that use quality as a source of competitive advantage are more likely to make their quality measures transparent to their customers (76.4%) than those who use it as a compliance activity (46.6%). This is particularly true for understanding what defines culture from the customer’s perspective.

Integration in Strategic Planning

To understand what’s truly valuable to the organization, one has to look at what makes it into the strategic plan. Although there is always intrinsic value in the use of quality goals and measures within an organization, it is when these goals are established across the organization—corporate, management and support services, and operational businesses and functional units—that quality can have the greatest impact on overall performance.

Level of Transparency

Transparency on quality measures helps create buy-in on quality management and enables employees to understand what role quality plays in how they do work, how they can impact quality, and its effects on their customers’ satisfaction. Transparency breeds accountability at the most basic level and even drives a healthy competition between business units. It also tends to increase knowledge-sharing opportunities (e.g., best practices or lessons learned), as managers with lower performance often reach out to managers in groups with higher performance, even across diverse products and services within the same organization.

Use of Quality Measures

The majority of respondents use quality measures to set goals that will drive higher performance throughout the organization (76%), for predictive analysis to identify potential opportunities or issues in their operations and business process (66%), and as part of their variable-performance compensations (61%). However organizations that include quality measures to drive higher performance or for operational improvement are more likely to agree with the customer-centric, quality cultural statements. This adoption indicates that the organization has embraced the quality culture and it’s simply now how they do business.

source: http://www.industryweek.com

Leader Standard Work?

Leader standard work? Is it valuable?

Leader standard work as being fundamental to any company that is committed to continuous improvement and culture change. Leader standard work is part of what is included in third principle of manufacturing excellence, i.e., it is the disciplined use of an authorized formal system.

Typically, manufacturing companies are meticulous about creating standard work for machine operators, e.g., job instructions. The job instructions for a particular process are very detailed and represent the required behavior to produce products that meet the customer specification. I hope we always collect the operators’ input before an engineer or technician retires to the office to formalize the instructions.

 But once the job instructions have been committed to the formal system, then we don’t vote anymore about how to do this work. We expect the instructions to always be followed until and unless someone comes up with a better idea to be vetted and tested before changing the standard work and retraining the affected people.

On the other hand, the closest thing many companies have to leader standard work is the position description. Even a very well-thought-out and written position description is far too general to be used on the day-to-day responsibilities.

Leader standard work requires the commitment to detail the important responsibilities of a leader, some of which do not happen from the comfort of the office.

Leader standard work, in the case of the first line supervisor, involves having a daily plan of what the leader’s key duties are. Those might specify, for example, at least three gemba walks and dialog with each person in the area each day.

As we go up the ladder, the plan could become weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc., depending on the level in the organization. For example, a plant manager might commit to a daily gemba walk to touch base with the value stream managers, supervisors and a few hourly associates in each area just to understand how the plant is running each day, what the issues are and, yes, to be visible to everyone.

The plant manager also is behaving in a way that serves to coach people along the way. If the manager sees a potentially unsafe condition, does she walk on by or stop and engage the issue? The leader’s response will speak volumes to all those who are watching to see what happens next.

It’s a teachable moment if handled properly and helps to reinforce the new culture that would expect operators, material handlers, etc., to step up themselves rather than wait on a member of management to respond. Hourly folks typically see these things first, and we want to help them know what to do and feel confident enough to speak up and help keep their teammates safe as well as themselves.

The same kind of coaching opportunity could occur on a quality issue, schedule issue, maintenance, whatever. This important work cannot be done from the office.

The plant manager might also plan and execute a monthly “state of the business” meeting for everyone once a month. The VP of manufacturing/operations might do it quarterly along with a gemba walk. The CEO might do a video for companywide viewing on full-year results and expectations for the new year.

These opportunities to be visible and interactive provide the means to ensure that leadership’s expectations are clear for the results and behaviors that we seek.

source: http://www.industryweek.com

Tips for Improvement of Quality in your company

No doubt, we live in an imperfect world: People make mistakes and machines break. The goal is to minimize this so that the client is enchanted and reorders. You can do that through a relentless focus on quality. Improving quality will save your firm money because you won’t need to do things to cover up old mistakes. Improving quality will raise your employees’ engagement because people like being on a high performance team.

How do you make sure quality is exceptional at your firm? Here are  tips to improve quality fast.

Measure and Measure Some More

Two key performance indicators (KPIs) you should deploy today are quality escapes and quality captured. Determine which bucket quality mistakes fall into. The first bucket is comprised of mistakes that were internally “captured” by your team so the client was never aware of them. Captured quality errors aren’t as bad because the client never knew — maybe they suffered a delayed delivery, but that’s it. Your client is not injured by the stumble.

The second bucket consists of quality issues that “escaped” your operation and were discovered by the client. These escaped quality defects are horrific. Your client is exposed to your firm’s failure, which undermines the long term vendor relationship. But measuring these mistakes transparently will bring your team’s attention to these issues and you’ll see improvement from the spotlight effect: The team will understand they are important.

Focus on Process,  Not People

Every employee comes to work to do a good job. In most cases, the defect is the process, not the person you trust. Remember that, and fix it by adding process steps or new checks to the system. Don’t make it a game of “who screwed this up?” That will deflate the team. Everyone will cower in fear and point fingers without ever getting to the root cause.

Meet Weekly

Initially the meetings will be long and tedious. You need to discuss with all the players each quality issue that occurred, and get to the root cause. Over time–less time than you think–the meetings will get shorter, as processes are strengthened and systems get more robust. Confidence will build as people see the systems are catching errors and eliminating heartburn.

Create a Quality Chart

Sort the biggest quality issues by category and focus in on the big issues. Work them till they get to be small issues. Don’t focus as much time on the unusual quality issues; spend your time in the places with the most frequent problems.

Make It Public

Place your quality results in your lunchroom. Everyone should see this is a company emphasis and you want to improve in a transparent way. The daily, visible reminder will demonstrate your commitment to quality to the people who impact it every day: your team.

source: http://www.inc.com

Global management standards

The ISO 9001 family – Global management standards (International Organization for Standardization).

 This video from the International Organization for Standardization, explores the worldwide impact on business of the ISO 9000 family of international management standards.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq1Zi_V4KyE

Main Steps to Improve Manufacturing Quality

There is no better cost to eliminate than the cost of poor quality.

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Good managers seek to contain costs in the manufacturing environment. There is no better cost to eliminate than the cost of poor quality. Scrap material and lost labor hours add no value to the operation.

In order to best eliminate these wastes, a strategic approach to quality improvement is essential. By following these five steps, quality can be improved in a meaningful, sustainable way.

Use a team mindset

Quality won’t be sustainably improved by individuals. To really make lasting and meaningful change in manufacturing processes, it will take a team-based approach. By involving multiple disciplines in the search for improved quality, a variety of perspectives is obtained. Also of importance is knowledge of process history. Why is the process the way it is today? There must be a reason or cause, and that reason should be considered so as not to repeat a problem of days gone by. By considering history and group perspective, solid improvements can be obtained.

Define quality from the customer perspective

Too often, staff within a manufacturing environment want to make a product “better” but don’t really know what better means. With additional cost, we almost always can make a product better. But is additional cost desirable by the customer even if it means better product life? Someone in the organization should serve as the customer advocate. Typically this voice can come from the sales or marketing departments. Use the customers’ perspective to define what the best-in-class product would be and meet those requirements while minimizing cost.

Develop understanding of the Cost of Quality

The cost to fix a defect in the field once it reaches a customer is dramatically higher than the cost to fix the source of the problem before it is created. It is essential that the manufacturing staff be trained to understand the cost multipliers involved with warranty repair or replacement and cost of damaged reputation. Once the staff take this perspective, a desire to find root cause for problem solving is inherently developed.

Solve problems completely

All too often, manufacturing quality improvements fix the symptoms of failure rather than the root cause. This can be done by adding quality inspection steps or rework stations that make it more efficient to fix defects. Instead, a true understanding of root cause should be developed within the teams. When teams develop the ability (through Ishikawa, fault tree, or five-why analysis) to ascertain root cause of defects in the manufacturing process along with a “killer test” that verifies the ability to turn-on and turn-off the problem in the manufacturing process, true solutions to problems will be created that will not allow the return of the issue.

Employ strong process discipline

Throughout the quality improvement process, it is essential that strong process discipline is employed. Depending on the product that is being manufactured, deviation without proper team cooperation and anticipation of the change could have dire quality repercussions. While the organization should avoid cumbersome bureaucracy that inhibits innovation, it is essential that some structure be employed to maintain consistency and an understanding of the way the product is produced during that time period so that root cause can also be identified later if new problems arise as a consequence of the change.

By following these above steps, good management teams can develop great quality programs within their organizations.

source: http://www.industryweek.com

Principles of Total Quality Management,

TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT (TQM)
tqm

TQM can be defined as the management of initiatives and procedures that are aimed at achieving the delivery of quality products and services.

A number of key principles can be identified in defining TQM, including:

Executive Management – Top management should act as the main driver for TQM and create an environment that ensures its success.

Training – Employees should receive regular training on the methods and concepts of quality.

Customer Focus – Improvements in quality should improve customer satisfaction.

Decision Making – Quality decisions should be made based on measurements.

Methodology and Tools – Use of appropriate methodology and tools ensures that non-conformances are identified, measured and responded to consistently.

Continuous Improvement – Companies should continuously work towards improving manufacturing and quality procedures.

Company Culture – The culture of the company should aim at developing employees ability to work together to improve quality.

Employee Involvement – Employees should be encouraged to be pro-active in identifying and addressing quality related problems.

How to Select Quality Vendor

How to Select Quality Vendor

contact:  kris@themanagementsystems.comchoose-person

The vendor selection process can be a very complicated and emotional undertaking if you don’t know how to approach it from the very start. Here are five steps to help you select the right vendor for your business. This guide will show you how to analyze your business requirements, search for prospective vendors, lead the team in selecting the winning vendor and provide you with insight on contract negotiations and avoiding negotiation mistakes.

1. Analyze the Business Requirements

Before you begin to gather data or perform interviews, assemble a team of people who have a vested interest in this particular vendor selection process. The first task that the vendor selection team needs accomplish is to define, in writing, the product, material or service that you are searching for a vendor. Next define the technical and business requirements. Also, define the vendor requirements. Finally, publish your document to the areas relevant to this vendor selection process and seek their input. Have the team analyze the comments and create a final document. In summary:

-Assemble an Evaluation Team

-Define the Product, Material or Service

-Define the Technical and Business Requirements

-Define the Vendor Requirements

-Publish a Requirements Document for Approval

2. Vendor Search

Now that you have agreement on the business and vendor requirements, the team now must start to search for possible vendors that will be able to deliver the material, product or service. The larger the scope of the vendor selection process the more vendors you should put on the table. Of course, not all vendors will meet your minimum requirements and the team will have to decide which vendors you will seek more information from. Next write a Request for Information (RFI) and send it to the selected vendors. Finally, evaluate their responses and select a small number of vendors that will make the “Short List” and move on to the next round. In summary:

-Compile a List of Possible Vendors

-Select Vendors to Request More Information From

-Write a Request for Information (RFI)

-Evaluate Responses and Create a “Short List” of Vendors

3. Request for Proposal (RFP) and Request for Quotation (RFQ)

The business requirements are defined and you have a short list of vendors that you want to evaluate. It is now time to write a Request for Proposal or Request for Quotation. Which ever format you decide, your RFP or RFQ should contain the following sections:

-Submission Details

-Introduction and Executive Summary

-Business Overview & Background

-Detailed Specifications

-Assumptions & Constraints

-Terms and Conditions

-Selection Criteria

4. Proposal Evaluation and Vendor Selection

The main objective of this phase is to minimize human emotion and political positioning in order to arrive at a decision that is in the best interest of the company. Be thorough in your investigation, seek input from all stakeholders and use the following methodology to lead the team to a unified vendor selection decision:

Preliminary Review of All Vendor Proposals

Record Business Requirements and Vendor Requirements

Assign Importance Value for Each Requirement

Assign a Performance Value for Each Requirement

Calculate a Total Performance Score

Select a the Winning Vendor

5. Contract Negotiation Strategies

The final stage in the vendor selection process is developing a contract negotiation strategy. Remember, you want to “partner” with your vendor and not “take them to the cleaners.” Review your objectives for your contract negotiation and plan for the negotiations be covering the following items:

-List Rank Your Priorities Along With Alternatives

-Know the Difference Between What You Need and What You Want

-Know Your Bottom Line So You Know When to Walk Away

-Define Any Time Constraints and Benchmarks

-Assess Potential Liabilities and Risks

-Confidentiality, non-compete, dispute resolution, changes in requirements

-Do the Same for Your Vendor (i.e. Walk a Mile in Their Shoes)

6. Contract Negotiation Mistakes

The smallest mistake can kill an otherwise productive contract negotiation process. Avoid these ten contract negotiation mistakes and avoid jeopardizing an otherwise productive contract negotiation process.

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http://operationstech.about.com/od/vendorselection/a/VendorSelectionHub.htm

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