July 28, 2020
Focus on Quality: Your biggest opportunity for operational improvements and cost reduction
Read to see how a focus on quality by strategically improving operational efficiency can ultimately help increase overall profits in uncertain times.
A Quality First approach will have considerable payoffs in the long run. Here’s our take on how with a focus on quality, you can turn quality inspection into a value generator thanks to quality intelligence, performance, connectivity and data analytics.
While cost reduction is one of your priorities, it is important to reflect on what strategic reduction you can put in place by reflecting on past initiatives and their feedback. What can you do differently this time that will reduce cost, and at the same time, lead to future growth and success?
Firstly, if you are running at limited production capacity, it is probably the best time to work on operational efficiency. Allow your organization to determine potential savings through process improvements.
Secondly, it is important to remember that lean manufacturing focuses on waste cutting and maximizing productivity. Hence, the ultimate goal is to deliver optimal value to your customers. Some important elements underlying successful lean manufacturing initiatives are:
- Think long-term for your business
- Continuous improvement
- Quality first
- Trust and participation of employees
Cost reduction must always help deliver a better product, otherwise it will be detrimental to the overall performance of the company in the long run. The best operational improvements are the one reducing cost while better fulfilling the customer’s expectations. So, a good place to start is to do a careful review of your product requirements and associated quality specifications to find areas of improvement. This effort should be cross-functional within your organization as well as include the customers and the suppliers.
Following this, manufacturers should seek to prevent problems from occurring rather than correcting them later. Reactive cost reduction is an exponential cost that ads up in the long run and creates unhappy customers, costing loyalty. As a result, whenever the cost of quality improvements work, it is like getting unexpected compound interest on an earlier investment.
Improving quality to reduce cost
Quality is a strategic priority for all manufacturers aiming to lead their industry. The cost of quality is therefore an important and relevant cost. Now, the goal is to relocate the money spent on quality initiatives to deliver more value. Turn inspection into a value generator thanks to quality intelligence, performance, connectivity and data.
- You are in control of your quality output, there is less variability in the control. The power of quality intelligence is that it is a learning system that continuously improves.
- Visibility in the process, even for remote teams. Integration to the rest of the factory ecosystem (PLC, MES). Quality control is better integrated in the production flow and can interact with it.
- Data: How much time is your team spending on collecting data and reporting? Your quality reporting should be completely automated, the statistics becoming the basis of improvements. Inspection reports are generated to improve traceability. Less time collecting, more time on root causes analysis and solving issues.
Focus on quality philosophy
Measurement, Analysis and Control are key elements of the six sigma management philosophy. By deploying a solution that combines control automation and reporting you are saving labor time and limiting errors. You will be able to improve your team work by limiting the hassle of data collection.
Efficiently deploying advanced automation and analytics will require cross-functional team work, especially from the quality and production teams. They have to realize that savings will occur for both business units if the project is run successfully. Having a new common tool for quality control will help each team have a common understanding of critical issues to deal with. This tool and its subsequent analytics can help different teams to collaborate and find solutions that will be based on synergies across the organization.
You should get the support of your customers on such an initiative as it will also help them. Furthermore, quality of delivered goods is improved and quality audits are simplified.
“The crucial priority isn’t the costs you take out, but where you focus resources to stimulate growth and differentiation – strategic cost reduction. And while technology opens up opportunities to improve operational capabilities and strengthen return on investment, the real keys to successful strategic cost reduction are the ambition and underlying culture of innovation within the organization.” (PwC)
Higher product quality leads to higher output and efficiencies. A greater customer satisfaction will help build sustainable business growth in the long run. True digital transformation will require work and talent from your entire organization as well as partners bringing a deep technical expertise and experience.
If you are looking to bring efficiency to your quality and production teams, Scortex will be glad to partner with you to define a clear roadmap for quality intelligence. Leverage the time you have now to implement the solution that will bring you long term efficiency and competitive advantage.
Let’s discuss how we can help you improve your quality assurance. Schedule your custom consultation and see our Solution at your factory floor with our Performance Pack. Contact us at [email protected] or https://scortex.io/#contact
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Cost cutting in manufacturing