Quality is kind of a big deal around here.
The Story of Bill the Quality Manager
Bill: I never attend cocktail parties because I have always dreaded the questions people ask in polite conversation. The number one being, “So, what do you do for a living?”
As a Quality Manager of a very large company, my rehearsed and well-polished response used to be “I’m responsible for the quality improvement programs that reduce scrap, eliminate waste and increase profits at XYZ Company.” (*crickets*)…
After a while, I got tired of seeing glazed eyes and quizzical faces. So I began answering: “Well, I’m a drug dealer actually. And I must say that I’m pretty successful at it. Can I get you something?”
It would get even funnier when they would reply that they don’t do drugs and my answer would be “No, I was talking about drinks…Can I get you a drink?”
Eventually I’d share that I was a Quality Manager and they’d ask me the 2nd most dreaded question,
So what does a Quality Manager do?”
Well, let me put it to you in a meme.
Wrestling with special cause variation 40 hours a week? That’s just the beginning. Here is a day in my life as a Quality Manager.
A typical day in a Quality Manager’s life begins early…
7AM: A large customer requests a call.
An important customer requests a 7am conference call to review recent defects they have found.
7:35AM: The customer is running late.
Says they will call me back later to discuss their very important issues.
8AM: The first management meeting of the day always begins with a pep talk.
9AM: I try to get some work done by responding to e-mails and making phone calls.
Photo from: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Dir. Mel Stuart. Perf. Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, and more. Wolper Pictures, Ltd., 1971. http://www.davidlwolper.com/
10AM: I have to remind Production that Quality is important.
We do not “Ship the product, no matter what!”
10:30AM: I send a quick text message to my significant other, letting them know that “I love them.”
11AM: SPC training class for the employees.
Lunchtime is usually spent at my desk, preparing reports for the next management meeting.
12:30PM: Meeting with a Quality Engineer.
After days of researching a problem they uncovered, I find that the underlying data is garbage and their conclusions are wrong!
1PM: Financial Managers Meeting.
Everyone wants to know how much money Quality saves/costs the company. We have this meeting once a week. When I pointed out how much time and money this meeting costs and how much we would save if we cancelled the meeting, they didn’t seem very enthusiastic.
2PM: Quality crisis on the plant floor needs my immediate attention.
After an initial investigation into the problem, the “evidence” mysteriously disappears. Yum! 🙂
3PM: Upper Management meeting.
Owners of the company don’t believe in Quality. It’s my job to convince them that Quality is important.
3:15PM: Recruit money for Quality initiatives.
Ask for more money to automate our SPC programs and bring the paper-based, “Quality Control Lab” into the modern era of manufacturing.
4PM: Preparing reports for the 5pm Quality meeting that nobody will read.
5PM: Report on the “State of the Company”.
6PM: I am determined to make things better!
7PM: Ready to go home.
I get a phone call from my customer who missed the 7am conference call informing me that they will be visiting our Plant, tomorrow!
About DataNet Quality Systems
DataNet Quality Systems empowers manufacturers to improve products, processes, and profitability through real-time statistical software solutions. The company’s vision is to deliver trusted and capable technology solutions that allow manufacturers to create the highest quality product for the lowest possible cost. DataNet’s flagship product, WinSPC, provides statistical decision-making at the point of production and delivers real-time, actionable information to where it is needed most. With over 2500 customers worldwide and distributors across the globe, DataNet is dedicated to delivering a high level of customer service and support, shop-floor expertise, and training in the areas of Continuous Improvement, Six Sigma, and Lean Manufacturing services.