Whatever your Quality objectives, sooner or later someone is going to ask for benchmarks on Quality performance. We offer a DMAIC-based approach to delivering these milestones and benchmarks. Central to this method is the implementation of a cost-saving real-time SPC system.
Whether your customers require regular Quality updates or your company is embarking on an internal initiative to reduce process variation and improve Quality, sooner or later someone is going to ask for benchmarks on Quality performance.
Similarly, if you are tasked with justifying an investment in Quality improvement, you will need to establish milestones and metrics to build a successful business case and to track that objectives have been met.
We offer an approach to delivering these milestones and benchmarks in 5 distinct project stages. The outline employs the popular DMAIC model borrowed from the Six Sigma methodology for continuous improvement.
This approach is focused on the implementation of a real-time SPC system that is capable of automating data collection activities, delivering real-time SPC charts and alarms, and providing ongoing data analysis.
If you are just starting out, begin with a pilot to confirm system performance before undertaking a full rollout. Follow the 80/20 rule and focus on the top 20% of high value products first and target the critical characteristics of just those products. These characteristics should be defined and configured, with data collection fully operational, within 1 week. As the system proves out, the remaining 80% can be defined, configured and data collection commenced within the ensuing 30 days.
For data collection to be accurate and consistent, operator acceptance is critical. All operators should be fully trained within the first month of the implementation. Reports should be produced and reviewed on a weekly basis to confirm that 90% or more of all inspections are being performed as planned.
Within 60 days the system should have enough data to start tapping into trends and recent performance issues. Run inquiries across parts and process to identify the low hanging fruit of improvement opportunities revealed by below average statistical values (e.g., Cpk < 1.0) or recurring Assignable Causes on a Pareto Chart. Use these discoveries to guide initial improvement efforts.
A reasonable objective may be to launch 1 to 3 significant improvement projects that correct Quality issues within the first 3 to 6 months of implementing a real-time SPC system. The average ROI for these projects is within 4 months.
Establish a benchmark performance level in Capability Stats or Cost Metrics, such as a minimum Cpk of 1.3 or a running Cost of Variability level that is trending downward quarter to quarter. Translate these metrics into dollars: provide a report to management within the first year detailing the dollars saved through the Quality improvement efforts of your team.
Click here for a template Benchmarks worksheet that can be tailored to your project:
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.