There is little tolerance these days for anything less than optimal. Customers of service-based manufacturers expect perfect quality delivered on their timetables and without budget overruns.
Failing to address quality standards in manufacturing can cost you business and customers. It leads to more scrap, more rework, and more waste. All of this cuts right into your profits.
The Key to Delivering Quality
When it comes to quality standards in manufacturing, many manufacturers equate quality with two things: meeting job specs and compliance. However, quality must go beyond just compliance and meeting specs. Doing these two things may get products out the door, but they won’t deliver consistent quality that’s cost-efficient.
It is possible to deliver quality and control costs: it starts with a commitment to quality assurance.
What Is Quality Assurance in Manufacturing?
There’s a big difference between quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA), although many people use the terms interchangeably.
Quality control aims to identify and correct any defects in the finished product. It’s a reactive measure to maintain quality in production. It takes steps to find and eliminate the source of problems to deliver quality products.
Quality assurance aims to prevent defectives from happening in the first place. It’s a proactive measure to improve processes and throughput before problems arise.
While both strategies are necessary, only QA will lead to consistent quality standards in manufacturing across an entire facility.
A QA program will:
- Reduce mistakes, rework, scrap, and waste
- Adhere to exacting standards
- Create complete documentation for process control and auditing
- Provide end-to-end real-time tracking
- Manage maintenance and machine calibration
- Make sure properly-trained operators are assigned
- Allow for continuous improvement
How Do You Guarantee Quality Standards in Manufacturing?
The days of doing things without a robust software system to manage the entire process are over. Throw away the spreadsheets and paperwork. In fact, stop doing anything that requires paper—as soon as something is printed, it’s out of date. It’s way too easy to miss changes to work orders or updates to specifications. If a production run happens without someone using the most up-to-date information, it quickly gets incredibly expensive.
The only way to ensure quality for manufacturers is by using an MES/QMS system such as Bluestreak to drive the end-to-end process. Bluestreak’s Integrated Quality Management System (QMS) provides a paperless workflow to guarantee that everyone’s working off the most up-to-date work orders and specs:
- Complete job routing and tracking.
- Capture all production data.
- Track work orders and change them in real time.
- Rapidly detect nonconformance.
- Complete audit trail.
- Detect risk.
Bluestreak also provides advanced specifications management to conform to specification requirements every time, while automatically creating and maintaining a fully documented audit trail. This eliminates independent silos of information by connecting, storing, and controlling everything relating to a project in one easy-to-manage tool.
Managing the Production Pathway
One of the most crucial aspects of guaranteeing quality standards in manufacturing is by managing the production pathway. Most importantly, it’s the key to efficient operations that lead to quality.
Tracking and moving your orders and parts through every stage of the process, from contract review to shipment, allows for greater shop floor productivity. Managing the production pathway means access to complete, detailed real-time and historical data associated with every work center. It lets everyone involved have access to every piece of critical information, such as processing data, part pictures, draws, purchase orders, change orders, and anything else you can think of.
Bluestreak is fully extensible and lets you bring in additional resources, expand for future growth, and evolve to integrate with other systems. Unlike ERP or other QMS systems, Bluestreak’s MES/QMS integrated system was built for manufacturers.
“Manufacturing companies now face a stark choice: harness the power of data to redefine their offerings and transform the speed, efficiency, and flexibility of their operations, or lose out to competitors that do.” —McKinsey & Company
Managing the Customer
Quality in manufacturing isn’t just about the products being manufactured. It’s also about the way that customers are handled. They equate positive customer experience with quality, and it goes well beyond perfect parts delivered on time and at budget.
Approximately 96% of customers say that the experience they have in dealing with a company is important in their choice of whom they choose to do business with. It leads to higher customer retention rates, one of the keys to greater profitability
You need the right software tools, including Bluestreak CRM, to manage the customer relationship.
Managing all your processes efficiently and effectively are vital ingredients in a recipe for success. The only way to guarantee quality standards in manufacturing is by deploying a robust QA program. That’s where Bluestreak excels.
Bluestreak’s MES + QMS solution helps service-based manufacturers drive quality straight down to the production floor to minimize scrap and rework and, therefore, protect their profit margins.
If you’re ready to leave manual, time-consuming service-based manufacturing tasks in the past, drastically reduce your scrap and rework percentage, gain visibility of your production floor processes, and build better relationships with your customers, contact us for a free consultation today!