In this podcast, Walker Fenton, SVP of Product for TrackVia, discusses best practices in quality control for manufacturers. Learn about the next-generation tools and technology being used by best-in-class manufacturers for quality control and process management. Reduce cost of quality, improve operational efficiency, cut scrap and ensure compliance with ISO 9001 and other standards. Click the play button below to listen…
Best Practices in Quality Control for Manufacturers
Eric Dye: This is Eric Dye and today we are speaking with Walker Fenton, SVP of Product at TrackVia. TrackVia provides a mobile quality control and process management solution. Walker will be discussing best practices in quality control for manufacturers. Walker, welcome!
Walker Fenton: Thanks for having me.
Eric Dye: You’re more than welcome. So, Walker, what are the biggest challenges facing quality control managers in manufacturing?
Walker Fenton: Well, let’s consider our audience for this one. If you talk to the C-suite you’ll hear things about reducing cost of quality, or improving operational efficiency, maybe reducing the cost of compliance, managing big data.
But if you talk to people on the floor, you’ll hear a very different story.
They will say their challenges are not reducing the cost of quality, but actually determining cost of quality. You see, manual processes for collecting the data are cumbersome and error prone. Another issue for people on the manufacturing floor is staying compliant with ISO and other standards. And I’d say the third is reducing waste and scrap, and the errors that cause waste and scrap.
Eric Dye: What steps in the process are being done manually or in silos that are creating these challenges?
Walker Fenton: Too many! So many times we come across companies that are collecting data on paper, which is fraught with error, or creating reports in Excel that are out of date as soon as they are printed.
So it exposes a couple of underlying issues. First, that errors are rampant. Whether or not the right kind of information is captured, or transferred to Excel wrong because someone can’t read handwriting— errors are the scourge of data collectors.
Second, these Excel reports are stale as soon as they are printed.
Finally, both of these challenges really lead to a fundamental lack of visibility into the data that drives their business or their department.
Eric Dye: So how can an online quality management software solution improve the quality management process?
Walker Fenton: What a quality management system brings to the table is really greater than the sum of the parts. And I say that not because it reduces errors in data input or that the reports are real time. But by creating a centralized repository of real-time information, quality managers are able to gain unprecedented visibility into their systems and processes—and actually do analysis that they weren’t able to do in the past.
Here’s an example: We recently implemented a quality workflow system in a large automotive manufacturer, and within weeks they reduced their overall scrap by 18%. And when you tally up what that means in terms of their volumes, it’s tens of millions of dollars in savings per year.
Eric Dye: How do these improvements to the quality management process result in greater efficiencies?
Walker Fenton: Great question. In the case of the automotive manufacturer that I just referenced, we gave them a really simple mobile app that they could use to enter data on the floor, on site. The data they gathered then rolled up into real-time reports which allowed them to send alerts when measurements were outside of acceptable tolerances. And because they had this visibility, they were able to address problems as soon as they arose in the production line, thereby cutting down costly scrap.
Eric Dye: Lastly, why are executive teams especially happy about implementing next-generation quality management software, like TrackVia?
Walker Fenton: I’d say the biggest benefit for executives is that online quality management systems like TrackVia answer many of the issues we talked about in the very beginning. The reporting, the analysis that the system enables gives executives the visibility they need to run their businesses. And whether their goals are reducing the cost of quality, or improving operational efficiency, or reducing the cost of compliance, all of these goals are achievable through a mobile quality management system.
Eric Dye: Well, Walker, we do thank you for being with us today, and we thank you for this valuable information on best practices in quality control for manufacturers.
Walker Fenton: Thank you, Eric.
Eric Dye: And that was Walker Fenton, SVP of Product at TrackVia, that provides a mobile quality control and process management solution. Thanks for tuning in.
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