Quality at the source - Quality Management
Quality at the source is a lean manufacturing principle which defines that quality output is not only measured at the end of the production line but at every step of the productive process and being the responsibility of each individual who contributes to the production or on time delivery of a product or service.
In a practical sense it would involve each operator checking his or her own work before the part/component or product is sent to the next step in the process. This practice when first implemented within the workforce will be a challenging change to company culture but will highlight the relevance of the product's or service's conformance to customer requirements and standards, thus also imparting the importance of quality standards and customer satisfaction within the workforce.
Implementing Quality at the source
In order to make the cultural shift within an operation's workforce to embrace quality at the source the following items should be considered:
-Employee understanding of who the customer is and their requirements
-Internal quality audits
-Employee and team awareness of quality standards and benchmarks
-Employee understanding of the customer's intended use of the product or service
-Multi-skilled workforce which can provide support and help in different process steps
-Required tools and technology to identify quality flaws and rectify them in an efficient manner
-Proper data collection and tracking of quality faults
-Open communication of standards, performance and processes
The advantages of quality at the source are many, including: better informed employees, cultural awareness of the importance of quality to the customer, reduction in rework expenses, reduction in production production waste, improvement in plant and process OEE , and most importantly he empowerment of employees in achieving the desired quality standard required by customers.
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