6 Keys to Kick-starting Your SPC Program – An Introduction

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Starting an SPC program is not easy.  There is no magic formula, no blueprint, no machine that makes it happen.  Starting a program means changing the way A picture of a company man working with a supplier.you do business, changing the way you think about business.  It takes a commitment from everyone in the company, top down, to make it work. It takes education and teamwork.  A successful program throws aside the “us vs. them” attitude between management and workers, in favor of working as a team for the good of all.  These changes will not happen overnight.  While there is no blueprint for starting your program, successful SPC programs share the same basic parts. 

1.) Educate your team.  

First and foremost is education.  Simply put, To make your program a success, your company must be educated about SPC concepts.

2.) Understand transition is an investment.

Don’t expect everyone to jump on the SPC bandwagon at once.  Some people are intimidated by statistics.  The mere process of learning and discovery is one that requires and investment of time and patience.  Prepare your team for this.

3.) Understand the role for production workers.  

Production workers are vital to the success of the program, because they have the best view of the process. Only production workers know firsthand the current practices and problems on the floor.

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4.) Understand the role for management.

As mentioned earlier, management must have faith in SPC methods. Managers must respond to chart data and encourage production workers to do the same.

5.) Start slowly with your SPC program!

Most companies with successful programs didn’t try to convert all their processes at once, they selected one target area. Prioritize for maximum impact by asking yourself what problems are the most costly and what problems seems to have a high probability of success solutions?

6.) The Next Steps. (Refine and then scale.)

Continue the cycle of gathering data, plotting it, studying it, and reacting to it. When you are comfortable with the system of process control, expand to include related characteristics.

Any great SPC program makes use of the right technology tools and a strict focus on correct methodology.  Over the next several weeks we will explore further these individual points in our six part series on kick-starting your SPC program.