evaluating your quality program

Evaluating Your Quality Program

evaluating your quality programImagine this, you have a highly unpredictable and/or unstable process that causes you to lose tremendous amounts of money due to production errors and untold hours lost trying to assign a cause to the issues. On the other hand, maybe you’ve been at the quality game for a while and seemingly have a good system with an SPC software solution in place but you’re unsure if the technology is “current”.

It’s time to consider evaluating your quality program.

A good place to start evaluating is to assess your current or ideal quality program. Be aware of the tools and systems that are in place and support your quality program currently. For some, the answer can even be, “we don’t have any system or tools!”. This is fine.

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KPI Dashboard
KPI Dashboard

Dashboard: Synergy 1000 Cloud has the most advanced KPI Dashboard on the SPC market.

A performance indicator or key performance indicator (KPI) is a type of performance measurement. KPIs measure the success of an organization or a particular activity in which it engages.  Klipfolio.com points out that “high-level KPIs may focus on the overall performance of the enterprise, while low-level KPIs may focus on processes in departments such as sales, marketing or a call center.”

Perhaps you use them or perhaps they are new to you. But what should you know about effective KPIs and KPI dashboards?  And what should SPC software offer with respect to this?

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Robustness
Robustness

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Along with our users, we tout the benefits of SPC software.  We wrote the book on the core concepts of variation and how to observe it in real-time.  The idea of anticipating variation in products and processes, known as robustness, exists as an additional path to minimizing variation.  But that got us to thinking.  How have we as a software company – that helps others measure and act on variation  – developed a robust software ourselves? Read more

It’s really not nice to always blame the humans. We deserve some of the credit, both good and bad, but not all. Have you heard of the source of variance being referred to as common cause vs. special cause?

Assign causes of variation in order to track error and be proactive.

When he developed the control charts, Dr. Shewhart recognized that certain variations were a part of every process and he accounted for them in his predictions of future events. He called these sources of variation random or chance causes and found there was no one event that caused them. Now called common causes, these variations are measured and documented in control charts.

It’s important to know the nuance of common causes vs. special causes of variance. Not all variation is built into the system. Some variations have identifiable causes such as human error, bad raw materials, or equipment failure. Known as assignable or special causes, these are the sources of variation that control charts are designed to signal.Assignable causes interfere with the process so it produces an irregular output. Control charts reflect this disturbance, allowing the problem to be tracked down. 

Zontec’s Synergy Suite of SPC software helps you identify variance. How? Schedule a Demo here.

This content is adapted from Zontec’s The Book of Statistical Process Control.

Determining Loss

Determining Loss

Determining Loss

Credit: flickr: Images Money

When we think of quality as meeting a target value, we need a way to calculate the loss incurred when we don’t hit the target. If you use tolerances, loss is easy to determine. If we know the cost of labor and materials used to fix or replace bad items, we can estimate our loss due to poor quality. Read more

Wait, what? It seems something strange for an SPC software provider to assert.  While it still has it’s place and seems to still be the preferred (and necessary) approach for many companies, having software installed in-house on dozens, if not, hundreds of workstations is gradually becoming passé.  Instead the need for conventional “software” as we have know it is being replaced by cloud based applications.  We all need to be prepared.

Cloud SPC is Here

Cloud based applications have altered both our business and personal lives.  They’ve changed how we pay bills, generate sales, track accounting, file taxes, manage inventory, and many other tasks.  With the recent launch of a Synergy “true cloud SPC” solution the decision process for adopting SPC has changed. These are 4 questions you should ask as you choose installed software vs. cloud SPC. Read more

It’s important to know exactly who is providing your SPC software and what their experience is.

When considering the importance of compliant SPC software and adhering to SPC methodology and rules we thought we’d provide something actionable if you have been considering implementing or improving SPC.  To that point, it’s clear that you have to feel that your SPC software is supported by an expert, seasoned, and credible team. Read more

Liquid Pipes

Good SPC Implementation is Essential to Six Sigma

Compliant SPC Software

Credit: flickr: Particularly Everything

It’s hard to overstate the importance of compliant SPC software and adhering to SPC methodology and rules. Knowing the importance of methodology and rules adherence to the bottom line of your business and the potentially ruinous consequences of non-compliance, how do you vet potential solutions? Read more

Choosing an SPC software solution that violates SPC methodology and rules WILL negatively impact your efforts to improve processes and products.  

Each and every important decision we are faced with needs to be based on a true and accurate representation of the facts. If decisions are based on questionable interpretation, the consequences can be significant. Choosing an SPC software solution, as a partner in your business, should be no different. The consequences of non-compliant statistical process control, SPC, software has to be considered. Don’t fall victim to a solution that contains outdated technology or has been over promised. Your decision should be based on choosing a current solution that is rooted in strong SPC fundamentals, methodologies and applies SPC rules correctly. Read more

Adhering to SPC Methodology and Rules

One could argue that non-compliance with methodology and rules should be a deal-breaker for choosing and SPC software.

Many (most?) businesses today are running lean. Individuals are now doing jobs that required multiple personnel in the past, including those in Quality. Each day is spent putting out fires, dealing with suppliers, customers, auditors, upper management, and now you’re tasked with finding the ideal Statistical Process Control (SPC) software that is right for your business. Understanding the fundamental rules and methodology of SPC, items to look for, warning signs to be aware of, and the importance in choosing the right SPC software solution is key. If the wrong decision is made, the consequences may negatively affect your business and those you do business with for years to come. Read more