to Reduce Errors and Rework –Part I
by Tom McBride, Partners for
Creative Solutions, Inc.
Customer demand for quality has continued to increase over the last several years. Pressure from emerging countries and knowledge provided by quality gurus like Deming, Juran, and Crosby have all contributed to this quality revolution. However, a large number of organizations still have not mastered the ability to eliminate errors without increasing costs, and often the problem lies not in how hard they try but in how they go about it. Companies that still consider quality to be an additive function instead of integrating the attainment of quality into their processes will continue to fall behind.
While totally eliminating errors on a sustained basis is difficult, taking measures to ensure top quality at each discrete step (or source) will reduce errors and their cost and impact on your business. Methods of achieving source quality fall into two broad categories, early detection and prevention. This article focuses on early detection, and we will continue with preventive measures in our next issue.
Early detection – It is clear that an error detected early in a multi-step process will cause less disruption, cost, and impact on schedule than one found several steps down stream. We must continue to reduce our reliance on final inspection. While it may keep errors from reaching customers, it does little to prevent them or to reduce the cost of producing good quality.
Here are some practical ways to detect errors early.
Applying these straightforward techniques to capture “low hanging fruit” will set the stage for more sophisticated prevention techniques. You should be able to reduce quality costs quite rapidly and reduce the need to rely on final inspection.