How to Improve Quality and Save Money in Manufacturing

51579841 - puzzle with quality controlMistakes, defects, and damage to product: these are a part of every manufacturing operation. Unfortunately, these things can be a very costly part of an operation. Poor quality is an expense that can be remedied. Consider these four impactful ways to deliver improvement.

  1. Define quality as your customer perceives it. If your aim is to make your product “better,” you have to understand what that means to your customer. If your product improvements increase the cost of your product, your customer has to feel like the change is worth the money. Your sales, marketing, and support teams hear your customers’ opinions on the quality of your products. Have them help you identify what your customers truly value.
  1. Establish the cost of quality with your entire staff. You’re working with a variety of perspectives and priorities when it comes to your employees. Not everyone considers how the cost of replacement, warranty, repairs, or reputation compares to what it costs to do it right the first time. Demonstrate quality implications throughout the entire process so everyone has a clear picture of cause and effect.
  1. Leverage a team mindset. Long-lasting improvement can only come from a team effort. Not only does a group mentality drive change, but also ideas are strongest when born from varying perspectives and expertise. Give your employees the power to voice their thoughts and work together to solve problems.
  1. Solve the complete problem. Most issues reflect a problem within the process itself. Evaluate the root cause of your concerns, not just the symptoms. Additionally, look at the entire process from start to finish. You don’t want to minimize the likelihood of a product defect just to have it damaged during shipping. Remember, that final step not only requires the right packaging, but also the right insurance and ancillary information to get a claim approved. (We have a couple articles on shipping and insurance here and here.)

Eliminating the cost of poor quality is team effort that should involve your entire organization. Numerous lean strategies can help you identify opportunities to improve, like Value Stream Mapping and 5S. If you need packaging solutions that protect your product and your bottom line, contact Packnet. Our experts handle standard and custom requests, particularly for fragile, large, and heavy cargo: 952-944-9124; CustomPackagingSolutions@packnetltd.com.