As the newly hired director of quality, the first step in identifying the quality issues within the plan t is to understand the basic root cause of the problem. The general manager, Morgenthal, has already mentioned lack of quality attitude in the plant and the on-going problems within the plant. These are some of the problems and root causes that are plaguing the quality department. Personnel
Newly hired employees/ employees who are being transferred to other production departments are not properly trained, on the job training is provided by the front-line supervisor during the run operation, any defects or rejects material was not disclosed to the operator during the shift and the operator of the filling equipment is not suitable for the job because of lack of knowledge and proper training.
Personnel had stated that the operator had just be transferred in without any formal training and the on-the-job training was by an unqualified person shows proper training is not viewed as a prerequisite to start a job which leads to unqualified people performing processes. The operator was not around when the Quality Control manager did the testing demonstrates inspections that are after the fact with out in-process controls or feedback loops. Plant Maintenance The equipment used for the Greasex was not originally designed for this type of lower viscosity; special filing heads were created in order to run the product on the machine.
The last six months the maintenance department has completed 12 work orders for repairs and adjustments to the machine, no preventive maintenance has been scheduled for this machine though it has been down 15% of its actual run time. This shows a lack of product tractability, lack of quality maintenance records of the equipment so improvements can be made. Purchasing The plastic nozzles were a rush order, the heads had burrs on the inside rim and they just increased the application pressure to make them fit. This shows that schedule and market share above quality and safety.
It also shows a poor attitude about quality and that quality is viewed as add on, is inspected in, and is impedance to doing their job. The purchasing agent was going to address this with the sales representative during his next visit. Their solution to deal with the suppler of the substandard parts was to talk with the sales person the next time they came in shows a lack of good purchasing processes. Product Design and Packaging The design of the can is special for the Greasex product the marketing research designed the can with a contoured shape setting it as distinguishable against the competitors.
The design was pressed into manufacturing without testing the effect of the contour, shows a lack of testing processes and that they put schedule over quality and safety. Kolb had a hunch what the problem might be but the designer did not feel that should be a problem, demonstrates that designs are made on hunches there is no decisions based on facts and data. Marketing drove the design and the cans were not designed for manufacturing also shows up as a poor attitude about quality and a lack of good design processes. The Manufacturing Manager
The manufacturing manager was under pressure for cost improvements and reduced delivery times. He thinks Simmons deserves a promotion to a shift supervisor because he is the best foremen on the floor, because he gets production out, but Kolb will need to evaluate the work before the promotion papers are signed. The marketing The introduction of Greasex was rushed to market even if the product was still a bit off-spec, because it was better to have it on the shelf than not there at all. “Who cares if the label is a little crooked or the stuff comes out with a little too much pressure we need market share now in that igh-tech segment”. Shows a poor quality attitude and the schedule is more important. The inspector had used only a sample of testing to find the eight rejected cases but had no way of tracking where they had gone shows a lack of in-process controls and a lack of product tractability. “Root cause” The ultimate problem in company is management. The management has failed to develop a quality culture within the company; the employees don’t care whether or not they are putting out a quality product as long as they are meeting their deadlines.
General and senior management lacks the policies and visible support of a quality philosophy such as following ISO 9000 Quality System. Even though they have recently appointed Hank Kolb to oversee their quality program, which is a move in the right direction, there is many other problems affiliated with quality control. The warning signs are evidence in a number of occurrences such as putting schedule and market share above quality and safety. It also shows up as a poor attitude about quality. Quality is viewed as a secondary added value, which is seen as obstacle and impediment to doing their job.
Proper training is not viewed as a prerequisite to start a job which leads to unqualified people performing processes. These symptoms also create an entire host of other problems. These problems, as stated in the case study, include: lack of purchasing, design, and testing processes, inspections that are after the fact with out in-process controls or feedback loops. It also leads to a lack of product tractability, quality maintenance records of the equipment so improvement or stabilization data is not available. Designs are made on hunches – there is no decisions based on facts and data.
Last, the fact that Hank was sent down to this plant without any real visible support and was viewed as just another director without any further directions shows a lack of senior management support for a quality philosophy. In short, the root cause of the problem is the management. Recommendations 1. The Company needs to define clearly quality mission and objectives of the company and implement a quality culture initiative and increase productivity. 2. Establish immediate training in quality practices and communicate to their employees their quality philosophy creating new ttitude and the quality challenge. 3. Hank should engage senior management to provide visible support for a quality philosophy that will change the attitudes across the company. 4. Address safety issue of high pressure cans. Start an awareness campaign that will allow people to understand the cost of poor quality and the value of good quality processes as part of this management support. 5. The defective plastic nozzle heads for the Greasex can need to be resolved and better ordering and purchasing procedures established.
There needs to be a sense of urgency from the purchasing agents to fix the problem rather than just waiting until the next time the supplier came in. 6. The operator of the filling machine needs to have a formal training on the machine so he is doing the job right every time. The fact he was nowhere to be found when Mac was testing the high pressure cans should be addressed also. 7. Kolb needs to establish a preventive maintenance schedule for the equipment to prevent future run offs. 8. And finally put on hold the promotion of Simmons.