Tag: manufacturing

Top Enterprise Quality Drivers Identified

Over 1800 senior executives and quality professionals were interviewed as part of a recent global Forbes Insights report. “The focus relates to the links between quality efforts and corporate performance, as well as the evolving business value of quality.”

Of those surveyed, 58% of senior executives and 43% of quality professionals identified quality issues with suppliers as a “Most Vexing Yet-to-Be-Resolved or Ongoing Quality Issue.” 57% of senior executives and only 25% of quality professionals also identified delays from suppliers in product or service delays as an ongoing issue.

At Pro QC, we believe that most of the common issues identified with suppliers can be addressed through the process of careful selection and continuous improvement. Utilizing local, on-site expertise when sourcing abroad adds value and reduces the associated costs.

Additional highlights from the Forbes Insights report include:

  • 37% of established organizations formally and extensively measure the impact of quality, in comparison to 10% for struggling organizations.
  • Customer demand for quality saw the highest total (67%) within the Top 10 Enterprise Quality Drivers. Other top rated drivers include brand reputation reliability, customer value, profitability, brand value, and competitive differentiation.
  • Within the Top 10 Business Areas Touched by Quality Initiatives, “production” was identified by 56% of established organizations in comparison to only 39% of struggling organizations. 48% of established organizations identified “supplier management,” in comparison to 27% of those identified as struggling.
  • Close to half of senior executives and quality professionals in this survey report that their quality efforts have increased profitability. A total of 47% attribute profitability growth to their continuous improvement efforts. One in five credit significant growth, exceeding 5% in the most recent year.
  • The estimated annual cost of yet-to-be resolved or ongoing quality-related issues is 1-5% of revenue for 30% of the total surveyed. For 20%, it’s more than 10% of revenue.

How does your organization fare? Check out the Forbes Insight report here.

Pet Industry Trends: Quality Considerations

A love for our furry friends is shared among Pro QC teams across the globe. In fact, international trends are consistent.” World pet markets are growing at a dramatic rate, with a number of countries witnessing higher than ever pet ownership and spending.”

Euromonitor reports that the world pet market arena in India is expected to grow at a 10-15% annual rate in the coming years and is projected to eventually become a leading supplier of pet products around the world. Brazil has one of the largest pet populations in the world, with a sales increase of 12-17% each year. Within the U.S., the American Pet Products Association (APPA) offers a look at the pet industry expenditures from 1994 to 2016. The growth of the spending on the pet industry has been referred to as quite staggering. In fact, even in years in which the economy dipped into recession, Americans made their pets a priority and spending steadily increased. In 1994, the APPA says Americans spent $17 billion on their pets. By 2016, spending nearly quadrupled to an estimated $62.75 billion. By 2020, the pet industry could hit $96 billion in sales.

Trends predicted in the pet industry include an increase in “pet tech” items and more product choices. One of the biggest trends at Global Pet Expo was an increased amount of choice, with many products refreshed with new colors, styles and designs. “From food products to apparel to toys to gear, there’s something for every individual person and pet.”

As the industry grows, safety and quality requirements become an increasing consideration. Quality solutions offered to the industry include:

Supplier Evaluations: Visit the factory prior to working with them to determine if they will meet your requirements/expectations.

An example Initial Supplier Evaluation can be found here as an example. Learn more about the supplier audit process here

QC Inspections: Inspect the product prior to production, in-process, or pre-shipment. Ensure product meets expectations. From animal furniture, toys, beds/bedding, kennels, apparel and more, experienced QC professionals can visit suppliers on-site to identify shipment issues early . Inspections generally include a check for workmanship/cosmetic defects, functionality, packaging, labeling, etc.

Learn more about QC inspections here. 

Product Testing: Check products for materials content, or to ensure other safety features like resistance to corrosion. Weather testing and lifecycle testing also assist in the product design process.  Evaluate per various national and international standards and regulations.

Continuous Improvement: Recurring issues are identified and often evaluated through root causes analysis. Improvement plans can address issues and work to resolve ongoing.

Resources cited:

Trends for 2017 in the Pet Industry

The World’s Pet Markets Trend

What is Responsible Sourcing & How Do You Manage It Effectively?

Our latest video discusses a topic increasing in relevancy. Responsible Sourcing is also a topic we’ll be discussing next week at ASQ’s annual World Conference on Quality & Improvement.  Visit us in Booth 607, or attend one or both of our sessions on Monday, May 1st.

3pm – 4pm

M26: Managing Supplier Social Responsibility: On-Site Audits

5:30pm – 6:45pm

AF04: Incorporating SR Into Daily Life

Too much quality?

Wichita’s NPR station recently focused an OnWords piece related to quality.

Consider the following:

“You can usually tell that an organization has stopped caring about quality when it becomes the only thing they talk about.”

As quality professionals, we revel in the fact that organizations might be talking too much about quality. In that scenario, we have won and finally impressed the message that quality is indeed everyone’s responsibility.

And, is there really such a thing as too much data? Of course we know there is, but most quality engineers are going to revert to Deming:

“In god we trust, all others bring data.” 

The last comment in this piece is compelling though:

“So if it seems like a quality improvement plan has pulled all the passion out of your product, perhaps you should go back and ask what quality means for the product you sell.”

This is noted as consistent with the Plan > Do > Check < Act (PDCA) cycle and sums up the nature of continuous improvement nicely.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.” ~Benjamin Franklin

 

Resolving issues w/ QC in the textile/garment industry

The International Journal of Information, Business and Management recently reported on the garment industry and the impact on quality in the current environment.

Garment factories in Bangladesh have been the site of rights abuses and fatal accidents. The industry also faces its share of traditional business challenges, including mounting international competition and a lack of formal quality management systems, researcher Hasanuzzaman writes. Common challenges to adopting quality management systems – such as Six Sigma – include a lack of financial resources, infrastructure, and education, according to the author’s interviews with factory managers. Those who had implemented quality management, however, reported better customer and employee satisfaction, better waste management, and faster delivery.

CGMA Magazine highlights the ongoing issues noted in the textile/garment supply chain despite attempts to implement corrective actions via quality management:

The industry is also struggling to confront unsafe conditions in its supply chain. In 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, which housed factories making garments for global brands, collapsed. More than 1,100 people were killed, and thousands more were injured. Since then, driven partly by media and consumer pressure, the industry has attempted to prevent and remedy the dangers to its workforce. The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh was drawn up with much fanfare and signed by more than 200 clothing brands. Factories were inspected, and corrective action plans were put in place. However, 1,401 of the 1,646 factories covered by the accord are behind schedule on these tasks, according to the Accord’s quarterly report dated July 2016.

As an industry faced with these issues, ensuring product quality control and a stable quality management system can be especially challenging.

Recommendations to improve quality in both the short and long-term include:

Focus on supplier selection

  • Consider various regions and their reputation for quality and overall sustainability/social responsbility .
  • Verify potential supplier’s capabilities and environment with an on-site assessment. View an example SR report and an Initial Supplier Evaluation.
  • Contact other clients working with the supplier.

Conduct ongoing inspections & data analysis

  • Depending on how comfortable you are with the supplier, first-article, in-process and pre-shipment inspections can be employed.  A previous blog post reported on common issues we note during textile/garment inspections.
  • Evaluate inspection data on a periodic basis to drive continuous improvement efforts. Consider the 80/20 rule for monthly management.

For additional information, a comprehensive article discussing all aspects of textile/garment quality can be be found here. Akter HossainDepartment of Textile Engineering at Daffodil International University offers several insights and recommendations.

For more information regarding how Pro QC can assist with supplier selection and on-site quality control, contact us or visit our website at here.