Soldiers, Firefighters, and Generals: Part 2

Welcome back to blog #2 in my three-part series about how different users within a given manufacturing organization use Enact®, our cloud-native quality intelligence platform. Blog #1 was a look at the operators—the soldiers on the frontline of the battle to maintain quality. As you may recall, these soldiers really get great use out of the dashboards, the easy personalization, the alerts and notifications, and the mobility of Enact.
 
This blog picks up with the quality inspectors and managers—the firefighters of manufacturing. Let’s take a look at what they like about Enact. 

About the Firefighters

What do the quality inspectors and managers—the firefighters—find most useful in Enact? Well, since this type of user would be involved in analysis of the quality data collected by the operators (soldiers) at their site, the aspect of Enact that would appeal to them most would be that all that collected data goes to one place—the centralized data repository. Because all the data is housed in one place, a firefighter can compare different parts, machines, shifts, lines…on the same charts. And it’s very easy for the software to fetch that data for them.

Throw Away the Paper

With Enact, there’s no reason to copy heaps of data into spreadsheets. There’s no reason to accumulate all that paper to do your analysis. In Enact, all dashboards are live and constantly updated with the most recent data. Throw away all that paper!
 
The power of Enact for the firefighters begins with the raw dashboard. Here you can produce reports for upper management, for compliance, and to find those areas of your operation where you can improve products or processes. Let’s take a closer look.
  

The Raw Dashboard

The raw dashboard, which you can personalize (and name anything you like—for instance, “Analysis Dashboard”), is where you keep the charts you use on a regular basis, like Paretos and Box & Whiskers. When you need to supply upper management with the information they need, or prepare for an audit, or you want to continue to improve products and processes across your organization, it’s nice to know that these charts are easily accessible and easy to use.
 
So, the first step is to set them up to be the most useful for you. What you see in your Box & Whiskers, for example, is determined by the levels you define. It’s easy to break down the information you see by process, part, or feature, or any of the other options.
 
Notice that if you have a sprawling enterprise, you can further break down data by company, region, division, site, or more. Add levels when you want to go deeper…
 
Let’s continue with the example we have here. You can see at a glance that for this operation, the Fairfax facility is having some issues—the whiskers for Fairfax are outside both the upper and lower spec limits. You want to look more closely at that facility. Easily drill down into this data by clicking the plus symbol (+). The chart expands to expose the four machines there; the obvious culprit is machine 4 (FF MC 004)—it’s plain to see the variation that is occurring there.
 
Now that you’ve identified that it’s machine 4 that is having the issues, you can easily drill down into that—again by clicking the plus—and see what feature is off. And the answer is clear: it’s the length measurement. It’s that easy. In just a few clicks, you have pinpointed that the issues lie with length measurements on machine #4 at the Fairfax facility. 

Take it a Step Further

Now you know where the issue is. But you need to know more to get one step close to the potential root cause of your problem. You want to know if the issue is occurring on every shift, or on one specific shift, or if it’s a particular part that you’re manufacturing with that machine. Enact makes that further determination a snap. Simply redefine the levels of information you’re viewing.
  
It’s easy to see that using dashboards in Enact is user-friendly, visual, and easy to manage. And your changes are yours alone. Other users don’t see the changes you’ve made. That means that two firefighters could be working on the same problem, digging into the data each in their own way, and not affecting each other’s work. Try that with spreadsheets!
 

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Checklists are valuable tools for firefighters. They might set them up for their operators—tasks that soldiers need to complete before they start their shifts. Things like safety goggles, or gloves, or cleaning the area before they get things rolling. And the best thing of all is that this information is also going to the same centralized data repository for your easy access—and you can receive notifications when the answers to the questions in the checklists are not what you expected. Creating a checklist is easy in Enact.
 
Right here on the Work dashboard, you can see a good example of a checklist: “molding pre-operation checks.” This is for the operator of a specific area.
 
After selecting the checklist of interest, the operator picks the process that applies for this collection.
  
And the appropriate checklist displays.
 
They simply fill out the checklist and click Save. Enact makes checklists easy and notifies the user when they need to fill one out. All the guesswork is taken out of the process, and the user can focus on what they need to do that day.
 

Closing

I think it’s easy to see how Enact makes life better for firefighters. Dashboards bring all the data together that a quality professional needs to see when attacking a problem. Creating and modifying the tiles you see on a dashboard is easy and visual. And checklists couldn’t be any more stress-free. (And your operators will thank you for how easy it is to deal with checklists.)
 
In the next installment in this Soldiers, Firefighters, and Generals blog series, we’ll look closely at how Enact is used by corporate and Six Sigma users–the Generals. Until next time…
 
Learn more about Enact.
Natalia Ochoa
By Natalia Ochoa
Application Engineer
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