Operational Insights 3: Broaden Your Horizon

Steve Wise
By Steve Wise | May 11, 2020
Vice President of Statistical Methods

Fact checked by Stephen O'Reilly

When you want to see the landscape ahead, plot your course, the best place to be is up high. Generals on the hillside see the battle better. Hawks riding the thermals, painting sweeping circles in the vast blue sky have a commanding view of where the prey are hiding or scampering off to. Satellites provide us with awesome overhead views of our world we couldn’t otherwise see, views that help us better understand weather and nature. The big picture view is invaluable.
From the 30,000-foot view, actionable operational insights about your manufacturing processes, logistics, and operations enable you to start developing and applying best practices consistently across all your plants, lines, processes, and products.

InfinityQS quality management solutions Enact® and ProFicient help you gain the operational insights you need to stay competitive in an increasingly tough manufacturing world.
Enterprise Visibility

Broadening Your Quality Management Horizon

This is where things get interesting—assuming your quality management solution provides true enterprise-wide visibility (I know, that’s a big assumption…and we know what happens when we assume). By studying variances across time, searching for patterns or trends, you can determine exactly what might be the root of a problem—but you can also discover opportunities to improve quality across a production line, across a whole plant, and even across your entire enterprise.
With the level of visibility that a centralized, unified database provides, you can determine which processes or practices provide the best consistency and efficiency. When seen at the 30,000-foot level, such useful and actionable insights about your processes and operations—delivered visually through easy-to-interpret charts—enable you to start developing and applying best practices consistently across all your plants, lines, processes, and products. Now that’s something to strive for.
Big Picture View

Posing New Questions Improves Quality

The questions you pose in your weekly staff meetings change from “What do we focus on to make the greatest improvement in quality?” to:
  • Which regions/plants/lines have the highest/lowest defect rates?
  • What single global quality issue, if eliminated, could generate the greatest bottom-line benefit?
  • Which processes or sites are most or least efficient?
  • What global quality success, if replicated, could dramatically improve enterprise performance?
  • Which regions/plants/lines should be leveraged to produce specific products at the highest quality and lowest cost?
  • Which suppliers are meeting/not meeting my quality needs? What are the issues?
  • Which regions/plants/lines consistently make the highest/lowest quality products?
To answer these questions, look for a quality management solution that features a robust, cutting edge analytics engine and intuitive reporting options to sort through the data. The best thing you can do for your operations is make your data more easily consumed and understood. When you conduct your search for quality management software products, ask for a good look at reporting and how data from many different plants can be aggregated, viewed, and analyzed. We’re betting that, most cases, they can’t.
Let’s look at an example. Suppose you’re collecting defect data at multiple manufacturing sites and want to determine which sites are having the most issues. Can you get that information quickly? Better yet, can you identify which issues are to blame? You can—if you’re using a quality management solution that supports strategic operational insight.
Enact Analysis Dashboard
Sample Enact Analysis Dashboard

Through charts like the one above, you can immediately see which assembly line is producing the most defects—and thus which line offers the greatest opportunity for reducing defects and related waste and cost. You can also identify specific defects. From this information, you can determine which defects can be corrected most quickly for the most benefit, and which are bigger issues that demand more time or money to fix.
If you can get that level of operational insight from one chart showing the assembly lines in two plants, imagine the insights that you can reap from this level of visibility into all the lines in all the plants throughout your entire enterprise. This aggregated data offers improved visibility into your operations, and that enables you to make smart, strategic operational decisions that can save you thousands, if not millions.

A Better Way — InfinityQS Quality Management Solutions

For today’s quality professionals, the short-sighted fix-it mentality must go. It’s no longer viable. The competition is too fierce and getting fiercer all the time. Why wait? Get insights that can move your company and your profession into the future.
When you gain a high level of insight into your operations and quality data, you can solve problems more quickly, prevent problems more easily, make strategic decisions with more confidence, and open up a new realm of possibilities for your company. You’re no longer stuck in reactive mode, putting out fires as problems crop up. You’re using your quality data to be proactive—plan ahead, perform better, and leave the competition behind.

Read the other two blogs in this series: Take advantage of the technology at your fingertips today: contact one of our account managers (1.800.772.7978 or via our website) for more information.
Learn more about our quality management systems, Enact® and ProFicient™.


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