Quality Control For Manufacturers: How SynControl Changes QC Approaches

Do you get the feeling the general management approach is holding your factory back? That’s quite common. 
Here are 5 ways a factory can change its quality control approach and drive better business results with, and without, quality inspection software like SynControl…

#1. Reducing labor cost by reducing paperwork

The typical midsize Chinese factory has invested hundreds of thousands (or millions) or RMB in order to automate the job of 10 workers. That’s considered quite normal, as long as the payback is in the 2-3 years range.
And yet, they employ tens of quality inspectors and haven’t wondered how to make each of them more efficient. 
Think about the average day of these employees. They spend hours reporting on what they find when doing quality inspections. That’s pure paperwork, with no value added for the business! 

If you could eliminate 70% of the time they spend on that paperwork by using an app like SynControl where reporting is quick and straightforward, how many inspectors could be re-allocated to other jobs?

#2. Going paperless and getting all the information in a real-time database

What happens to the average QC report once it’s been written? It gets filed and is never read again. Its overall result might be input in an Excel spreadsheet later on. 
To make matters worse, what ends up in Excel is often not representative of the real situation. Data integrity is always an issue. Blame the purchasers and a supplier, and they can question whether the data you are using are even correct!

Instead, use our quality inspection software to log data and save them directly. As much as possible, pair the inspector’s tablet with the testing/measuring devices by Bluetooth, to avoid “touching the data”. 


#3. Make problems visible… and be tough on them!

Now, if you use a quality inspection app like SynControl, all the problems will be jumping out at you. It is a great opportunity to follow a proper problem resolution approach. Here’s my recommendation:
  • Short term: A quick fix (“stop the bleeding”)
  • Medium term: Additional controls put in place as long as a long-term fix hasn’t been implemented and confirmed
  • Long term: Working on root-causing the problem, preventing recurrence in the long term, and confirming effectiveness of these counter-measures

#4. Having production operators take their fair share of the QC job, too

Do you have an artificial separation between manufacturing and quality staff?
I am not advocating getting rid of your entire QA department, but you can have some of the operators check and confirm the quality of the products/parts before they process them.
This is obviously different in different production setups. But there is often an opportunity to give some QC work to an operator who is less loaded than the others.
In the end, the goal of the production department is to ship the right number of GOOD products… So, they should also get involved in QC activities where it doesn’t add to costs.


#5. Have key suppliers self-inspect and help them

What do you do when you find unacceptable batches of components?
Do you charge your suppliers for the sorting job and, if that happens, for the stoppage on your lines?
Do your suppliers resent it? And does it end up in your costs, sooner or later?
Of course.

Instead, you should think of your suppliers as part of your team. You should work on this together! 
Reduce the amount of inspection done in their facilities. Train their inspectors, and help fix their recurring issues at the root. That’s a much better use of your budget, in the long run.


Your turn…

What adjustments to QC approaches can you suggest for this post’s other readers? Have you used any of my suggestions with success, or upgraded your QA team with quality inspection software?

Please share your thoughts and questions by leaving a comment below.


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