When I started in the shop, measurement results were still written down on a piece of paper. The entire back wall of the inspection room was lined with filing cabinets, filled with the reams of quality data we’d generated over the years. Vern, the shop owner, got a lot of exercise with all the bending he did when organizing files, and the office supply salesman sent us a nice Christmas card every year. Everyone was happy.
The problem started after they hired Jay, that pesky young quality engineer. He was one of those continuous improvement geeks, and wanted to analyze the heck out of everything. He even convinced Vern to buy a new IBM PC—the one with the 5-1/4 in. floppy disks—so he could begin distilling all that raw data from the file cabinets into trends and statistical analyses.
Give the devil his due, though. Jay was able to identify trends in our manufacturing processes that we’d never known existed.
Because of his efforts, the shop’s quality increased to unheard of levels, winning us a shiny plaque for the front office and some new business from an aerospace firm across town. Eventually, we gained ISO certification, all thanks to Jay’s nerdy ways.
Attempting to control quality without a software system is like gall bladder surgery in a darkened operating room—you might get away with it if the surgeon’s really good, but you’re far more likely to survive if the lights are on.
That’s what QMS does—it brings light to your manufacturing processes, allowing you to identify problems before they happen, and assert control over chaos. Mike Rappaport, CEO for IQS Inc., North Olmsted, OH, says enterprise quality and compliance software solutions provide visibility into a business’s key quality metrics and create one central repository of the truth.