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Hands on Quality Management
We have been capitalizing on being a ‘lean’ company for more or less three years now. This has turned into quite a winning strategy. However, becoming ‘lean’ and efficient is never a one-time project. It is an ongoing thing, as the technical director Edwin Boer pointed out in the previous article “What are the benefits you get from Lean? 3 practical tips how to apply it.” . Our new team member Roel Noordhoek firmly confirmed this statement. Roel is now part of Translas and his specialty is quality management and cost control. Read more about what he has to say about Quality Management inside your company.
Roel Noordhoek – Head of Quality Management in Translas – has been in project management, sales and cost management in the plastics, injection moulding and machinery for more than 25 years. At the moment, Roel is working on raising the quality level for ISO 9001 certification in 2015.
QUALITY CONTROL AND QUALITY MANAGEMENT
“Quality control and Quality management are two totally different things” – says Roel Noordhoek. “Quality control is checking the result of a product or process.” Quality management is much broader. It includes implementation of the right processes within the company, customers and suppliers. It starts from simple communication processes on one level to intra-departmental communication and setting clear guidelines for the working process. “One may say it is policy making.” Put in simple words, it tries to eliminate any mistake in order to optimize the workflow and reach higher customer satisfaction.
It might happen that parts produced according to the agreements still get complaints. How can that be possible? Searching for the root cause, it can be found that the agreement is written in such a way that it could be dubious. After supplying the customer with the right products, the documentation needs to be updated. Instructions need to be set down more clearly in order to prevent recurrence of similar problems. Moreover, such clearance in documentation normally results in higher productivity.
The job of a quality manager requires setting down clear guidelines which will help decreasing the lead times and satisfying customer expectations.
ISO 9001 is a management tool focussing on customer satisfaction in which attention is paid to the quality assurance and continual improvement of processes of the organization. The benefits for a company that is ISO 9001 certified are numerous. Mainly they revolve around optimized customer relationship, lower failure costs and higher process efficiency; combined or individually they improve the competitive position of the company.
“ISO 9001 is no longer a competitive advantage. It is a standard and Translas will be very soon part of it, which will be pleasing for our customers”, says Roel.
INTERNAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT VS OUTSOURCED?
Starting a quality improvement project can be done in two ways: letting it in the hands of an external consultant or hiring someone internally on a Quality Management position. Even if your decision is to outsource, never forget that quality improvement is not just a project with a start and an end date; but a continuous process. For Translas, hiring in a person has proven beneficial to the company. From the point of view of a Quality Manager, Roel points out that working as part of the company is much more interactive and involving. This is what makes it more efficient and effective.