A measure of the difference between the ideal — the cost of doing everything perfectly the first time every time — and the actual costs associated with the reality of errors and inefficiencies in processes, the Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) can erode as much as 15-20% in sales revenue and up to 40% of total operational budgets for many organizations. If resolving quality issues isn’t addressed until somewhere in the cycle when the product transitions from planning to manufacturing to distribution, COPQ could further endanger profitability.It stands to reason implementing an effective quality management program is key in containing COPQ and preserving margins, but what does that mean for tissue converters? Here are several strategies to effectively lower costs and minimize the impact of quality-related issues:
Traceability is a necessary step in maximizing product quality. Tissue converters with visibility into their products and processes also have a method for monitoring product quality and gaining insight into root causes when defects arise. Without this vital information, tissue converters are vulnerable to delays, product defects, failures and recalls, not to mention process neglect. Advanced automation and technologies being developed in association with Industry 4.0 are simplifying traceability protocols and providing new ways for OEMs to map processes within a product lifecycle. Granular information such as production time, location and warehousing provides insights into internal processes as well as those of suppliers which can reveal hidden inefficiencies.
2. Routine Preventive Maintenance
Waiting to service equipment until it fails is inefficient, costly and prolonged interruptions to production and downtime can increase the risk of a poor quality end product. Identifying and implementing preventive maintenance procedures at regular intervals mitigates this risk. When aligned with automation, it also provides an opportunity to gather data about potential losses and frequency of failure that can help you fine tune maintenance practices to achieve optimal performance.
3. Internal Quality Audits
Even the best practices and processes can fall victim to deviations over time which, in turn, can compromise quality. Being diligent about monitoring and auditing strictly for quality control will bring substandard procedures to light and give you the appropriate time and information to course correct before the discrepancies prove catastrophic to your bottom line.
Adopting a unified approach to internal quality audits is key. By doing so for all facets of your operation — factory, process, facility, health and safety — you’ll gain a more consistent picture of the degree of operational excellence you’re achieving as well as a better handle on maintaining industry standards for quality.
4. Change Management
Change is the only constant in any industry, and there are risks and rewards that come with moving forward. Navigating the uncertainties can be particularly tricky for tissue converters since implementation often must occur plant-wide and with minimal disruption. Effectively managing change takes strong leadership, clear policies and feedback gleaned from technological solutions. Many tissue converters leverage technology to gain an in-depth awareness of needed changes. They also can take steps to reduce COPQ by assessing data that enables a seamless change management process that includes change history, status, internal impact and costs.
Employees who are knowledgeable about your operation and their role within it are assets, especially when it comes to managing COPQ. Tissue converters that take the initiative to provide ongoing training on SOPs, regulations, policies, guidelines and relevant information reap the benefits of having these quality metrics top of mind — thereby minimizing violations and keeping everyone on the same page when it comes to quality. Introducing new operators to tissue converting equipment or adding new equipment to your line are prime training opportunities. Partnering with a supplier like Fabio Perini that has an established training program available reinforces consistent quality and provides a distinct competitive advantage by getting your team up to speed quickly.
Left unchecked, COPQ presents a multi-pronged threat to profitability in that scrap and rework can skyrocket, ROI can suffer, unhappy customers will leave and brand equity will be compromised. Being focused on quality outcomes is essential, especially when taking care of your tissue converting equipment. Ensure proper long-term equipment performance by using the practical advice found in The Tissue Converter’s Guide to Predictive/Preventive Maintenance (PPM). Click the button below to access your copy now.