Archive for the ‘Automotive’ Category

Attention automotive suppliers! Be aware of MMOG/LE customer requirements!

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Have you completed your Materials Management Operations Guideline/Logistics Evaluation (MMOG/LE) assessment?

Many automotive suppliers are required by customers to complete the MMOG/LE self-assessment. Some companies are using the MMOG/LE because it is an effective tool for identifying weaknesses in plant operations and an excellent method for continual improvement.

Some of the benefits of MMOG/LE include reduced costs associated with premium freight, obsolescence, inventory carrying costs and administrative costs.

OEM Requirements:
Chrysler Group LLC – All suppliers must complete the MMOG/LE assessment by December 31, 2010

Ford Motor Company – All suppliers are required to submit their completed MMOG/LE between May 1 and July 31 annually

General Motors Company – All tier 1 direct material suppliers will be required to complete version 3 of MMOG/LE by the end of February, 2011

Renault – All suppliers must complete a Global MMOG/LE assessment annually

Volvo – All suppliers must complete a Global MMOG/LE assessment annually

GM is putting quality to the test!

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

A recent Detroit News article describes the efforts of a General Motors facility to maintain a high standard of quality as plant production increases towards capacity. GM credits much of its progress in quality to the implementation of lean systems and other quality programs. Click for link to article.

For more information on these quality initiatives, contact G3 Solutions and ask how your organization can benefit from these tools.

Is your company registered to ISO/TS 16949? If so, be aware that the new Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA) 4th edition is available!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

According to the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), The new Measurement Systems Analysis Reference Manual (MSA), Fourth Edition is now available!

Developed jointly by Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company, the MSA reference manual provides guidance to automotive suppliers. The manual does not define requirements; it is a recommended guidance document and provides reference for selecting procedures to assess the quality of a measurement system.

The AIAG says that companies can begin using the MSA 4th Edition immediately. Due to the release of the MSA 4th Edition, the MSA 3rd Edition is now obsolete and no longer available through AIAG. However, it is recommended that you keep a copy of the MSA 3rd Edition for reference purposes.

The manual can be purchased through the AIAG. For additional help with MSA, contact G3 Solutions today!

CQI-15 and CQI-17 – new assessments join the family of CQI documents

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

A recent update from AIAG has announced that the new (CQI-15) Special Process: Welding System Assessment and (CQI-17) Special Process: Soldering System Assessment are now available in both hard copy and electronically as e-documents.

According to the AIAG update, “CQI-15 and CQI-17 focus on continual improvement, emphasizing defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain. The Soldering System Assessment helps frame a common approach to a soldering management system for automotive production and service part organizations, while the Welding System Assessment does the same for welding management systems. In addition, both assessments support the automotive process approach in ISO/TS 16949.”

These documents join the family of other CQI assessment documents that include automotive supplier self-assessments CQI-9, CQI-11 & CQI-12 for heat treating, plating, and coatings. The assessments are part of the customer specific requirements for ISO/TS 16949. Chrysler will require CQI-14 self-certification from suppliers in 2011.

For more info on these assessments, contact G3 Solutions today!

Chrysler to require CQI-14 self-certification from suppliers in 2011

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

A recent AIAG announcement states that James Bruin, manager, quality and warranty programs, Chrysler Group LLC, will formally announce on May 5, 2010, that Chrysler will require self-certification to the CQI-14 consumer centric warranty process in 2011. CQI-14 demonstrates how companies throughout the supply chain can embrace cultural change and reduce risk by striving to reduce warranty incident rate and feeding lessons learned back into the product development process.

According to the AIAG announcement, Mr. Bruin states that self-certification would be required of Chrysler suppliers. Over the last several months, Mr. Bruin has solicited input from members of the OESA Warranty Management Council and the AIAG Quality Steering Committee. On May 5, AIAG will also announce that CQI-14 warranty process training classes will be available in the latter part of 2010.

The announcement will take place during a larger session on consumer-centric warranty management that will be held at the MSU Management Education Center, Troy, Mich. During the session, AIAG and OESA will release the second edition of CQI-14, also known as “Consumer–Centric Warranty Management: A Guideline for Industry Best Practices.”

Are company objectives for quality really working as a tool for improvement?

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Part of our top ten series of reasons some companies are not getting the most from their quality system -

Reason #7 – Quality objectives are never changed

One of the key requirements in quality standards such as ISO 9001, ISO/TS 16949, AS9100 and others is that an organization must establish and measure objectives for quality. Even though this is just one of numerous requirements found in various ISO standards, this one key mandate may provide the most overall benefit to an organization.

Setting objectives for quality throughout the company and monitoring those objectives should provide a useful overview of how well processes are performing. At times, we see companies that establish simple goals and objectives that are too easily met and remain virtually unchanged, sometimes over a period of years. When this pattern of perceived “success” in meeting objectives is investigated, it is often exposed that there is a company culture that assumes it is better to portray a positive than display any type of negative trend to either customers or third party auditors.

This can be a major roadblock in making the quality system a true tool for continual improvement. It often fosters a feeling of apathy in many employees who view the quality system as simple window dressing for keeping the current customer base happy and impressing potential customers. Once this attitude becomes part of the overall organizational culture, it is tough to reverse – but not impossible.

A primary function of top management should be to examine if current objectives and goals are providing a true evaluation of overall performance. The key output of this review should be to establish new goals that may be more realistic in terms of driving process improvement. Just because an organization may not be meeting goals and objectives and an analysis of data may show a negative trend, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is a quality freight train wreck.

By linking continual improvement initiatives and programs to numbers that aren’t traveling in the desired direction shows that the organization is truly dedicated to continual improvement. Once the top management of an organization like that described above makes a strategic paradigm shift in reviewing and understanding quality objectives, good things will happen. It will not only make the company look stronger to customers and auditors, but to those employees who are hoping for real process improvement.

Top ten reasons for an ineffective QMS!

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Reason #9 – Negligence in training employees to properly use the system!

Competence, training and awareness for employees is more than just a simple ISO 9001 requirement – it is a major factor in the difference of having a system that will work as either a) a tool for continual improvement, or b) a worthless set of documents that are not followed.

Many third party auditors will often look at the training records of the oldest and newest employees as well as directly asking them questions as to how they access and utilize their system. It can be a very good barometer of how well the entire quality management system (QMS) is working.

The reason behind this type of audit sampling is that many company “veterans” will often provide candid feedback on portions of the system that are not operating as documented. In some instances, these employees will even reveal ways that the current system is bypassed for efficiency, especially when improvements to processes are not made. With new employees, training effectiveness is easy to assess based on whether the QMS information and training given to them is memorable, and then asking if they can actually demonstrate use of the system.

Training on the quality system for new hires and ongoing training for veteran employees should be a priority for any company looking to get the most out of their QMS.

For some creative ideas on how to get your employees trained as QMS experts, contact the ISO experts at G3 Solutions today!

Top ten reasons why some companies aren’t getting the most out of their ISO 9001 quality system

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

In the coming weeks, we are going to give you all of our top ten reasons why some ISO 9001 based quality management systems fail to provide some organizations with real process improvement. We may post another topic here and there, so you’ll just have to check back frequently to see our full list. Enough already!! Let’s begin-

#10 – Too many procedures – the company quality system is from a template!

When performing internal audits for companies, we sometimes see quality system documentation that is rather extensive, especially in older systems that were developed before the major ISO 9001 revision in 2000. Systems based on the old twenty element model contained a procedure for almost every requirement, not to mention a handful of work instructions for every procedure. When the revision came along, some companies interpreted it as a simple renumbering scheme and added a process map that looked like a wiring diagram for the Space Shuttle. Having a system today based on a standard from yesterday usually leads to a lot of frustration, minimal user friendliness, and can also become a “Rubik’s Cube” nightmare for document control.

Another reason for over documentation is that some companies have “borrowed” documentation from other organizations and tried to simply insert their name. This can be easy when the size and industry of the companies are identical, but when you try to implement a system from a 300-employee casting facility and your company is a 20 employee plating shop, you’re in for one big mess of a quality system. In a lot of cases, companies that were in a hurry to implement quality systems to please their customers would buy templates from consultants and were tempted to try the “insert name here” approach. Both approaches can diminish or even negate any value from implementing an ISO 9001 system.

The ISO 9001:2008 standard allows for an amazing amount of flexibility in documentation which provides a real opportunity to create a system that is simple, efficient and relative to the operations of an organization. If your system sounds like what has been described earlier in this posting, you may find it a worthwhile endeavor to overhaul your quality manual and procedures. If you’re starting out and are looking for an easy way to get something in place, contact the experts at G3 Solutions today!

New concepts in Team Building!

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

There have been many good quality ideas and programs that have come from Japanese manufacturing – i.e. 5s, KAIZEN, Total Quality Management (TQM), the Toyota Production System, etc. One area where they are not given enough credit is in team building – don’t believe us? Just watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwvVh0_ZelI

For less exhaustive team building ideas, contact G3 Solutions today!

Congratulations! You are now in charge of creating an ISO 9001 system – now what?

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Quite often, the G3 staff is asked to recommend a plan of action for people who find themselves in the position of “being volunteered” to put together an ISO 9001 (or any other ISO 9001-based standard) system for their company. Unfortunately, for employees that have little to no experience with quality standards, this can be an overwhelming task. We recommend the following steps:

Step 1 – Before you can plan what to do, you and the management team need to know what is required. Start with an overview training session on the standard for yourself followed by a session for top management. Strongly emphasize that the standard is process based and highlight the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model. All parties involved in the implementation must realize that the standard has a couple of key principles that are referenced all throughout the standard – customer satisfaction and continual improvement. The ultimate goal is to make all customers happy, but the method of getting to that goal is by the continual improvement of your processes. This is where top management needs to make a little paradigm shift – customer satisfaction means more than a reduction in phone calls from the customer yelling about something that wasn’t just right. It certainly means more than assuming a customer is happy if they continue to give orders for more products and services. Remember, customers can multi-task by giving your organization a new purchase order while giving a new supplier the thumbs up for the next order. By the time some realize the customer isn’t happy, it can be too late.

This is where continual improvement comes into play. By knowing what your customers think of the level of service and value they receive from your organization, your company can initiate the proper continual improvement objectives that can reduce or eliminate the problems and issues that can make their way to the customer.

This is why you need to get all of top management involved. Everyone must get a clear view of the big picture. Having a quality management system (QMS) based on the appropriate ISO standard should become the implementation of a quality philosophy and roadmap for doing things right. Stress that it is a quality management system by which the company will operate and oh, by the way, it just happens to comply with the ISO standard. After that, don’t mention the letters “ISO” – just QMS. Companies that implement systems based on the need to meet ISO requirements often find that employees put an emphasis on doing things just to meet the standard as opposed to improving the process.

Additional steps will be discussed in future posts. Visit g3iso.com for more info.