Q. QS-9000 requires "benchmarking". I am looking for some industry standard on quality and delivery to benchmark against. Any suggestions?Art Hattan
- Hohman Plating
The following may not answer the question directly, but it may be fuel for comment...
Issues in Quality Management
The Big Three want a copy of your business plan or
Note: visit www.aiag.org, Automotive Industry Action Group.
If you are interested in complying to QS9000, you should know that part of this standard asks you to have a business plan. It is in section 4.1.4. "The supplier shall utilize a formal, documented, comprehensive business plan."
Some of the things they say may be applicable are set in bold type in the rest of this article:
Market Related Issues
Could your business withstand that? Can you run your line at 60% capacity? So having a business plan could save your business. You might decide, as a result of your business plan, that you want to diversify a bit. Maybe get some business in alloy plating, powder coating, vapor deposition, etc. What are your strengths and weaknesses when trying to diversify? (personnel, plant, financing, management skills and desire)
Financial Planning and Cost
Human Resource development
R&D plans, projections, and projects with appropriate funding
Projected Sales Figures
Benchmarking is comparing your performance to the average of performance. Suppose we look at just plating thickness details, on-time delivery, and type of packaging. How does your plating thickness, delivery, and packaging compare to the average of finishing, delivery, and packaging of fasteners used by first tier automotive suppliers?
Example: What is the capability of your process in metal thickness applied to the parts? If the specification is 0.0002" nickel plate, you should have an idea of the variation around this value. How may parts have less than the minimum, and what is the standard deviation around the mean.
What kind of packaging do you use? Old drums, new drums, bins, used cardboard boxes, sealed plastic bags?
Now you need to know what the norm is for first tier auto suppliers, and for other industries.
Example: fasteners for automotive might usually be delivered in metal totes supplied by the customer. Your customer might be sending you beat-up drums. Your customer is below the benchmark value.
Example: Electronic suppliers might typically ask for sealed 3 mil poly bags of between 5 and 10 pounds weight. You might still be using 2 mil poly bags packed in 30 lb. cardboard boxes. You are below the benchmark.
Determine current and future customer expectations
So having a business plan and a management system which trains employees to find problems means never having to say you're sorry. You won't have to say you are sorry that the containers are too heavy, or split when they were being unloaded, or were mismarked, or were not delivered on time. Because you have employees who were able to talk to you about those drums, or did something about the boxes that were bulging. Because you told your customer that everybody else is going to sealed poly bags, and you want to do the same thing. Your customer will appreciate the advice, and work with you on making that improvement. The customer now sees you as a partner instead of an antagonist; you are now the expert with the information needed to help them.
It is always nice to know more about finishing than your customer. Would you expect a stamping house to know less about stamping than you, a mere finisher?
I believe that we can readily see the benchmark by instructing the scouts, like the delivery truck driver, to report on the competitor's packaging. Let's say the report is:
-Same beat up drums that we supply-.
That is information.
Job shop platers, who drive their own trucks, know that turnaround should always be 1 or 2 days tops. Every manager gets one or two calls a week asking for the finished parts before the unfinished parts have even been picked up!
This website gets not a few letters asking for this or that market study, but it is hard to get people to part with them, since they cost money to prepare, and are a strategic resource.
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