Last week we discussed the fun topic of planning for our future success. This week is a bit of a bummer since we're focusing on failure.
We've identified three areas that can cause failure here at the shop: quality, production, and materials. Each of these areas have their own challenges but when they come together they can really cause chaos when trying to meet a shipping deadline.
Quality - Our first line of defense against shipping poor quality products is our production assemblers. We train all our production assemblers to be their own quality assurance managers. They check every wire after it has been crimped, they check every heat shrink after it has been shrunk, and they visually inspect the wiring on every plug. As assemblies make their way through the production floor, they have various sets of eyes on them, making sure quality standards are kept. Assemblies finally make their way to our inspection department where they are tested, measured, poked, and prodded to make sure they are exactly what our customers are expecting. A failure at any stage of the process could mean shipping an inferior product to a customer. We have a saying at the shop, "It's ok to make a mistake but it's never ok to ship a mistake."
Production - We believe in giving production assemblers everything they need to be successful at what they do. That includes lots and lots of training. When an inexperienced production assembler is set to work on an assembly without the proper training, that could spell disaster and cost us time and money in reworks. We write all our assembly instructions in-house and when it's time to build something new, we have someone from our engineering team sit with production assemblers and work with them to make sure the process runs smoothly.
Materials - As soon as a purchase order has been confirmed, it heads over to our inventory department to start the process of assembling the production kit. The inventory specialists work with our purchasing department to make sure that materials are ordered in a timely manner, reducing the amount of time a kit sits on the shelf waiting for parts to arrive. Once materials have been assembled, the kit gets sent to our production department for assembly. The wrong materials or materials not ordered promptly could create havoc and lead to a failure in getting the order out in time.
Even though we work really hard in trying to make sure that we follow our processes closely, we're also human, and sometimes we fail. Failure is a part of any business. Some businesses learn from their mistakes, correct themselves, and move forward. Unfortunately, other business don't. They fail and keep failing and it ends up costing them dearly. At Bridgeview, we accept failure as a normal part of life. What we don't accept is staying down. We get back up, dust ourselves off, and make sure we understand the lesson that failure enabled us to learn. Staying down and quitting is not an option.
How have you dealt with failure? How have you learned and grown from it?
Haley (left) checks to make sure the packaging on an assembly is correct before bagging it. Ashlee (right) puts inventory away, making sure the parts go in the right bins.