All entries for January 2014

January 24, 2014

How important is reliability testing?

Writing about web page PEUSS

Yesterday a very important concept was discussed known as reliability testing. In my opinion this is the most important aspect of the product excellence module. Why I say this is that without which it would be hard to determine,

  1.  Whether a product meets the certain configuration
  2.  Whether the configurations are optimum with respect to performance.
  3.  Whether the item being tested meets the requirements of performance and reliability.

Testing is highly important in almost all industries but in some it is more significant than the rest. One example of such an industry is the pharmaceutical industry. Every raw material that comes in has to be tested and compared to the required specifications. If the raw materials don’t met the standards set will be rejected by the quality control department of the company. Every new product is tested for reliability and performance. Mostly generic products have a lifetime of an average of two years. It is very time consuming and costly to keep a product in testing phase before launch. Hence the QC departments of pharmaceutical companies use HALT extensively. The products are run much faster than the normal cycle. The two-year testing phase is shortened to six months in order to save time. This does not in any way impact the results as the products are placed in areas where temperature and humidity are controlled. In addition, some pharmaceutical companies also test their products at the normal testing period. Before the products are dispatched into the market for consumption, the product batches are also tested for reliability.

Why I say that testing is vital in the pharmaceutical industry is because the drugs produced are consumed by the customers either orally or injected. The formulation of the drugs have to be precisely followed as a little variation may result in extreme side effects on the consumers that in some cases may result in death. Human life is really a very serious matter and if any mistake by a pharmaceutical company may have dire consequences. Hence, it is extremely important for the industry to be very careful and conduct proper testing.

January 21, 2014

Voice Of Customer

A reflection on yesterdays learning, customers are the people who are the end users of the products or services provided by the organizations. There would be no sales to report if the customer does not feel satisfied, hence their would be no need for production. When there is no production, there is no need for the organization to exist. Every organization must understand the importance of the customer and aim to meet and satisfy their requirements.

“Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them not you.” – Mark Cuban

A tool used under the six sigma methodology is known as Supplier-Input-Process-Output-Customer Model (SIPOC). The main aim of using this tool is to identify both, internal and external customers. This tool summarizes the complete value stream and recognizes the output from each process established to produce the product. Through the summary of the value stream, it is easy to point out the input and output of each process. Using this tool, the management can understand the relation of each process with the final outcome of the product. This particular tool is very beneficial when an improvement is necessary. The management can easily identify the process that needs to be tweaked in order to change the final outcome and meet the changing needs of the customer. However, this particular tool is only available for a production-based organization. Such a tool can be very beneficial in a service-based industry, as it would identify the key processes that affect the final outcome. In other words, it can be used to identify processes that add value for the customers and those that do not. Such a tool would summarize the customer’s journey with the organization. Offering successful journeys results in a cultural change that involves the whole organization from top to bottom, triggers excitement, innovation and a focus on continuous improvement

January 07, 2014

QFD–Golden Matrix

Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a tool that is very useful in an organization that incorporates six sigma as a strategy to inculcate a customer focused continuous improvement culture. This particular tool can be used for both, production based as well as a service-based organization. The main objective of this particular tool is to involve the customer through every stage of the process, starting from research and development till the time when the product or service is delivered to the customer. It is a technique that is used to maintain or improve the quality of the product/service to the customer. This technique is purely focused on making the journey customers take with the organization a pleasant one. Once the product features are identified using the KANO model, a QFD matrix is built. This matrix allows the management teams to identify the attributes that are of great importance to customers when developing new products or upgrading existing products. These attributes are referred to as the characteristics required by the customers and each characteristic has certain engineering characteristics necessary for the production of the products. Each characteristic required by the customer is rated against the competitors in order to provide a comparison between the different competitors. By looking at the correlation matrix, attributes that need to be traded off are identified. However, in order to choose which feature to trade off, management must look at the customer rating for each attribute. The one that is less important for the customer must be traded off. This is judged by the absolute scores at the bottom of the matrix. Empty rows tell the management about the characteristic that is not fulfilled by the engineering characteristics of the organization. Empty rows tell the management of the extra engineering characteristics that are not needed by any customer requirement.

January 2014

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