In manufacturing, quality is either a measure of excellence or a state of being free from defects and significant variations. Quality is the result of unfailing commitment to a standard. Just as we expect quality in our personal purchases, it is an expectation of our customers as well.
Quality is important to the success of Henry Wurst, Inc. It has always been the responsibility of every person who touches a job, but this year we were able to shift one of our seasoned professionals into a more quality-focused role. Utilizing Terry McSparin’s knowledge, expertise, and genuine customer care, we have created several new initiatives to support, streamline, and document our everyday quality efforts.
Some of the Quality Initiatives that Terry has led include the following:
Defect and Error Process
This process is launched when a spoilage job is created. A Defect and Error form is completed for the spoilage job with a description of the problem, actions taken to correct the error or defect, estimated costs for the spoilage, and department accountability information. This form is sent to the spoilage team. The responsible department completes the form by adding an evaluation of the problem and corrective action to prevent in the future.
This process also insures that we have asked all the right questions of sales and the client before reproducing any shortage or misprint.
Details of any spoilage jobs are posted in production areas weekly, along with monthly totals and comparisons to our planned maximum threshold.
Direct Mail QC Process (Blue Card)
Quality issues on jobs, including mail, can be very costly. Postage costs are hard dollars that can significantly exceed the cost of the printed material. In the last 90 days, a new Direct Mail QC Process was implemented and many of our employees have seen or even experienced the Blue QC Card.
During this process, QC checks are made before and during production. All departments that touch the project are involved…Project Managers, Data Processing, Prepress, Digital, Bindery and Mailing. An approval by our mail team is a new step and while it adds to the upfront process, early reports indicate that a couple of potential problems have already been identified (and fixed) by this process!
Rebuilding Customer Trust Process (Red Card)
When problems happen on a job, our customer can lose trust in us. The Red Card process was developed to rebuild that trust. These are not spoilage, but projects where we want to insure we are not making a same mistake as before.
Our Project Managers identify these jobs when they are received and start the red card process. All department managers are notified and the red card is completed with details regarding the past problem. Manager/Supervisor sign offs happen along the way. As the jobs complete, we will be tracking the jobs and following up to ensure all went well.
The best way to confirm that processes and procedures are being followed is with an audit. A Pressroom Audit was developed and we are in the midst of our third monthly audit. Multiple jobs are audited across all presses throughout each month. There are four different audits to measure our performance in the following areas: Process Compliance, Data Collection, Safety, and Cleanliness.
Results from the first two audits were very encouraging and we are sure they’ll only get better!
While it is hard to quantify the spoilages that have been avoided due to these initiatives, we know our spoilage numbers are improving and reprints occur less frequently.
With everyone keeping their eye on quality, we’re sure to keep customers happy and trusting that we can create excellence on every print project.