Process Improvement Project
More often than not, processes go through rework and overuse of time and effort due to a subjective approach to the task at hand. A Cable TV company in Brazil decided to undergo a process improvement project to reduce the amount of rework done by its engineering department, which was basically involved in deciding which of the Beta-cam tapes of theirs were fit for use, and which were not.
A chunk of the tapes were returned to the Channels, which were found to be defective, and were sent back to the engineering to recheck and reconfirm.
This project required the participation of a number of departments, whose initial understating of the quality requirements were different from one another. The proposed new model tried to focus on the intensity of the defects. Apart from this, the new evaluation technique required a defined statistical concept.
Once the cutoff grades were estimated to 20%, data was collected and analyzed. With the 500 odd samples that were available, the model’s effectiveness was confirmed. Therefore, if the model decides to approve a tape, there is a high possibility that the Channel will do the same.
The next step of the process improvement case study was to design two PDSA cycles, one each for the cutoff grade model implementation and for the Technical Evaluation improvement. The critical variables were made clear, and requirements for the technical evaluation were understood.
There was then a quantitative analysis of the variations, one of which was the difference of perception among users. And, it was found that the quality of the Tape actually had an influence in determining the defects (major, medium and minor).
The process improvement project thus came up with a resolution that there must be a common understanding for quality between the Engineering and the Channels. The benefits were a significant reduction in the internal rework, and thus in the cost. The percentage of tapes evaluated that did not return to the Channels, and whose quality remained unaffected, was now about 84-96%. Also, the glossary of defects was included in the new Clients Handbook, which was meant to give a detailed understating of the objective evaluation to be employed thereafter.