Anyone working in manufacturing, especially in fields like heavy trucking, understands how important quality control is. Quality control is the glue that holds a successful company together, and is the gateway that every part passes through both in and out of the shop to ensure that it is up to the high standards of the company that provides it, as well as the safety standards of the industry. Read on to look for three of the must-haves when it comes to successful quality control.
Know the rules
The first step to ensuring quality control in the heavy trucking industry (and any manufacturing industry) is to be aware of the standards you are required to meet. Start with the standards and rules that you have to follow by law. Does the part you provide need to meet certain tolerances, or be under a specific weight? Knowing what the industry standards are is the first step in maintaining quality control.
You also need to know what standards your own company has promised above and beyond for each part you inspect. Your clients need your best work, which means triple checking the standards you have set and ensuring that each product meets each one. Each member of the quality control team needs to have easy access to these guidelines during working hours.
Make a plan
In order to maintain the highest level of quality control for your business, you have to create a plan and put it into place. Your quality control team needs a process that determines the exact sequence of steps they take to guarantee no sub-par parts get through. This means deciding what needs to happen for a part to be considered of a high enough quality to go to a client. How does your team know if the part is right? The standards and requirements we talked about above will go a long way in showing you which boxes you’ll need to check off your list to pass a part as ready to go.
Another key part of creating your plan is assigning each team member a role. It may be the machinist who created the part who is first tasked with signing off on the quality, before going to a member of the quality control team for an initial evaluation. Each team member needs to know exactly what they need to do in their role, and the roles should be constructed to incorporate a system of checks and balances, where everyone’s work is reviewed to ensure no mistakes have been made.
Plan for error
It may sound odd to make plans for a flawless system, and then immediately plan for a flaw. The truth is that, no matter how great your inspection plan and team is, a mistake will occur at some point. Your team is only human, and that means you need to have a plan that gives everyone clear guidance on what to do if they find a part is not up to standard, or if a part has reached a client and is now malfunctioning due to a manufacturing error.
Communication is key – make it easy for your team to report any concerns or errors they find. This could mean filling out a physical report or using the company intranet to submit an online form. Whatever you choose, make sure every team member knows how to access it and when to use it. You will also want to give your clients an easy, user-friendly way to get in touch with you when they have concerns about a part. Tracking these mistakes will allow you to make the necessary adjustments and avoid the same mistakes in the future.
Your products represents your company, which represents you. Give your clients only the highest quality parts to show them what makes you the best in your business. Know what you need to do, make a plan to achieve that goal, and be ready for anything that comes your way.
For over 25 years, Automann® has evolved into a leader in the heavy-duty aftermarket truck and trailer parts. With strategic locations across the United States and Canada, Automann® offers a wide variety of products, ranging from air brake and wheel components to steering products, and everything in between. The Automann® brand on your part means you will benefit from the highest levels of quality, service, and value every day. Being “Automann Assured®” means committing to a simple, streamlined ordering process, including superb catalogs, rapid turnaround time, and professional, knowledgeable customer service. Find out how your trucks can benefit from being Automann Assured® today: www.automann.com.