Using Trackers to Assess Performance and Identify Improvement Opportunities
A few years ago I was a Quality Manager in a plant that manufactured halogen lighting for the automotive industry. I received a complaint from a customer that my products were not performing as expected... a clear quality problem. I responded by assembling and leading a project team that solved the problems that were causing the quality complaints. The results were:
- Quality was improved, making the customer very happy
- Time as measured in meeting delivery commitments, was reduced due to an increase in product availability through improved yield
- Cost was reduced through reduction of customer returns and scrap
As noted above, all three areas improved as a result a focus on quality improvement. Beware of fixes that improve one of these areas at the expense of another.
- Quality – examples are customer satisfaction, defects, and rework
- Time – examples are production lead time, on-time delivery, and responsiveness to customer inquiries
- Cost – examples are labor productivity, material cost, and non-value added work content
Far too often, I have seen quality “improvements” that increased time, cost, or both. For example, the addition of incoming material inspection to address a supplier quality problem adds time and cost to the process. A better solution would address poor quality at the supplier location, to ensure that they ship only good product to you.
Trackers in Epicor ERP can help you to evaluate business process performance and identify improvement opportunities. Trackers allow you to extract information from your ERP database. Data related to suppliers, jobs (production), shipments, and other internal processes is accessible through trackers. Trackers are located in the General Operations folder of all modules. Data extracted by Trackers can be copied directly into an Excel file and analyzed according to your needs.
So, if you’re interested in improving on-time shipping performance, you can use the Customer Tracker to gather the data required to baseline your shipping performance and identify what needs improvement. After improvements are implemented, you can then use the Tracker to assess the impact.
Posted by Augustine Stagliano, Principal Business Consultant, Epicor