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Warranty management

Warranty claims? We have time for that…

Zero km claim means a customer complaint which occurred at the customers’ production line due to any issue with our supplied products. In case of a complaint, the customer states that the product provided is not according to the agreed specification.

The supplier has the task to prove if that is OK, or if it is confirmed as NOK, to identify the root cause and plan and implement robust actions that prevent re-occurrence.

In the meantime, the supplier must ensure that only good parts arrive at the customer production line; therefore, implements different containment actions.

In practice, it generally means internal and external sortings and additional actions depending on the case.

Even for one NOK part, we pay external sorting companies, block, and re-screen finished products, hold problem-solving meetings, and spend an enormous time to make sure we can entirely eliminate the re-occurrence possibility. Once again, due to one single complaint, maybe due to a single individual failed part.

This is part of the continuous improvement process and also a customer requirement as well (and it is the interest of the Organization too).

To fulfill this requirement, suppliers build-up analysis teams, invest in analysis tools, pieces of equipment, documentation. They also have customer quality teams and spend a lot of money on training the team; usually, they lead customer communication and problem-solving teams.

Of course, they have some other responsibilities, but the zero km complaint handling takes the majority of their time.

And there are claims from the field as well.

Here the customer behaves a bit differently. They do not shout at you when there is a new rejected part (unless it is critical, or they experience massive fallings on the field – but that is a different story).

They send some parts for analysis without informing you by separate e-mails or phone calls.

They will not highlight what and how they expect you to do. How to analyze the product? How to report it?

Some of them might not even send the failed parts if the supplier does not explicitly request it.

Debit notes will regularly land at the finance department, but fortunately not too high amount – at least at the beginning…

This can goes for months, almost a year, sometimes more.

Then the disaster begins; the bomb finally arrives.

A huge debit notes about millions of Euros – as the cost clearance for the last year. Or the finance colleagues notice that the debit notes amounts are higher and higher.

The alarm mode switches on finally. Investigation begins, the quality department is asked what was going on.

Then it can turn out that nobody knows. Engineers thought everything was going well. All returned parts were analyzed. “The customer never said it was not OK.”

Yes, this is right. And most of the time they will not say. It is written in the customer-specific requirements. It is the obligation of the supplier to understand and apply these requirements.

If these requirements were not kept during the analysis and reporting, the debit notes are valid, even if in reality, the supplier part was OK. No one cares that at that time. They will not change the amounts just because the deadlines were not kept either.

How is it possible that many automotive suppliers have big customer quality teams but mainly focus on zero km issues? Some of them do not even have warranty specialists in place.

How is it possible that they are not even aware of the specific requirements about field failure analysis? They invest a lot in eliminating (many times) individual zero km issues but miss the importance of the warranty’s focus.

If they only recognize that something is going on the field when the big debit note arrives – that is just too late. That will cost thousands of times more than the zero km claims.

As I described in my previous article, there are dedicated audits to verify the supplier’s warranty process’s compliance with these requirements, but it is rarely used.

Warranty impacts customer satisfaction more than the zero km issues as the final users (drivers, car owners) are involved and have an unpleasant experience with the car caused by the supplier.

Summary:

It is highly recommended to focus on warranty.

As the cost can often be millions of Euros, suppliers should ensure their warranty processes are according to the requirements. Not only because it is an IATF 16949 requirements, but because it is the own interest of the suppliers, and it has a high impact on customer satisfaction.

It worth investing in the necessary resources, including the improvement of team competence.

Do not only believe that your warranty processes are up to the requirements but verify it by conducting specific internal audits.

As always, think in system with Pro Automotive.

If you are interested in reading articles about automotive quality management topics, best practices, case studies, follow Pro Automotive.

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IATF

Build a Quality Management System from scratch, or improve the old stuff? Which strategy should be chosen?

It is not every day that an organization decides to build up a Quality Management System (QMS) from scratch.

When can we have such a dilemma if we should build something new from scratch?

Or if we should try to fix and update the old system somehow?

I guess there could be at least three primary reasons if an organization considers this question.

  1. The old QMS does not effective at all

Some symptoms could be:

  • repeated major non-conformities in the last years, suspension of the certification,
  • customer escalations, permanent issues with customer satisfaction,
  • continuous struggling with the fulfillment of the customer requirements.

These are just symptoms and not causes. In such a case, a systematic root-cause analysis is necessary to understand the real reasons.

If it is evident that the QMS can not support the organization’s goals and fulfill customer requirements and reach customer satisfaction, intervention is necessary.

But you can not decide about the appropriate strategy without fully understanding the systematic causes behind the symptoms.

  • Greenfield investment in a new location

It often happens that a global supplier opens a new plant in a new location, maybe in a new country.

Should we take and copy (adapt) an existing QMS from another sister plant?

Can it work in a different environment by another organization, maybe with a different organization structure?

How about employee culture, discipline, the mentality is the same?

There are certain risks that a simple “copy & paste” approach will not work; adaption is necessary.

It is frequently said that “it does not make sense to reinvent the wheel,” but how much change is necessary to achieve the expected result? After so many changes, will we have the same robust system?

Which is the higher risk?

Inventing something which fits the new organization, to the working culture, start the building from scratch?

Or make changes/updates to the copied systems?

Indeed, there are not only black and white answers. It is also possible to take the best practices from the “copied QMS,” select those we expect will bring the desired results, and define the other necessary processes from scratch.

When can we expect a higher probability that the QMS will be accepted and followed by the organization?

Will they accept the QMS if they were copied from a different plant?

Not involving the organization in the definition of the processes can quickly result in an excellent system rarely followed by anyone.

  • A supplier steps into the automotive business, and it is a requirement from the customer

The target can be to reach a minimum an ISO9001 or an IATF16949 certification.

In this case, I suppose it is a more simple situation.

Copy and paste can not be an option because that will not work in a different organization, where there was already a particular way of workings method for years.

Updating the existing procedures seems to be the right choice.

Summary:

In particular situations, it can be a dilemma on which strategy should be used to build up the Quality Management System.

There are many pros and cons which need to be considered.

We should always keep in mind that the ultimate purpose of the QMS is to reach the organizations’ goals and fulfill the customer requirements and reach sustainable customer satisfaction through continuous improvement of the processes.

There are no simple answers. A systematic approach is needed to make the right decisions.

As always, think in system with Pro Automotive.

If you are interested in reading articles about automotive quality management topics, best practices, case studies, follow Pro Automotive.

"Measurement"/
IATF, MSA

Re-measure the product till you find it is OK!

  • Why did you put that part there? – I asked the operator as an external VDA6.3 process auditor. We were at the final test station, and I just observed the tester measured one part as NOK, but the operator did not put it into the designated red box. She put the product away on a separate pallet.
  • They will be re-measured later on once more – answered the operator.
  • What happens if they pass the test on the 2nd measurement? – I asked again.
  • Then they are OK – answered the process engineer now.
  • What kind of settings are you using for the re-measurement?
  • The same parameters, just a dedicated program is chosen, but it equals the regular final test – the engineer further explained.

I turned to the operator again.

  • How do you know that such parts need to be separated? – I asked.
  • I was told – she replied.
  • Would you show this to me in the FlowChart?– I asked the engineer again.
  • Well, it is not described there.
  • Can I find this in the Control Plan?
  • Not at this moment. We have special instructions in place.
  • How many times can you re-measure the failed parts?
  • Only once more.
  • Why only once? How was it determined?
  • Well, we agreed on it as a team.
  • Could you please show me the relevant studies? How can you be sure that what you measure first as good they are really OK parts?

Finally, it turned out there were no relevant studies available.

The final tester was explicitly made for this new project. The customer approval was still missing, but the PPAP parts were already built.

Without considering the re-measurement in the Flowchart, in the PFMEA, no reference to the CP, which also means the customer does not know about it.

PPAP parts were built without having an MSA study in place. But due to the high fall-off rate, one re-measurement has been internally allowed.

How can we trust the tester’s judgment if it is not proved the system is applicable to the desired task?

How can I say that one re-measurement is allowed? Why not three? Or five.

How do I know which time the system judges correctly? When it shows an „OK” or „NOK” result?

If OK, I accept the judgment immediately, but if NOK, I doubt the result?

Most of us in the automotive quality field believe such a story can not happen in our plant. Only at small Tier-3-4… suppliers. Do not be too sure about this.

Anyway, it worth thinking about this story for a moment when you ask yourself, „What MSA is for?”.

Or when you make such a decision: „Let’s re-measure the failed parts once more, we might find some good parts!”

As always, think in system with Pro Automotive.

If you are interested in reading articles about automotive quality management topics, best practices, case studies, follow Pro Automotive.

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IATF

How to prepare the organization for an audit?

  • One of the most important goals for the whole plant is to pass the next OEM audit successfully – announced the plant manager many times.

We found ourselves in a critical situation after a “not perfect” result from a customer audit. It happens sometimes. The evaluation we got was not acceptable for the customer, not for our organization. But we got a new chance. We had several months to fix the issues, implement the improvements.

To be clear – I did not drive this process; I was one active team member. But I learned a lot from this experience – I think it is worth sharing as best practice.

We listed the found non-conformities, defined the root-causes, and the necessary improvement actions.

But we did not stop there. We did not only focus on the technical stuff. We knew we had many things to do with the quality mindset of the whole organization.

As I described in my other post, part of the audit preparation is the colleagues’ preparation.  

We needed a good plan, training the engineers, and preparing the shift leaders, technicians, and each operator or the production line.

Some quality guys alone can not reach such an ambitious goal. We had to engage all levels of the organization. How can it work?  We had to involve them in the process. They had to understand what is their contribution to the Quality Management System.

By the way, it is an ISO9001 and IATF16949 requirement: 7.3 – 7.3.1. Awareness – supplemental:

“The organization shall maintain documented information that demonstrates that all employees are aware of their impact on product quality and the importance of their activities in achieving, maintaining, and improving quality, including customer requirements and the risks involved for the customer with non-conforming product.”

What was our plan? Training and training for everyone. They had to understand their contribution to part quality – and customer satisfaction.

But we knew training is not enough. Each person is different. Some of them are getting nervous if someone is asking what they are doing. They could make mistakes just because their hands were shaking.

We wanted to make sure about the quality awareness of each worker.

Therefore we created simple audit plans with essential but straightforward questionnaires. Mini audits were continuously performed.

Each workstation, each shift had to be audited. Here these mini audits were pieces of training at the same time.

Could not the operator answer successfully? No problem, he/she got the explanation right there. The goal of these audits was the excellent preparation of our staff. To increase and spread the quality mindset continuously.

Who were the auditors? The quality guys only?

No way! We intended to involve everyone—managers, process engineers, shift leaders, technicians – and finally, quality engineers.

This process did not happen in one day. It took many weeks, hundreds of mini audits, and training.

And the result? Our effort paid back! The following customer audit was a success.

But I believe we gained much more. We strengthen the quality mindset, the customer focus in the whole organization. We found a way how to increase the awareness of our people.

As always, think in system with Pro Automotive.

If you are interested in reading articles about automotive quality management topics, best practices, case studies, follow Pro Automotive.

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IATF

How to (not) behave during a customer/certification audit?

I do not precisely remember what the question from the auditor was.

I have no idea what the answer from my colleague was. I was with the other auditor; I explained something about the process. I could not follow what the other pair was talking about.

Then the auditor replied something, and my colleague just started sadly nodding with his head. Immediately he took his notebook and wrote what he just heard.

Then the auditor said once again something.

The same happened; my colleague made the notes. Then the auditor also started making notes.

I found myself in alert mode. Something was obviously not OK. I had to intervene immediately.

⁃ Is there everything alright? – I asked.

⁃ I am afraid, this and this I miss – the auditor explained what he was looking for.

⁃ Well,  that we call a bit differently, but we have – I answered.

I asked my partner to show that.

He explained how that works because he knew that. But he was just blocked by the audit situation. He could not think clearly under pressure.

But the most dangerous was his body language.

He did not question what the auditor said. He accepted everything and just messaged: we were guilty.

Even that we had a good answer to the auditor question, we did a bit differently than the auditor’s first expectation. He was too nervous to recognize and gave up defending our way of working immediately.

Later, I gave him feedback, explained what I saw and sensed. We send messages without saying a word, just with our behavior and body language.

And we must defend our interest – if that is possible. At the production line, when and where the question was raised.

This situation was a lesson learned for me too. I should have known that. I did not prepare my colleagues properly. We are all different.

Part of the audit preparation is the preparation for the colleagues.

How to answer, what to say, what do not say.

A good practice to train our colleagues.

We can simulate an audit environment by conducting internal audits.  The colleagues can get more comfortable with different questions.

There is an additional lesson I learned over the years. I repeat it every time to the guys as advice.

„Never brag” and  „only answer to the question of the auditor”! „Only to the question, do not add anything else what additional things we are doing. If you answered the question, wait for the next question if there is any.”

This sounds too cautious or maybe odd, but I have seen issues so often because these single pieces of advice are not kept.

Do not forget that when you think about the necessary preparation for the audit, the participants should be prepared and trained as well.

As always, think in system with Pro Automotive.

If you are interested in reading articles about automotive quality management topics, best practices, case studies, follow Pro Automotive.

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Problem solving

Who should the 8D sign off?

The customer or IATF16949 audit outcome: the problem-solving process is not effective, not according to the customer requirements, or you face re-occurred failures.

I have seen two typical reactions to such a non-conformance:

  • organize training for the whole team
    • HR will get the task, and they will send the team to outside or in-house training.

Job well done. The issue is close, right? (No, not at all as I already wrote about it in this separate article.)

  • The Quality Manager needs to sign the 8D before closing.

Unfortunately, this usually will not save the world, but we can have the next wildcard if this happens:

  • the  Plant Manager will also review and sign the reports before sending them out to the customer.

Why do we expect it will be an efficient solution to prevent insufficient 8D reports landing at the customer?

What will change from this action?

Let’s assume that the next level managers are really quality professionals and know what they should look for.  (I think it is not evident – and not a requirement –  that the next level manager will have the professional knowledge to identify the reports’ issues.)

If this is the case, we will still have the timing issue – it is not easy to find free time with a plant manager to review 8D reports. This can have a negative impact on our response time to the customer, which can initiate the next negative evaluation.

Imagine a big organization with many customer issues.  How long will the manager have the time and patience to review each case deeply?

What can we solve with the supervisor’s advance review?

In a short time, it can help.

We can detect obvious unlogic issues, no technical solutions.

We can also expect that the engineers will make more precise reports because they do not want to confront their managers. They try to avoid unpleasant moments. This positive effect will last as long as the manager will have the time and passion for closing reviews.

Is it not showing a lack of trust towards our colleague? How long do we plan to micromanage our colleagues?

Should we not understand the real root-cause behind the weak reports?

How about our Quality Management System (QMS)?

We have to understand the systematic root-cause.

What is the exact cause of insufficient reports?

Are we sure that it can only be a competence issue?

If so, which competence should be exactly improved? How exactly can be improved – besides the joker “send them for training!”?

How was the individual competence assessed before, and which actions were defined to improve?

Why did we not detect it?

How is it possible that the customer or the auditor highlights the incomplete 8Ds for us?

There are so many questions we need to ask ourselves.

8D reports signed off by managers can help in a short time, but that is not a sustainable solution.

Do not stop with simple answers without understanding the systematic issues behind.

As always, think in system with Pro Automotive.

If you are interested in reading articles about automotive quality management topics, best practices, case studies, follow Pro Automotive.

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Problem solving

How to put your organization into escalation?

Many years ago, I continued my career as a customer quality engineer at a new company.

I wanted to show my abilities to the team to prove that I am a quality professional.

I did not have to wait too long. We received a new quality claim from the customer on Friday afternoon (as always).

⁃ Yes! I can do that! – that was my first thought.

The issue did not seem too complicated; one small part has not been properly fixed.

Among other containment actions, we immediately implemented some extra operations to make sure the parts are OK.

We discussed as a team; the defined actions were appropriate and safe.

Everyone thought we are finished until the claimed part arrived, and the root cause analysis can be continued.

But I raised the following question:

Is there a similar part for the customer where such an issue could happen?

⁃ Well, yes. – answered the process engineer. But that produced at a different line, that is another application, but the fixation method is similar.

⁃ Ok, in this case, the similar containment actions should be implemented as well. Let’s not wait until there would be the same type of claim from the customer. Use the lessons learned!

The team was not too happy, especially on Friday afternoon, but they accepted my decision.

Finally, all actions have been implemented for the other part number as well.

At the end of next week, the defected part arrived, root causes have been defined, corrective actions were scheduled, everything seemed to be normal.

Certainly, the containment actions remained in place till the final implementation and validation of the corrective actions.

Everything went smoothly till I have received an angry e-mail from the customer about a claim with the other application, but it affected more parts.

No, it was not the same improper fixation issue. That was a totally different function problem.

Due to that claim, we have received the escalation letter…

This happened in my first month, customer escalation, I had to start organizing my trip to present what happened.

Well, that was not the perfect opportunity for introducing myself, which I imagined before.” Warm” welcome could be expected.

I took that case very seriously. I organized 8D meetings by the line, involved all experts, including the operators, but we could not understand the root cause for occurrence.

Other containments were in place; therefore, the customer was protected from more failed parts, but it was not enough because we still found occasionally NOK parts.

Escape was clear, but how it occurred?

The team performed lots of experiments based on the fishbone analysis, but we did not get closer.

I addressed different operators from different shifts and spent enormous time on the shop floor, but still no success for weeks.

One day I got lucky.

I was on the shop floor again, chatting with the operator, but continuously watching what and how she was doing.

Suddenly, I recognized that one assembly tool got slipped while she was doing the extra operation I asked a long time before due to the different claim about the other part number.

The tool hit a sensitive part, and the set function was lost.

Yes!!!

We did some trials, verified in the lab, and the failure has been successfully reproduced.

Now we could get out of the escalation after the risk has been eliminated by a robust action.

Several months later, I had to explain the whole story to the ISO/TS16949 auditor. We went to the line where he understood everything.

I will never forget what his comment was.

⁃ You did a good job. But I recommend that next time you use the PFMEA better.

What happened?

We introduced an action as a lesson learned to a different product without proper risk assessment.

The other product was smaller. There was less space for the assembly tool, which increased the risk of slipping the tool. The tool hit a sensitive part, and the already verified function got misadjusted.

Do not expect that one proven effective action will have the same efficiency on other products as well, even if they have many similarities. (And make sure the final test is really the final test.)

Lessons Learned?

You can make a mistake if you do not perform proper risk assessment while you implement lessons learned.

How can you even make a bigger mistake?

If you do not apply lessons learned at all.

As always, think in system with Pro Automotive.

If you are interested in reading articles about automotive quality management topics, best practices, case studies, follow Pro Automotive.

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IATF

Know the standard from your heart! (?)

  • Have you already read the standard from the first page till the end? – asked me the manager who was responsible for the Quality Management System.
  • Well…not all pages…- I admitted.
  • Then go away and come back when you did! -he replied. – I will not talk to you before.

Wow, what a rude guy -I thought, but I did not express my feelings.

I recently joined the company as a customer quality engineer and got a list of managers I need to talk as part of my onboarding process.

The” standard” he meant was the ISO/TS16949; now, it is replaced by IATF16949.

I thought he was impolite, and he could be more helpful to a new guy, but anyway, I followed his advice and read through the standard.

For many years I thought he was right – rude, but right. He was sick of explaining everything many times.

Ten years later, I found myself in the same position, responsible for the Quality Management System (QMS).

As it was a greenfield project, the task was also to build the QMS from scratch.

When we worked on the onboarding system, I remembered this unpleasant memory again.

Is it really a fair expectation that an engineer who talks to customers is familiar with the whole IATF 16949? Is it a requirement?

It definitely makes sense, and it is an advantage for sure.

But was this the right answer from the manager?

I doubt it.

His answer just proved that there were some rooms for the QMS improvement.

Why?

  1. Roles and responsibilities – competence issue

What were the requirements for my position, were they appropriately defined? Was the ISO/TS16949 described as a must?

  • Lack of assessment of my competence against the requirement and appropriate action plan.

If the position required that knowledge, why was then not a lack of competence identified and relevant actions defined?

Who should be an expert on the standard? Should all engineers read the norm at home when they can not feel asleep? (They will probably fall asleep in 3 minutes.)

How will they know which part of it relevant’s their job? How can they apply what they learned in their daily work?

There is a better answer.

Engineers do not need to be an expert on the IATF16949. They do not need to know that from their heart.

It is our (who are responsible for the QMS) duty to make sure that the internal procedures are aligned with the standard requirements.

Our duty is that the onboarding system is robust enough and includes all internal procedures (documented processes) necessary to perform the specific job. This is what we should focus on.

Do not expect that everyone knows the standard from their heart.

Have robust QMS, which ensures that our daily work is aligned with the expectations from the norm.

As always, think in system with Pro Automotive.

If you are interested in reading articles about automotive quality management topics, best practices, case studies, follow Pro Automotive.

"Argument
Problem solving

Speak the quality language!

  • This is bullshit! – shouted the customer and suddenly caught the ashtray from the table and dropped it towards my colleague. The massive object hit the head of the guy. Silence spread over the room.

This story happened a long time ago. I traveled to the Far-East to present our actions to the OEM customer. That time I did not understand what happened, how it could go so wrong.

No question, physical aggression is not acceptable, not even from the customer. However, this memory accompanied me over the years.

Why did not the customer understand us? How could he not see that we were explaining the real cause and the effective corrective action?

Indeed, the English could be an issue as none of us was a native speaker. But that does not explain everything.

The first reaction, which lasted several years: the customer did not have the patience to understand us, probably he had no idea about our manufacturing process.

Now I have a different opinion.

I still believe that the customer was rude and behaved unacceptably.

We can not change such people. However, we can change our communication.

I realized that as a quality expert, I only might speak about facts supported by data.

We have to rule out all emotions from our presentations about quality issues and the solutions.

Our intention should be to prove the direct connection between the root cause and the rejected part.

Saying that the root cause is XXX is not enough – we must have evidence about it, the best if we can reproduce the failure. Same about the corrective actions. Have a study behind the correction, which proves its effectiveness.

Use well-known quality tools, e.g., 5Why analysis (for occurrence, escape, and the system as well), fishbone but with verifications behind, capability analysis, MSA studies, etc.

I had customers from the USA, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, South Korea, and many European countries. They behave differently. They have their communication style, English knowledge, familiarity with the process, and product.

Many of them will shout first over the phone, they will explain how stupid and incompetent you, as a supplier are.

Our target should be to improve the relationships with the customer, therefore we must eliminate all emotions and unnecessary arguments without facts, which are not based on data.

They all speak the quality language. Customers will have their confidence in you and your implemented actions if you use the quality tools properly.

Do not try to change the customer. Change your communication.

As always, think in system with Pro Automotive.

If you are interested in reading articles about automotive quality management topics, best practices, case studies, follow Pro Automotive.

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Training

Is classroom quality training efficient for engineers?

The root-cause analysis outcome for system issues is lack of competence.

Corrective action: Training – of course!

How many times have you met with this symptom?

Some automotive core-tools competences for some engineers are missing. The obvious solution: send them for training!

What is next?

HR got the task to organize training about automotive quality topics, like APQP, PPAP, 8D, FMEA, MSA, etc.

Simple, right?

The best thing is that once the training is ordered, there is no such difference if 10 or 15 guys participate. Let’s send some technicians, other engineers, internal auditors, whoever has some time can participate. More is just better.

The training is held by a qualified expert (a good chance that he did not work in a production plant for ten years or more), and he/she mainly explains the things which are already described in the released handbooks/standards. OK, they can also answer questions, present it more deeply.

Due to important meetings, production issues, and phone conferences, many participants walk in and out during the day.

Final result: everyone passed the test, the same satisfaction feeling for the different persons:

  • HR: Training finished, job well done!
  • Managers: Training finished – no more excuse, let’s work!
  • Quality system auditors: There was training, the competence is now improved! Great evidence for future audits!
  • 8D team: the systematic issue is corrected, the claim can be closed now!

Everyone is happy….or…almost everyone.

How about the engineer?

Even he could not participate during the whole time, some chapters missed, but finally, he received the certification – that is good, as it can be useful for the next job, it can be listed in the CV as well.

Did it make any sense? Will he understand the reasons behind, will he see the whole picture?

I doubt that.

Why do we fool ourselves and address competence issues by organizing classroom training about generic, well-documented quality topics? Just because everyone does the same? Or because the auditors look for evidence?

Has anyone really looked at which part of competence is missing for the engineer? Not as general, but specifically.

Based on my seventeen years of experience, such classroom training are just not efficient.

I know I will be criticized – especially by some training institutions.

Indeed, there are circumstances when they can be useful if the intention is to get a general description or some generic explanation for freshly graduated engineers. However, often they are not only used for such a purpose. They are used because we choose the most straightforward answer for improving competence without considering other solutions.

Why is that year after years, series of same training held at the same company, most of the time for the same audience? Same actions, same results.

Shouldn’t we do something different?

A much better solution to find an experienced mentor for the engineer who supports him/her during real challenges while he solves real issues.

Such a mentor can be internal or external, but he must have excellent practical knowledge and skill and willingness to transfer his knowledge.

I already described that in detail in my other article: Train your own team! , but here are some other examples.

  • Not fully understand MSA Gage R&R? Help him to manage a full study alone. Support him with the planning, execution, and interpretation of the result.
  • Systematic root cause analysis issue? Explain to him the background and do the fishbone analysis together with the team. Do not let them simply rule out possibilities, but show them the proper way of verification.
  • FMEAs have nothing to do with reality? Find a mentor for the team, do the studies together.

Bad news: it will not be finished in 2 days, like classic classroom training with an external trainer. Jolly joker solutions do not work in real life.

Such a process requires much longer time, months, half a year, or more.

On the other hand, the engineer will finally have a skill. The change can not be observed from one day to another.

But when you look back, you will see a different work quality, and you will see a motivated person who is eager to learn and who has his day by day, issue by issue successes.

Assess the needs and define necessary actions individually and find the right mentor for your colleagues.

As always, think in system with Pro Automotive.

If you are interested in reading articles about automotive quality management topics, best practices, case studies, follow Pro Automotive.

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