Conducting business on a grand and global scale is a dream for many working in manufacturing. However, how can your business possibly assure quality standards when operations are happening in multiple facilities around the world? That is where a global quality tracking system (GQTS) comes in.
Overview: What is a global quality tracking system?
It is a software product used by large-scale global operations to measure and maintain quality.
3 benefits of a GQTS
There are some clear benefits to a GQTS if you are conducting business on a global scale:
With a global quality tracking system, large-scale operations are able to coordinate their international quality assurance efforts.
A GQTS allows for the centralization of the performance metrics of several different locations.
3. Global record-keeping
A GQTS makes keeping records of the compliance of quality standards across globally spread branches a reality.
Why is a GQTS important to understand?
Global quality tracking systems are important to understand for the following reasons:
Global manufacturing practically demands it
If you currently have a manufacturing business that has aspects of its operations that are internationally conducted, having an understanding of GQTS is important because you will need to be able to maintain a standard of quality that can become difficult to maintain. This is especially true as the business keeps growing and there are more and more parts of the operation dispersed around the world.
Where to make changes
Without understanding global quality tracking systems, it can be extremely difficult to know where changes need to be made when operations are so spread out.
The speed with which process changes are implemented
Another reason to understand these types of quality tracking systems is that they provide a methodology for being able to make changes quickly despite how spread out all these facets of operations are. Without this kind of system in place, making the necessary changes halfway across the world could be a slow process.
An industry example of a global quality tracking system in practice
A series of parts are proposed to be used by GM in order to cut the cost of electric vehicles that they manufacture by thousands of dollars. In order to have the parts approved, they have to go through a rigorous production part approval process as a step in GM’s global quality tracking system. This PPAP has a checklist of 18 requirements that need to be met prior to submission. If the parts do not meet all of the requirements, then they are denied usage in all of the automobiles produced by GM worldwide.
3 best practices when thinking about GQTS
Here are some practices to keep in mind when thinking about these types of systems:
1. Do not limit your thinking about how to apply them
While this type of system was first developed by John Casey for GM, the use of these systems need not be relegated to the automotive industry. The concepts are adaptable to any sort of manufacturing conducted on a global scale.
2. Many of the processes are low-cost
A lot of the work done as part of these types of systems can be of little cost compared to the ramifications inherent in not having such a system in place.
3. They can be used for organizations that are not working globally
Even if your operations are not global, these types of systems can be of great benefit whenever your operations spread out over several physical locations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about global quality tracking systems
Where did global quality tracking systems first originate?
The first formalized tracking system of this type is generally credited to General Motors.
What are the main categories of GM’s system?
The main categories are APQP, Launch, and Current. The APQP portion deals with GM’s global product planning requirements. The Launch portion covers the standardized processes that are followed to prepare a product for launch. In the Current portion, standardized processes are defined to protect the global manufacturing plants and to maintain improvement in the supply chain.
In GM’s GQTS, what happens when errors are found?
If errors are found that will lead to an incorrectly produced product, the entire process is scrapped and started from the beginning.
Manufacturing on a global scale
Whatever industry you are in, if you are manufacturing on a global scale, there is great benefit to having a global quality tracking system in place. It is a critical step in being able to assure customer satisfaction, product quality, efficiency, and reliable standardization.