Foundations of Quality Management Assignment Using the information provided within the scenario, you are Tony Fields. Therefore, you must carefully analyze the scenario specifics and hidden elements that are at the root cause of Electrons problems to develop the Quality Improvement Plan that must be presented to senior management. Your response must be presented in two parts. It is important that you address the issues presented within the scenario from a holistic business perspective. Consider ALL factors included within the scenario. The issues are larger than addressing manufacturing and inspection. Quality is related to the overall business operations not just the manufacturing and quality area. Solutions start with looking at the business strategy and long-term plans and goals and then work their way to the specifics of the operations. Items to consider include: Organizational structure, culture, and leadership Customer Focus and CRM Risk Management Constraints Data, Metrics and Information Processes and process Improvement Contract Review Supplier Quality Management Benchmarking Part One: Analysis Phase: Develop the analysis of the current business situation and root causes using a combination of the following tools: SWOT analysis Fishbone Diagram Data Analysis Direct process observation Employee communications Part Two: Plan Development Phase: Using the information provided from the Analysis Phase develop Quality Improvement Plan. Plan should be developed with keeping a proper flow of what was identified and then what process changes or initiatives will be implemented to address the root causes. For example, if you identify a weakness in your SWOT analysis, what will you do to address the weakness? Data and information that you use will be fictitious but must be included and presented using graphs or charts where appropriate. It is key to consider what type of information/data you collected, what issues were the information/data identifying, and then how will you address the issue the information/data is identifying. Note: paper must address both parts of the assignment.There must be a good flow to your paper logically addressing the scenario and presenting your plan. The Paper: The paper must be between 10 pages. The page count does not include graphs or charts. The page count may be exceeded due to charts and graphs. paper should have 5 peer-reviewed references published within the past 5 years. Paragraph in-text citation (each paragraph need to be cited).100% quality work needed. Presentation: Executive Summary of the paper. the presentation will provide an overall summary and include supporting charts, graphs, and information as needed. Presentation would cover Quality Improvement Plan that will address the business and quality concerns for short and long-term business health Note: Find the attached document for the scenario
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Electron Technologies is a medium sized manufacturing firm specializing in the manufacture of
customer designed electronic circuit boards. They have been in business for 35 years. Over the years
they have grown from being a very small company of just 5 employees to 125 employees today. They
have primarily been supporting the commercial industry for just three major customers who provide
audio electronics to consumers. Two years ago they became an ISO 9001 registered organization in
order to maintain and attract new business while trying to formalize their business operations and
Most of their 125 employees have more than 10 years of service. The efficiencies gained by not having
to constantly train new employees or fill key roles have been a major factor in their ability to produce
quality products. However, they have had quite a few new hires in the past two years due to increases
Before hiring Susie Walsh last summer as their new salesperson to replace Frank Green who retired
after 22 years of service, the companys average annual sales bookings for the past 5 years were around
$10.5M. However, in September of last year, due to Susans contacts in the defense and aerospace
industries, they booked several new large contracts with four large aerospace and defense customers
increasing this years potential revenue forecast to $17.5M! Although there were some concerns about
being able to meet the existing and new contract deliverables, senior management decided that the
rewards versus the risks were just too great to pass up and signed the new contracts presented by
Because of the differences in the end item requirements of the designs, some of the new contracts
included products with designs and requirements unfamiliar to the engineering staff at Electron, but it
was felt that new markets could be opened up by learning how to manufacture these new designs and
there were similarities as well. With that, engineering did not voice any real concerns about taking on
the new designs. While some line supervisors in operations did have some concerns with the needed
changes in operations, they did not make any issue with it because they saw the potential for huge
revenue growth. In addition, senior management did not seem concerned so the work progressed
without any significant issues anticipated.
As a result of signing the new contracts, Electron quickly hired 10 new employees to increase their
production line capacity. Also, in order to meet the huge increase in short-term demand, it was decided
by senior management to immediately incorporate a second shift, something they never needed in the
past, by assigning some of the new manufacturing personnel to the night shift. As a result, half of the
new employees were added to the first shift, while the other half filled the newly formed inaugural
second shift. After reviewing their strategy, the company maintained its current approach to inspection
and quality and did not hire any new staff to the quality area since it was an overhead function and they
developed a new approach to inspections that involved more checks being performed by the production
staff. It was also decided that Jim Cole, the Production Manager, would continue to oversee the
inspection and testing operations.
After all of the planning by senior management, the current work and the new work had been fully
integrated and started within the manufacturing areas. Although they havent missed any promised
deliverable dates over the past several months, they have been steadily experiencing an increase in
repair, rework, customer returns, and scrap. A thorough review of inspection reports and customer
returns revealed that the normal yield of 98.2% product acceptance is currently sitting at an all-time low
of 72%. At least four of their major contract customers, both established customers and new customers,
have already threatened to withdraw contracts if Electron does not do something to improve quality.
Once of their new aerospace contractors even had to hold up a 25 million dollar product line due to
poor quality issues from Electrons circuit boards.
Although Jim Cole has held several meetings with manufacturing and quality personnel alerting them of
the issues and asking them to pay closer attention, the issues persisted. Electron Technologies ability to
produce electronic circuit board assemblies on time and with the expected performance has been
progressively declining. Discounting their first year of business, they have maintained a 98% minimum
product quality and delivery success level. This high quality/delivery mark has been a key factor in
maintaining their long-time customers along with receiving several letters of commendations. Electron
even won the Supplier of the Year award from one of their audio customers just two years ago.
Recognizing some underlying concerns, Tony Fields, General Operations Manager, decided he would
assess the current state of overall operations at Electron so he could then brief senior management on
areas where issues might exist that are causing the downward spiral. After conducting a 2 week general
overview including employee interviews and some data collection, he presented his general findings to
senior management during their monthly review. Based on his overview of the possible causes of the
issues, Tony reported that he feels the decline is attributed to a combination of several factors. These
factors are summarized as follows: Increasing number of nonconforming parts making their way from
suppliers into finished products Increased number of new suppliers brought on to provide quicker
deliveries of electronic components needed to meet higher demands Extended machine operation
impacting increased downtime needed for equipment maintenance Constant backlog in the inspection
and testing area Increased workload creating extensive use of overtime Poor morale among the
employees Employees, especially the newer employees, have a lack of understanding of required
operations and requirements Chaotic approaches allowed for processing work/lack of process control
Lack of perceived support by upper management and line supervision Lack of customer
communications and service Poor identification and understanding of contractual requirements
resulting in documentation and processing errors.
The consequences for not successfully implementing the required changes are many. The greatest
immediate risk is that Electron will begin to miss delivery dates while allowing customers to continue to
receive poor quality products which will lead to one or more early contract terminations.
Electron has already been placed in a on notice position by many of their customers, including their
older audio products customers, that if delivery dates continue to be missed along with product quality
being improved, then they will most likely not be selected for follow-on work. The new defense and
aerospace customers have also informed Electron that if they dont get quality and delivery yields
greater at or greater than 99% in the next 18 months; they will be in jeopardy of losing all of their future
work and could also face penalties from the U.S. Government. Most importantly, Electrons reputation
in the circuit board industry could suffer greatly with irreparable damage in the eyes of both their
longtime customers and any new customers resulting in even lower annual revenues than previously
Needless to say, the stakes are high. Susan impressed to senior leaders that correcting the overall issues
is imperative, and if successful at addressing the issues, there are firm indications in the markets of their
current customer base of a continued 18% projected increase in annual revenues over the next 5 years
which will allow for new capital infusion, additional employees, and even greater increased profits.
Electron executives had heard enough. They then tasked Tony to conduct even deeper analysis in order
to identify the specific root causes of these issues so that they can support a plan to improve their
business outlook and short and long term quality issues while maintaining customer expectations. He
was given full responsibility and authority to make whatever changes that are needed to accomplish this
goal. The target is to report back to senior management with a Quality Improvement Plan in 3 months.
There must be a written report containing the details supporting the plan for to be used for careful
review by executive leadership, and he is also required to present his plan summary during the monthly
senior management meeting. If approved, the plan will be fully funded with an aggressive goal of full
implementation of the proposed changes.
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