Quality in 2013 Part 2: Q&A with Mohan Ponnudurai, Industry Solution Director, Electronic Manufacturing

What if I told you paying attention to quality-related processes could give you a leg up on competition? That is the case in the electronic manufacturing industry.  Today, we speak with Mohan Ponnudurai, industry solution director at Sparta Systems to discuss the challenges in the electronics and high-tech industries and uncover the key to managing growth and greater revenue. 

What quality-related challenges are facing your industry in 2013? 

The electronic and high-tech manufacturing industry is under pressure to do more with less. In other words, the industry is pressed to deliver final products with a limited number of resources and tighter cost control. 

Growth through R&D and acquisitions can account for frequent product changes as well as inheriting systems, processes and cultures that are necessary but must be harmonized. In tandem, the industry must address customer concerns in a timely fashion. The lifecycle to respond is narrow and short, and if a customer’s concern falls through the cracks, it can affect cost and reputation. 

What problems arise in this type of situation? 

A lack of response or a delayed response to internal and external complaints creates barriers in communication across multiple layers and teams. Separate systems silo information which results in unaddressed complaints, lack of transparency, visibility and wasted time. 

This can be an outcome of relying on outdated methods, like a homegrown database or a paper-based system to manage manufacturing-centric quality processes. This balancing act working with disparate systems and outdated technology overstresses another. There’s a greater chance that avoidable problems are getting repeated when the right data is not being produced and scrubbed for redundancies and inefficiencies. 

This also isolates supply chains and slows down the process to identify and verify reliable suppliers. 

How does this type of situation affect quality control?  

Outdated technology and the collection of data from disconnected systems results in a waste of time and resources and hinders the completion of tasks. The information silos can cause management oversight, making it harder to identify and record any issues. 

When the right information isn’t transparent, it causes a ripple effect and allows issues to slip through the cracks. The electronic manufacturing industry needs a centralized system to share information to analyze trends, investigate and identify the root cause of problems, and to close the loop and ensure continuous improvement. 

What are some best practices for managing and identifying risk across the industry?

An enterprise quality management software solution takes these islands of data-based point solutions and configures them under a single system to extend past the four walls of the enterprise to include internal value chain, suppliers and stakeholders. 

Bringing business-critical data under a unified system enables seamless data interchange, closed-loop business decisions based on best practices and lessons learned and real-time access to accurate data. Harmonizing processes allows for timely mitigation and looking at risk history to determine the avoidable component and resolve at the earliest stage of production. 

An enterprise quality management software solution provides a mechanism for managing quality data in a predictable and repeatable way. This is the true cost savings in doing more with less.

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