Quality Management System Implementation

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New York State manufacturing Extension Partnership Success Story

Originally published on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) website with the help of New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP)

About

Plesh Contract Packaging (PCP) of Buffalo, New York, blends and packages chemical products for various OEM customers. The primary markets served are automotive pastes, waxes, and cleaners with a secondary market of household and commercial cleaning products.

The Challenge

PCP needed to ensure their company had the proper processes in place to produce a consistent product and provide methods to monitor and improve quality and productivity. The owner of the company felt strongly that process control ensured quality, not final inspection. PCP had both a dedicated management team and an experienced core workforce, however several factors threatened the success of the implementation. There was significant turnover among newer employees and a fair percentage of employees did not speak English as their first language. Additionally, the culture among production staff seemed to prioritize speed over quality. This behavior was difficult to change despite consistent messaging from management.

Implementation of the QMS provided process awareness to the employees that was not present before and opened opportunities to international customers. In addition, the system increased management awareness of the risks faced by the organization.

Tom Mcleod, President

MEP’s Role

In order to effectively develop a quality management system (QMS), PCP chose to partner with Insyte, part of the New York MEP and the MEP National Network™, to make the necessary improvements. Management review meetings were established early to communicate the progress and challenges of the implementation. Documentation was developed through collaboration between Insyte and company personnel. Quality management system documentation was introduced to employees through training sessions with small groups. This provided opportunities to answer questions and ensure that employees understood and were comfortable with the requirements.

Internal auditors were trained, and audits were initiated. This was a valuable method for communicating the requirements of the QMS and helped the employees to understand their responsibilities. After several months running the system, with regular internal audits and management review actions, the company went through the certification audit and was awarded certification.

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