Improving quality and ensuring its consistency are hallmarks of Lean Manufacturing. As a transactional print and mail provider, consistent quality is non-negotiable for our clients. After implementing Lean, we did experience quality improvements. Tim Lackey, Director of Business Process & Improvement, offered insights on these in this episode of Ask the Experts.
Upon implementing Lean, the team quickly learned that improving quality would require a new approach, transitioning from the need for quality inspectors to quality auditors.
“We immediately realized that inspecting the quality of the envelopes at the end of the process was an outdated approach. It’s impossible to inspect quality into a job,” Tim shared.
In print and mail, quality control once the documents are ready to go doesn’t have much impact. “Once something’s complete, you can’t make it better. You may find errors, but it’s a needle in a haystack,” Tim said.
As a result of this realization, the organization did away with quality inspectors. They then became process auditors. “These employees now audit thousands of processes a year. They refer back to the standard works, finding discrepancies and opportunities to improve,” Tim explained.
This seemingly minor change in the process now delivers substantial quality improvements. So we can continue to serve our clients and provide the most accurate transactional mail services for them.