Up a little earlier this morning, the time difference between Japan and the UK doesn’t feel great at 5.30am but I know it’s worth the effort; speaking to our colleagues on a video conference is much more personal and productive than email. As the UK section of the global quality team I am there to share information, ideas, failures and improvement strategies, we also, just as importantly, have a chat about our weekends, maybe even share a joke or two. Quality professionals can be funny too. After the VC has wrapped up there’s just enough time to get a cup of tea, check the daily Quality KPI’s and head over to the production meeting to make sure everything is on track for the day and coming week. A representative from each department that is involved in the product process attends so it’s a great forum to make sure we discuss the solutions to any issues, bouncing ideas around, being innovative, ensuring everyone is involved and aware of what we must do to achieve the high standards of quality and customer satisfaction.
The production meetings don’t drag on (thankfully), only 5 or 10 minutes depending on what the day has planned. From here I walk around and see every member of my team, say good morning and check in, we have a department meeting twice a week to get everyone together and while I know everything is on track from the KPI’s, it’s important to me to just say hello to everyone in the team. The Quality team of 11 cover 7 very different activities so it’s easy to not see each other for days but it’s important that we do. It’s about time for another tea! On the way to the kettle three people stop me and ask questions about current projects and orders, working in a company where colleagues want to ask, they want to know and do the right thing is incredible, it’s a culture. I check and answer some emails and a call comes in from a new member in IQC, (Incoming Quality Control) so I pop over. There’s a potential cosmetic issue with some of the parts, I check against the standard and ask my team what they think, they think the part isn’t acceptable; they’re right but sometimes need a bit of confidence, particularly with new team members. I remind the team to check any production that might be affected and to let everyone know before sending off a report to the supplier.
Back at my desk I double check my presentation for a meeting coming up on our upcoming new products. The quality team oversee new product launches and the key really is communication so representatives from each member of every department attends a new product meeting once a month. Part of this meeting is making sure any requirements of a new product are considered at each stage of the process and any changes will not adversely affect any other process or product. I make sure the meeting is relaxed and isn’t longer than an hour so that everyone can get involved and stay engaged, I’ve picked up a pack of biscuits for everyone on lunch to help with this. Once the meeting is done, I type up some brief minutes and actions and send them out. I check my team are ok and have a look through some emails to finish the day. Just before I head home I make sure everything has shipped for the day and check the calendar for tomorrow, it looks like a quiet meeting day so I can make some head way in some improvement projects we’re working on. Although I never really know what tomorrow will bring me. . .