Whether your small business manufactures clothes, electronics or something else, using statistical process control, or SPC, helps you to automate your quality control processes so that you have real-time information about production. Adopting SPC can help your company more easily monitor product quality, ensure that products are uniform, better satisfy customers and make your production process more efficient. Other benefits of statistical process control include an improved company reputation, various cost savings and the prevention of product recalls and returns of defective products.
Easier Quality Monitoring
Taking advantage of statistical process control in your small business makes it much easier to monitor product quality in real time and spot variations before you have large production problems that are costly to fix. While the math behind statistical process control can be complex, there are several software options that handle the analytics and reporting for you so that you can lower the need for manual inspections.
You can simply use live information about processes to spot major problems early, compare current performance to past data and improve your manufacturing processes in the long term. At the same time, you'll know exactly which processes are working well so that you can avoid unnecessary adjustments.
Better Product Uniformity and Quality
Another of the advantages of statistical process control is that it helps you create products of more uniform quality so that you experience less waste. If your business produces designer purses, for example, using SPC would help ensure that each purse has the same measurements and design so that customers get the exact product they ordered from you. Otherwise, you could end up with purses that need to be redone, resulting in wasted materials and production time.
Using statistical process control also helps reduce time and money spent handling customer returns or warranty claims due to not receiving the right product or receiving a defective one. As an added benefit, you'll find that your customer satisfaction increases and that your company will have a better reputation for producing quality products.
Improved Productivity and Efficiency
Seeing improvements in the productivity of your business's manufacturing processes is one of the key benefits of statistical process control. When making products, you can save time when a defect does occur with a specific part. This is because statistical process control tools help you find and fix the root cause more easily, reducing the need to shut down your entire production line in the meantime.
You'll also find that using the information that statistical process tools provide will lead you to finding ways to make production more efficient without having to waste time experimenting with adjusting processes. At the same time, you'll see overall increases in manufacturing efficiency since you can spot variations faster and reduce the need for reworking parts or products.
Cost Advantages of Statistical Quality Control
The improved quality, productivity and efficiency you get with statistical process control provides your company with numerous cost benefits. Having fewer defects means less money spent on materials to scrap and rework products as well as less labor time to fix problems. The reduction of manual inspections can mean you need to hire fewer quality control staff, or you can dedicate fewer labor hours to that task.
In addition, you'll spend less money for shipping and handling costs for customer returns of defective products and help avoid costly product recalls. Product recalls can be particularly detrimental to small businesses since not only are you unable to sell your product anymore, but you may have legal expenses and media costs to pay. Quality issues can lead customers to turn away from your company since it won't be seen as a reliable provider, and these lost sales can really hurt small businesses.
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