Quality Window – Where do you start?

Dealing with customers, I am always amazed as to what they are doing with Quality Window or what they want to do.  The following is just a few examples of some of those moments.

On the personal side, I have been told Quality Window can take credit for a birth or two.  I spoke to one person that was impressed with Quality Window in a work environment and wondered if it was alright to use it for a personal project.  She mentioned she was having a hard time getting pregnant and wanted to track data using Quality Window to help out.  We talked a little bit and she created an application and updated it religiously.  It was a boy!

Another Quality Window user monitored personal data to help control his diabetes.  He captured all kinds of data because he liked the way the relationship screen worked on his process data at work and it had found things they were not aware of.  Reporting back, he mentioned a number of interactions with both food and activities and made some changes.  He actually showed the results to his doctor who was impressed with the data and his diligence.

In the manufacturing environment there is no end to the possibilities or the creativity of individuals.  One great example was at a consumer products company where a technician on the floor wondered if downtime data could be looked at differently from Pareto’s and interval charts.  What he did was apply the tools and thinking for a monitoring application – limits and rules to look at the data.  By control charting the causes of downtime he then discovered some causes had trends and through the use of limits and rules he could determine when a specific cause was going “Out of Control” and could intervene before it became a big problem.  This thinking led to significant cost savings and won the individual an award and changed the way people looked at downtime data.

Another example involved a customer supplier relationship.  In this case the supplier had worked hard to reduce variation in their products which was very important for their customer who ran very high speed processes with that raw material.  The supplier took to sending Quality Window detail data in Certificate of Analysis reports and that eventually led to the sending of the actual Quality Window data to help the customer troubleshoot problems on their lines.  A win for both sides.

A similar situation but it was the customer who suggested and supported the use of Quality Window at supplier locations to improve the production of raw materials used by the customer.  All the customer asked for in return was a consistent raw material from those suppliers.  The suppliers gained on two fronts – decrease in variation and also a decrease in costs with less rework and returns.

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