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Automotive Materials Purchasing Quality

Question:

Discuss about the Automotive Materials Purchasing Quality.

Answer:

Introduction

The implementation of the suitable quality control measures throughout the project life-cycle, assessing the risk of a project and setting up and running an effectual and effective project procurement system is important in ensuring the success of any project. Quality management deals with both the quality of the project itself as well as the quality of the product or service produced. A quality project must achieve all the needs that made it necessary for the project to be formulated.  Quality management module sightsees prevention over inspection, the cost of quality, the pillars of quality and continuous improvement (Arai, 2017). The 4 pillars of a quality are process improvement, empowered performance, customer satisfaction and fact-based management. These four pillars ensure that both the project and the produced goods and services meet the quality standards expected of them (Griffin, 2016). This essay is a discussion of a quality problem in the garment production and the recommended ways to solve this problem. Quality should always be a priority in any project to ensure that a business organization delivers to its target customers goods and services they expected. This will guarantee sales and hence ensure the business thrives to meet and even surpass its set goals and targets.

Every business owner who wants to be successful has to be committed to quality improvement in his/her organization.  The business owner has to apply the quality management principles and innovation to ensure that they improve the quality of the produced goods and services. There are five steps that can be taken to ensure that you improve quality. The first step is making a commitment. Edwards Deming who is made a major contribution to quality movement concepts cited "constancy of purpose" as a chief factor among his 14 management points (Dale, 2015). The commitment of any company to quality must come from the top and it has to be reinforced consistently.  Quality may easily slip due to workers making tradeoffs and therefore quality has to be viewed as a not negotiable goal in the organization (Bader, 2015). The constancy of purpose requires that decisions on quality are not made situational. The second step is to track mistakes. This involves quality control where standards are specified and proper procedures are put in place to determine any deviation in quality. The third step is to invest in training. The responsibility to ensure the quality of products should not be left entirely in the quality department but all the works at all levels should be trained on how to ensure and improve the quality of products. The fourth step is organizing quality circles since this provides an avenue to identify problems and address them. The final step in quality improvement process is having the right attitude. The staff members have to be educated on the importance of having a positive attitude towards quality improvement and not see it as an oppressive initiative.

It is frustrating both to the company and the client if customers receive goods and services that are below their quality control. The company is at risk of losing sales and reputations as the customer feels they have not been satisfied and don't see value for their hard earned money. In the clothing and garment industry so many brands out there are struggling and competing to earn consumer loyalty. Maintaining the consumer loyalty highly depends on the quality of goods produced and this is a real challenge for many clothing brands. The garment industry has a lot of revenue with countries such as China being one of the largest garment exporters in the world.  There so many quality problems that occur in the garment production and I am going to analyze the various defects that might arise and the recommended solutions that can alleviate the situation. The main problem in our case is defects in the garment and therefore we have to analyze all the possible types of defects and how we can apply quality management principles to solve the problem.

The first type of defect that can occur in garments is broken, skipped or missing stitches. During the sewing process, a technical fault might occur with the sewing machine or the operator may make an error and this is what is associated with causing the skipped, missing or broken stitches in the garments. This reduces the quality of the end product since it reduces the structural integrity of the garment, which may make the garment to rip or wear prematurely, as well as the visual impression especially when stitching involves several bright colors. The most potential reasons for this defect is either the worker was rushing to meet the deadline or the supplier might have been given a sewing specification that is outdated (Lee, 2016). This might be seen as a minor defect but in quality management standards have to be met and a slight deviation might have huge negative reputation implications for the brand. The best way to solve this defect is to ensure that garments are thoroughly inspected before they can be shipped. The sewing operators also have to be educated on the importance of quality so that they stop rushing to complete the orders. Having enough manpower and producing garments in time will also help in eliminating this defect in garments.

Untrimmed threads another defect in garments that comprises the quality standards of the final garment and this is a quality management problem. The untrimmed thread is a major concern for many buyers and they give the final clothing a "cheap" appearance. This can affect the hard earned reputation of a given brand and give it a competitive disadvantage for its goods. Customers associate this defect with the sloppy workmanship and therefore the end product is also regarded to be of low quality and not worth to spend their hard-earned cash on purchasing the product.  This is a minor defect that can be resolved easily and ensure quality is guaranteed in the final clothing. The best way to deal with this defect is to have an inspection team at the end of production that is strict on the quality of the cloth by thoroughly checking for any untrimmed thread and do the trimming before the product can be shipped to the customers (Rashid, 2016). This as a defect that can be easily remedied to ensure quality if the inspection team at the end of the production line are very vigilant for this defect.

Dimension Tolerance Defect and Solution

A dimension out of tolerance is a garment defect that is a big threat to the quality of the final clothing. This defect can be identified by faulty patterns used, incorrect stitching or incorrect cutting dimensions of a piece of cloth. When the dimensions are not correct then the quality of the product is already compromised. Incorrect dimensions mainly affect the size of the final garment which means it won't fit the final target customer. This defect is a problematic one since the incorrect dimensions may affect the entire order and cause massive losses to the company (Purushothama, 2018). The dimension defect in cloth is different from the first two defects we have discussed above since reworking does not work and they have to be remade from scratch. This can put an organization into spending large extra amounts of funds to solve the defect. The best way to solve this defect and ensure quality is by ensuring that you give the supplier correct tolerance and points of measure. This defect can easily make an entire order to fail the final inspection and it should be taken as a key threat to the quality of both the product and the production process. The people in charge of inspecting the final product should know the agreed tolerances and have a clear measuring technique to detect this defect and guarantee quality to the final target customer. Independent inspections firms usually use their own dimension tolerance measures; however, a company has to come up with their own tolerances to be used in inspection. This defect has to be given all the priority it deserves since it is a major threat to quality in the production of garments.

Puckering refers to the irregular seam surface that may occur in a garment. This is also a defect that threatens the quality of the final end product in the garment industry.  This defect is commonly seen in woven fabric and woven fabric but is specifically prominent for tightly woven garments. The defect can be caused entirely by the quality of the fabric used but there are several workmanship issues that can also cause this defect (Fuller, 2017).  The defect can be caused by the bunching up of the fabric which may come as a result of high tension on the thread during the sewing process. The defect can be caused by using a blunt needle for woven fabric since the difficulty in puncturing the garment can lead to puckering (Tuna, 2018).  Feeding a plies of fabric at a different rate into the sewing machine can cause puckering in garments. The location puckering occurs and how severe the distortion is can be used to classify the puckering defect as being major or minor in garment production. However, every defect is a major threat to the quality and it should be treated with the urgency it deserves.  The best way to solve the problem is to ensure that the quality of the fabric used meets the standard and avoid the three workmanship issues mentioned above. This defect cannot be solved by rework since holes damage the fabric, the garment has to be made again from scratch. This can cause serious losses to the company; therefore, mechanisms to avoid this defect should be adhered to strictly.

Incorrect Stitches Per Inch Defect and Solution

The last garment defect we are going to talk about is incorrect stitches per inch. Less dense stitching can compromise the strength of the seam, appearance of the stitching and elasticity of the seam, especially on stretch fabrics. In the garment industry, the stitches per inch (SPI) specifications are always stated for most garments to ensure quality. This specification may not be met by some company since a higher SPI makes a manufacture to more on material and time this will affect the quality of the final product. This defect is mainly caused by workers intentionally increasing the stitch in order to increase the sewing rate.  This likely to occur where workers are paid in per piece of cloth hence they will focus on quantity at the expense of quality. Incorrect setting of the sewing machine is another possible cause of this defect.  The best way to solve this defect is to measure the SPI at the final inspection stage and determine whether it is within the tolerance rate.  Swing operators should also be supervised to ensure they observe the SPI specifications.

The problem identification process is mainly the work of the inspection team who have to ensure the specifications agreed on the contract are within the tolerance range. The problem analysis step is where the defects is analyzed and figure out the potential factors that might have caused it. Here the stage production stage that caused the defect is determined and the appropriate way to solve it is agreed upon. The problem correction stage is where the defect is resolved. The garment can go to either rework or it has to be made afresh depending on the type of defect. The feedback is sent to the quality assurance unit to confirm if the garment has now met the specifications. The quality assurance then approves the garment for shipment.

Conclusion

In conclusion, quality management is a very crucial component in ensuring customer satisfaction and the success of any business. Both the quality of the final product and the production process are important in quality improvement of goods and services. Quality improvement should be a key goal of every company that wants to thrive. Garment defects are a major quality threat in most clothing companies. There are several types of defects that can compromise the quality of the final product. The defects discussed above can result in unsellable products that lead to low returns and can negatively impact the reputation of a brand (Robinson, 2016). Prior inspection before shipping is one of the ways to ensure quality standards are met in the process of production. A product inspection mechanism based on acceptable quality limits (AQL) puts into consideration that defective units must be there in every shipment. However, this should not be used as an excuse not to keep attention on quality improvement. A garment company that observes the quality management models will prevent the defects in garments and this will give them a competitive advantage over their competitors thus establishing their brand. Quality improvement will ensure that customers are satisfied with the products offered and this is important in ensuring the success of a business.

References

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