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The quality of products and business processes are tightly intertwined, both relying on repeatability as the primary means to achieve the desired quality targets. Improving quality requires measurement of current performance, auditing of process adherence, data analysis and agreement on changes to current ways of working. Dassault Systèmes (DS)' PLM solution is built with a continuous-process-improvement philosophy in mind and provides tools to support all of these activities.
Business Process Repeatability
Through the breadth of business process coverage as well as the integration between processes and the extensive reuse of data. DS PLM solutions allow brands and retailers to achieve much greater levels of repeatability. This begins with the sharing of data across functional departments, especially in collaborative activities that require formal consensus and approval. In the same environment where creative work in done, all documentation that describe all desired procedures that guide people in their decision-making can be housed.
Business Process Metrics
Once consistent processes are in place, useful performance measurement becomes possible. In DS PLM system, any implemented process has built-in metrics capability. The performance of the activity can be measured over time to look for improvement opportunities. Whether it is evaluating fit cycles, materials approvals or production inspections, the root causes of problems can become more visible and easier to resolve.
The most common cause of "out-of-tolerance" results is failure to follow established process. This applies both in the factory and in the office. While the system does not attempt to constrain individual creativity and has many points for human decisions, every step of the agreed collaboration processes is tracked with history data. These data provide the proof to an auditor or to a process-improvement analyst of exactly what steps occurred in collaboration. This makes it very straightforward to justify or maintain certifications and to convince a contract auditor that all the proper steps were taken during execution of a contract.
Worthwhile analysis depends on trustworthy data. By connecting the data and deliverables of dependent processes, DS PLM system provides the level of traceability that permits deeper understanding of cause and effect. These data can stretch all the way from initial contracts and their requirements to the physical product units that get delivered to customers.
Once an issue has been identified and the root cause analyzed, a solution to improve the situation has to be developed. Depending on the cause, the solution might be a change in design, tooling or process plan. For these, the relevant product and process change procedures and provided. For causes that relate to the operation of the business, a range of capabilities - from simple issue tracking and ad-hoc approvals to formal full-blown process improvement projects - provide various degrees of sophistication and complexity to suit a variety of situations. Most importantly, the very procedures and tools for the improvement live in the same system as the processes and data are being improved, providing the whole community with visibility and opportunity to contribute.
Solution for Quality Assurance includes:
Material test request
Product test request
Test evaluation and approval processes
Alignment to product approvals and production readiness