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Tips for reducing product defects

The major way that most manufacturing companies are looking to improve their production process is by reducing product defects. When there are defects in the products that you are producing you have to spend valuable time and money finding them, pulling them out of production, and dealing with them. This is a cost that manufacturers want to avoid. The good news is there are things that you can do that will greatly reduce the chances of product defects happening. There are various lean manufacturing programs that can be implemented within your company. These programs will help you to not only reduce product defects but increase productivity, lower costs and generally save the manufacturer money. Besides using lean manufacturing programs there are other tips, as well. Here are some tips for reducing product defects-

- Find the problems-The first step is to identify what you need to change in order to reduce the number of product defects. It is important not to just give the production line a cursory glance. You will need to look in great detail at all of the possibilities. It can also be helpful to talk with your employees to see what they feel could be causing product defects. Employees who work on the production line can often provide valuable insight since they work directly with the product. They may even come up with ideas that you haven't even begun to think of. The focus should on utilizing the resources at your disposal to figure out what could be changed to reduce the number of product defects.
- Put together a task force-Once you have determined what could be causing the product defects it is time to put together a task force that can work on solving the problems. The employees in this group will be responsible for deciding how they will make changes to reduce the number of produce defects. It is important that they don't jump to any conclusions. They should take time to examine all of the possibilities that have been brought up. It can also be helpful if they can see firsthand the production process in action. They will want to make sure that all the machines are running correctly and at peak performance before they make any changes to the production line.
- Implement the plan-Once the reason(s) for the product defects have been determined then it is time to implement a plan that will correct the problems. The task force should be able to come up with solutions to correct the problems. Whatever resources they need to make the changes should be available to them. Whether this is simple like rearranging the workflow or more extensive like retraining employees the resources they need should be at their disposal.
- Measure the success of the plan-It is important to realize that reducing product defects will be an ongoing process. Simply implementing a plan and then walking away and hoping for the best is not a good strategy. The plan that the task force has come up with will need to managed and monitored to determine its success. There are several possible outcomes when a new plan is put into place. You may be successful in reducing products defects, fail at reducing product defects, or make very little difference and have to change direction. The task force should also be responsible for monitoring the possible outcomes and making changes should they be needed.
- Keep your employees involved-In order to insure a long term reduction in product defects it is crucial to keep your employees involved in the process. By making sure that your employees stay involved in making your production better you are increasing the chances of producing a much higher quality of product.

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