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Quality at the source – What it means for you

Quality.

We talk about it, measure it and initiate systems and processes to achieve it. In practical, day-to-day terms though, what does quality mean for you?

CPC focuses intensely on quality at the source, which has a straightforward definition:  quality is a crucial element of every process and workflow for every person who contributes to production or delivery.

Each step in the production process through delivery—and everyone involved—owns a piece of quality. Inspections, while critically important, are certainly not the only checkpoints that determine whether quality has been achieved. Quality at the source moves quality way up the line from a finished good. It relies on the right raw materials, qualified suppliers, tested and proven processes—and perhaps most importantly, instilling a sense of ownership and responsibility for each person and team involved along the way.

Implementation of quality at the source has profound implications for employees and customers alike. There are technical aspects. For example, are customer requirements known and well understood?  Is equipment properly calibrated? Are the components necessary for the job available when and where they’re needed? The cultural components of quality at the source, however, are just as important as the technical requirements. The people involved must believe that quality matters and that they personally play a fundamental role in delivering it.

So how is this brought to life at CPC?

CPC management sets the quality agenda and puts the resources in place to achieve it. From the C-suite to the production floor, CPC is deeply invested in quality. New team members with years of experience in lean manufacturing and quality system implementation have joined the existing CPC staff to grow the focus on quality and its measurement. 

Speaking of measurement…expanded data collection and tracking offer more information than ever before to objectively measure how the team is faring against quality goals.

Clarity and extensive communication about company and customer expectations paves the way for better processes, systems and outputs. CPC has a renewed emphasis on ensuring every production and support team member knows his or her specific duties and has access to a variety of channels for relaying concerns and ideas for improvements. We also spend a great deal of time in familiarizing employees with specific customer requirements and the processes designed to achieve them.

Soliciting involvement from multiple sources strengthens the process. Quality should be viewed from many perspectives. By gathering input from a cross-functional team—design engineers, QA engineers, manufacturing engineers, managers and production staff—issues are identified more quickly and comprehensive, strategic solutions can be put in place representing steps throughout the process.

Quality at the source applies to the entire supply chain. Among our many ongoing quality initiatives is making sure we clearly relay CPC’s quality expectations, standards and needs to our suppliers and their raw material providers. We know what’s required to deliver high-quality products to customers, so we hold our vendor-partners accountable for doing their part in the quality at the source continuum.

High volume and high quality can—and must—coexist. CPC produces a huge range of products and our growth as a company indicates that customers appreciate CPC’s solutions. Growth inevitably leads to faster production processes and sometimes to sharing equipment and space until expansion is possible. By staying focused and following detailed work instructions, we maintain efficiency and reduce errors and hassles for employees and customers alike.

CPC is dedicated to empowering employees thorough providing the tools and training to thoroughly understand quality system requirements in the industries we serve, the quality standards for which we claim certification, and the specific quality responsibilities of his or her job. 

No one ever said achieving quality is easy—no worthwhile accomplishment typically is—but it’s essential to future growth and success for our customers and ourselves.

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Quality Engineering Manager

Read more posts by Duane Dobko
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