As a manufacturing business leader, you can be instrumental in triggering a cultural shift toward a proactive and holistic approach to operational excellence. You have the power to advocate for improved design and production processes that help your company ship on time, reduce business risks, and increase profit margins.

Manufacturers want to get parts out quickly and streamline New Product Introduction (NPI). Maintaining a competitive edge requires that manufacturing companies develop and introduce new products quickly and effectively, as well as deliver current products on time that meet all the customer’s requirements. Innovation drives sales, while accelerated production and delivery help a manufacturer meet customer demands and grow the business.

Investing upfront in tools that promote operational excellence makes a difference by speeding up delivery times, decreasing quality issues, and boosting profits.

Using a holistic suite of software to automate manual processes enables your company to connect and manage all aspects of product design, development, and manufacture. Maintaining compliance to internal and industry standards becomes easier, even when managing the supply chain.

This eBook explores some key initiatives that manufacturing can take to drive value for the organization.

CHAPTER 1: The Benefits of Planning

Pre-planning can save manufacturers money by eliminating problems that might emerge later in the production process or when a product reaches the customer site. Ideally, problems should be eliminated altogether. The most economical solution is to engage in continual improvement to prevent issues by designing them out of the product before it reaches the customer.

Manufacturing companies are already spending money on quality. They have fixed costs for quality inspectors, gauging, etc. This level of inspection may not be enough to achieve reduced risk and boost profits. Manufacturers also need to consider whether there is over-inspection where risk is historically low. QAD CEBOS EQMS has built-in inspection abilities that monitor production in real time, ensuring that inspection data is matched to control plans and planning documents.

Cutting Costs And Increasing Margins

A proactive approach to corrective actions is more cost-efficient than a reactive approach. Companies that spend money upfront to promote operational excellence save the costs of recalling, scrapping, and reworking products later. As Ben Franklin wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Manufacturers need to eliminate risk by using root cause analyses and problem-solving tools to address issues as early in the product lifecycle as possible.

Planning during NPI also reduces the cost of poor quality. The Keysight Test Equipment Report found that 58% of manufacturers reported increased costs as an effect of quality issues.1 When manufacturers eliminate nonconformances through planning, they avoid the expense of recalls, which fall on the manufacturer, not the consumer.


The 2018 report The auto industry’s growing recall problem—and how to fix it found that a 2016 recall of 23 million GM vehicles cost the company $4.1 billion.2

Manufacturing leaders have the influence necessary to trigger a cultural shift from a reactive mindset to a proactive approach that saves the company money.

CHAPTER 2: Investing in Cross-Functional Planning

Investing in cross-functional planning leverages expertise within the manufacturing company to optimize the New Product Introduction (NPI) process by eliminating nonconformances.

Leveraging Expertise

Getting Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from key disciplines involved in the development process helps to mitigate the risk of New Product Introduction (NPI). They will share specialized knowledge and help embed it in your production processes. SMEs have the knowledge necessary to understand what has gone wrong — and what can go wrong — in design or production. This knowledge can help the team plan for quality by eliminating or reducing those occurrences.

In the automotive industry, cross-functional planning can be implemented in every part of product development, from designing parts through the assembly of the entire vehicle. Information silos can be eliminated, giving everyone across the business access to data related to production design, process design, and business performance.

With cross-functional planning, the focus is on risks and requirements. Functional groups share the risk, ensuring risk is controlled at every stage of the development process. When experts from each relevant department are involved in cross-functional planning, problems can be identified and handled quickly.

Experts can supervise the planning process, drawing on their specialized knowledge to ensure that customer expectations are met. These experts can also assess design feasibility based on the manufacturing process and performance expectations.

CHAPTER 3: Finessing New Product Introduction (NPI)

Manufacturing leaders can spearhead a change in their company’s approach to NPI. Mitigating risks and enforcing requirements during the entire NPI process helps manufacturers get products to the market quickly while still meeting the performance requirements the customer expects.

Supporting Innovation

Designing and launching new products is crucial for manufacturers that want to stay competitive and capture a larger market share. A proactive and comprehensive approach to NPI increases the chance of a successful product launch and leads to improved customer satisfaction.

The process of eliminating product and process nonconformances needs to start in the design and product development stage and continue throughout the product lifecycle. Lessons learned during the design and development stage can be leveraged to produce a high-quality product that customers will embrace.

A fully integrated EQMS system with NPI software helps speed time to market and reduce lifetime cost. When the product is designed and produced the right way, less scrapping and reworking is necessary.

Getting It Right the First Time

Promoting operational excellence throughout the entire product lifecycle prevents nonconformances from reaching the customer site, where they could lead to costly recalls. Instead, customers receive products that meet their expectations and requirements.

Not only does a holistic approach to NPI help prevent the costs of a recall, but it also increases customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers are more likely to be repeat customers or brand advocates, increasing your company’s revenue.

CHAPTER 4: Streamlining Corrective Actions

Using corrective actions to eliminate the reoccurrence of a problem during the NPI process is more cost-effective than just containing and dispositioning the nonconforming product. When the root cause of a problem is properly identified and corrective actions to eliminate the cause are addressed, the identified cause of the problem won’t repeat.

Corrective actions that are applied to all aspects of risk eliminate problems more thoroughly and effectively. When corrective actions are streamlined and embedded in the development process, manufacturers can engage in continuous improvement.

Ditching The Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets provide great freedom and flexibility for manufacturers that are implementing corrective actions during the NPI process. However, spreadsheets lack the ability to be effectively mined for data. Spreadsheets are rarely stored in a place that makes them easily retrievable by all, and they don’t drive workflow.

Digitizing documents related to corrective actions allows departments across the business to access all the information they need for production, to conduct internal and external audits, and improve production processes. Corrective actions can be recorded and tracked so the cause of a nonconformity can be eliminated quickly and effectively.

Vishay Dale, an electronics manufacturer, was able to use QAD CEBOS EQMS to digitize its corrective action process. The company was able to transfer over 65,000 documents related to audits and corrective measures.3 By improving its audit and corrective action process, Vishay Dale was able to become a leading supplier in the automotive industry.

65,000 Documents

Vishay Dale was able to transfer over 65,000 documents related to audits and corrective measures.3

QAD CEBOS EQMS benefits the operations manager by notifying responsible parties about corrective action requirements and implementation dates to ensure corrective actions are completed on schedule.

CHAPTER 5: Strengthening the Supply Chain

Manufacturers are dependent on the supply chain. Visibility into the entire supply chain ensures that operations has control over the supplier of choice. The supplier sourcing process increases the chance that only the highest-quality parts will be included in the assembly of automobiles and vital medical devices, protecting consumer health and safety.

Forging Strong Links

Top Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the automotive industry won’t work with parts suppliers unless they pass rigorous certifications, such as ISO 9001, ISO 13485, and IATF 16949. When manufacturers vet suppliers carefully, they can dramatically reduce the chance of a defective part causing injury to the consumer.

Managing suppliers and their processes helps manufacturers eliminate risk and process disruptions. Compliance regulations often require that a company work with its entire supply chain to ensure adherence to standards. Suppliers are part of the NPI process, so supplier performance monitoring and supplier corrective actions and chargebacks need to be implemented.

A strong supply chain means automotive manufacturers save the cost of scrapping or reworking products and the expense of honoring warranties by repairing customer vehicles. Better supply chain management can also eliminate delivery delays and recalls.

Companies that manufacture products using the highest-quality parts not only earn customer satisfaction but also customer trust, impressing customers with their reliability.

Taking An Integrated Approach To Operational Excellence

Manufacturers can vastly improve the way they handle production by implementing an integrated suite of software tools dedicated to operational excellence. Enterprise Quality Management Software (EQMS) allows your company to integrate all the tools you need to optimize production.

EQMS ensures you incorporate quality management into every stage of NPI to prevent recalls, reduce scrap, and speed new products to market. The holistic suite of software included in EQMS has all the tools your company needs.

With EQMS, supplier management empowers your company to qualify suppliers and track your supply chain performance. Document management makes it easier and faster to implement corrective actions and prevent risk of reoccurrence.

As a leader in operational excellence, QAD CEBOS offers all the tools your company needs to rise above the competition.