Original Date: 11/12/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Quality Policy/Quality Plan
Frontier Electronic Systems’ Quality Policy/Quality Plan outlines continuous improvement efforts, quality-related business goals, and a quality planning approach to meet quality criteria established by customers and industry standards. Continuous improvement goals are established for each year and include company and departmental goals that are monitored monthly by corporate management to assist in their achievement.
Prior to 1998, Frontier Electronic Systems (FES) had no integrated system that deployed the objectives of the Corporate Vision throughout the company and measured their attainment. Continuous improvement was fragmented because no systematic feedback process existed for employees or management teams on attaining established goals. No perceived connection existed between daily team activities and Corporate Vision, nor an integrated system to link company vision to quality goals. What was needed was a central theme for FES business operations, which employees could embrace as a primary link between daily activities, the Corporate Vision, and its supporting goals. In 1998, an FES Quality Policy/Quality Plan was crafted from employee input that provided a consistent and meaningful theme for attainment of a corporate quality vision.
The Quality Policy/Quality Plan defines specific performance goals for the Corporate Vision; deploys those goals throughout the company; measures their attainment; and provides direct feedback to both management and employees. A team was developed, with buy-in from champions, to establish quality goals focused on each element (Profitability, Growth, Employee Development, Community Partnership) of the Corporate Vision. The team recommends key corporate goals which are embraced by the members, published in the Corporate Quality Plan, and deployed throughout the company. Departments then utilize these goals to develop specific department objectives which contribute to the attainment of meaningful corporate goals. All employees receive training on the Quality Policy/Quality Plan, and information is displayed throughout the company. Feedback is provided quarterly at all- hands meetings by the Chief Operating Officer regarding the company’s progress toward goal attainment. Department managers also provide direct feedback to their teams on a monthly basis. These feedback sessions promote an open communication forum to address all real or perceived issues impacting goal attainment. Goals are posted with monthly performance updates (Figure 2-4) throughout FES on bulletin boards. Employees receive annual incentive payments based on attainment of Quality Plan goals.
The Quality Policy/Quality Plan is reviewed annually and audited as part of FES’ ISO-compliance verification process. The quality goals are reviewed and updated annually as part of the annual planning process. The goals become the basis for developing the company’s annual operating plan which includes resource decisions; capital equipment; and research and development planning. In addition, the goals are documented in the FES-QP-1 Quality Plan which is accessible to all employees. The Quality Policy/Quality Plan’s motto “Prosper as a Supplier of Choice for electronic products and services for our valued customers throughout the world” is printed on all FES business cards to provide visibility to customers.
The Quality Policy/Quality Plan is a living document. For 2005, FES achieved the following corporate quality goals: Company cumulative revenues are equal to or greater than $24 million.
Backlog exceeds $12M.
Cumulative net after tax income is equal to or greater than 7.0% of sales.
Cumulative avoidable employee departures are less than 10% per year.
Figure 2-4. Monthly Performance Updates
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