Original Date: 02/19/2007
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Audits and Compliance
Raytheon‘s Network Centric Systems Manufacturing Center in Largo, Florida, instituted an innovative audit and compliance program of the processes critical to the facility’s operational performance by agreeing to partner and create a joint auditing process with the Defense Contract Management Agency. This partnership has resulted in a reduction in duplicated efforts and interruptions to manufacturing personnel and the development of appropriate metrics and effective solutions to issues found.
Raytheon’s Network Centric Systems (NCS) Manufacturing Center in Largo, Florida, has instituted a comprehensive audit and compliance program of all processes critical to the facility’s operational performance. Under the Largo facility’s previous auditing process, management system audits were completed annually by Quality Systems; audits and manufacturing process audits were completed monthly by program quality engineers (QEs). Additional customer audits were conducted independent of other audit activity at the request of the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) in accordance with agency requirements. Shortfalls to this process included a conflict of interest created by internally trained QEs auditing the programs they supported, a focus on program- specific issues versus potential systemic plant issues, and a labor-intensive manual data-collection process.
The Quality Systems and Audits group and a select core team of eight lead auditors trained in ISO 9001:2000 and AS 9100 requirements now manage all internal audit activity. Audits are conducted by personnel who are not part of the program being reviewed. A groundbreaking agreement was reached with DCMA to partner and create a joint audit process. Audit planning and scheduling at Raytheon Largo is now performed jointly with DCMA, reducing duplication of effort and interruptions to manufacturing personnel. This agreement with DCMA includes mutual discussion of concerns and solutions. Raytheon Largo also provides training to the DCMA representatives. Management system audits that were accomplished annually now have follow up performed throughout the year on action items to ensure that problems areas are not dormant for prolonged periods of time. The Quality Systems and Audits group has also implemented an effectiveness metric that is applied to all solutions to audit findings. This measure discourages “quick” or short-term fixes since solutions can be rejected if not effective, impacting the group’s effectiveness metric.
Benefits have been dramatic and include a leaner audit process that no longer requires Raytheon Largo to support duplicate audits (reducing support hours); more positive customer relationships and earlier engagement with DCMA on concerns at a point where fixes are quicker and easier if needed; improved data collection with tablet PCs and the Microsoft Office InfoPath tool that streamlines data capture; the ability to measure effectiveness in terms of solutions/closures being effective or ineffective, which encourages better root cause analysis; and the ability to attack repeat problems and systemic plantwide problems. Raytheon Largo has found that these changes have resulted in control and improvement of all critical plant processes.
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