Suppliers have to validate their Q1 status every six months. The Q1 metrics not only detect quality defects at early stages, but they also promote continuous improvement. The internal audit process included the use of corrective actions, follow-up, initial audit reports and final audit feedback reports presented to senior management. All Q1 suppliers without exception are expected to achieve a certain quality level in their functions, and improve on it in the ensuing years. . In attaining the Q1 Second Edition certification, suppliers are entitled to receive the required technical assistance, and additional help from Ford. This time I have a wealth of quality knowledge and experience from which to draw.
How could the company be all things to all customers? As a supplier, achieving the Q1 status would be a milestone in the pursuit of quality. I returned to Michigan and accepted a position at Compuware Corp. And I was promoted to director of customer quality assurance. The new Q1 Second Edition has improved on former Q1 guidelines. Using the seven Baldrige categories as the foundation, we aligned the items from the other quality standards, eliminated redundant items and built our quality system. We then realized very little concrete information was published on implementing quality programs in service companies.
We hired external quality consultants who taught basic quality concepts, such as quality planning, control, improvement and auditing. After my first year with the program, I was designated lead examiner, which gave me the opportunity to plan the on-site visits, coordinate audit activities with company liaisons, determine scoring and critique and edit final audit reports. The approach my company was using was to compile thick evidence binders based on the great service we were providing Ford and the positive customer relationship in place. We knew very little about quality, so our first step was to visit the bookstore and buy as many quality books as we could reasonably carry. Ford Q1 certification is given to Ford Motor Co. The Q1 series of basic manufacturing guidelines is sure to prove beneficial to any facility that aspires for superior Quality achievements.
Q1 Second Edition incorporates the learning of numerous years of supplier quality deployment with regard to Ford. Ford Q1 Second Edition suggests that a supplier's facility or manufacturing site has achieved excellence in five important areas: capable systems, high performance, superior manufacturing process, and satisfied customers. We conducted quality concept training and tracked it with a training matrix. The results of the initial external audit were not very encouraging, and my company decided it was time to take a different approach. The Q1 mark is considered worldwide as an indication of exceptional quality. Our research began with Ford Q1 and progressed to quality in general.
We created a database to manage the quality standard requirements and the associated quality library, documentation and training materials. I reviewed written applications for the Baldrige based award and made recommendations for on-site visits. I began knowing basically nothing about it and evolved my knowledge over 13 years. Q1 serves the basic function of ensuring that the manufacturing facility performs on time, as well as delivers high quality products for ultimate customer approval. Every supplier site is individually assessed, and improvement plans initiated accordingly. My goals are to never stop learning quality concepts and their many applications, especially quality implementation in service organizations.
The company achieved Ford Q1 certification in 12 months, with a quality system recognized as best in class by both Ford and Xerox. More than a decade ago, the temporary staffing company I worked for in Michigan was striving to achieve Ford Q1 certification. It has been more closely associated with customer satisfaction outcomes. The method also includes a manufacturing site self-assessment. In the meantime, we had other customers who had their own standards they wanted the company to meet asking about our level of quality.
When suppliers obtain the Q1 certification mark, they naturally advertise to the whole world that they are definitely on the route to quality improvement. The manager will provide a final recommendation based on demonstrated capabilities, performance metrics, manufacturing site assessment, and the Q1 Second Edition points gained during the preceding six-month period. . . .
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