The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades. Timbuk 3 released this song in 1986. It was a huge hit on the new MTV that just showed music videos at that time. I’ve heard it used at many graduations and company motivational rallies over the years. I’m adopting it as my theme song for Ebsco in 2016.
With the oil industry in turmoil due to the low oil prices with no end in immediate sight you could question why I’m so optimistic. Sales to our oil customers are at an all time low and we still are watching every penny we spend to get through this. But YES the Future is SO BRIGHT!
Oil prices will eventually rebound and those sales will return. It’s what we are doing NOW that has me so optimistic. We are in the process of rebuilding Ebsco and the new Ebsco looks GREAT. Let’s take a look at what is in store for Ebsco in 2016.
- Our new role for Paul, our Vice President of quality. Keith has moved up and is taking over Paul’s engineering role at Ebsco. This frees up Paul to focus on quality. His new role has little direction or guidelines. Cheryl Dooley, our president asked Paul to move out on the shop floor and train. Make things better. Paul is the most knowledgeable person I know about springs and he now has the opportunity to share that knowledge with the people who make the springs. We just started this and have already seen great things. The opportunity is endless.
5S. We have just started on this endeavor and the team is enthusiastic. 5S is the foundation for Lean. It offers so many benefits to the company and the team members. Work will be simpler, less stressful and safer. We will see production and quality improvements with the implementation of 5S. 5S will also start us on the path to new certifications which I will touch on later.
Horizontal Process Quality Control, or HPQC. We started down this path a couple of years ago when we changed the name of Quality Control to Quality Assurance. It was just a name change but it means so much. Quality control belongs to the ones making the springs, not the team making final inspections and providing certifications to our customers. This name change was the first step toward that. HPQC is a program that will train and empower the team to be their own quality control. Each member of the team will take the responsibility to approve or reject work and the knowledge to do that job.
Blue Print reading. It doesn’t sound like much but it can be difficult. We will begin training all team members to read and verify specifications from the blue prints. Our current system has people who read the print providing the specifications to our team members. Certain critical departments, such as coiling read and verify those figures. We want everyone to be able to read and verify specifications off of the print. This will take time and training but the benefits will pay off.
Process mapping. This is a huge program that will be on-going. Process Mapping allows you to look at all the steps in an individual process and then have team members look for wasted time and steps. The maps are very detailed and the analysis takes time. After you have completed the analysis and determined how you really want the process to work, you implement changes and make it happen. This has the potential to save many wasted steps, speed up processes and make things better for everyone on the team. It will allow us to be faster with better quality by eliminating un-needed work.
AS 9100 certification. This one is HUGE. Moving from ISO 9001 to AS 9100 is a big jump in our quality management system. AS 9100 includes everything from ISO 9001 and adds more. This is the quality management system standard for aerospace. Achieving AS 9100 certification will open new doors for Ebsco, especially in the aerospace industry. We have identified aerospace as a growth segment for our company and this will make a major contribution to achieving that goal.
As you can see 2016 is going to be a very busy year at Ebsco. Our commitment to continual improvement is going into overdrive. I can see Ebsco after these initiatives are completed and it is a very exciting vision. With Ms. Dooley’s leadership and the team we have implementing the changes I have no doubt we will get there. The future’s so bright, I’ve gotta wear shades.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of work to do.