Mike Zaleski is a Quality, Operational Excellence, and Advanced Manufacturing Engineer leader within the global integrated supply chain function of Thermo King Americas, a division of Trane Technologies. His leadership is ensuring that these three intimately linked areas are working synchronously for consistency, success, and continual improvement of products and processes.
Building a solid foundation of Quality principles, best practices, and processes is vital to organizations and should never be overlooked or ignored. It should be nurtured and maintained thoughtfully to effectively evolve with capabilities and technologies. It should also be pliable enough to withstand challenges and prevent cracks that might affect product or service reliability and performance.
It’s a constant dance that relies on that solid foundation of processes and steps. Think Design for Supplier Success, Design for Serviceability, Design Failure Modes Effects Analysis, Production Part Approval Process, Excellence through Quality (ETQ), Supplier Deviation Request, and many more! With today’s challenging supply constraints, that dance is complicated and continuous. Standard work and process rigor are essential and must be trusted even when it adds time, which is a precious commodity these days. However, processes can be adjusted slightly on occasion to create balance with the task at hand and the urgency of product and shipment deadlines. Either way, that foundation of standard work ensures that the final product meets the high quality we promise and our customers' demand – and without unnecessary risk to those customers or our business.
Also, important to remember – while disruption can feel overwhelming, it often produces opportunities in the long run as teams are challenged to find even better processes and efficiencies that improve the foundation. Navigating the turmoil to ensure success, starts and ends with collaboration and teamwork.
As decisions are made in real-time and affect many cross-functional departments – from engineering, procurement, customer service, production, service, and more, successful companies will ensure everyone is staying pure to the quality process while maintaining complete transparency. This includes evaluating any risks taken while not straying from standard work, actively listening to all perspectives, and overcommunicating decisions – and the reasoning behind them if deviations are made.
Here at Thermo King, quality is part of our DNA, and delivering world-class reliable products to our customers will always be our priority. Our company’s commitment to continual innovation that meets industry needs and sustainability commitments works in unison with quality. This extends to operational excellence where our teams focus on ongoing improvement and finding new ways to think and enable efficiencies, as well as advanced manufacturing engineering that is continually challenged to integrate technologies that improve products and services.
While we celebrate World Quality Day 2021 and its theme of ‘Sustainability: improving our products, people, and the planet,’ I salute our talented Thermo King teams who live and breathe quality 365 days a year. They effectively balance standard practices with constant change and improvement and their work is never done. They simply strive for better each day, and World Quality Day is the perfect time to pause and acknowledge this important work!
Building a solid foundation of Quality principles, best practices, and processes is vital to organizations and should never be overlooked or ignored. It should be nurtured and maintained thoughtfully to effectively evolve with capabilities and technologies.
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