Quality assurance isn’t a one-person job. It’s a necessity that should be a part of every employee’s job. What sets Abbott Technologies apart from competitors is its commitment to a lean operations strategy focused on quality that all employees support and are accountable to uphold.
The foundation of a lean operation is adding value to the customer. If a process doesn’t add value to the customer, it is considered waste and is removed or retooled as needed. By empowering employees to address quality issues when they happen, Abbott Technologies is able to improve quality and reduce costs to consumers.
Quality assurance is more than a set of rules, it’s a mindset. However, that doesn’t mean that rules and processes are thrown out the window. In fact, they’re numerous and extremely specific. By leveraging statistical process control strategies and testing at every step in the manufacturing process and product lifecycle, Abbott Technologies can anticipate, prevent, and proactively address nonconformities before they become problems and make the necessary changes to quickly get back on track.
“I take my job seriously,” says Quality Assurance Manager Mosrat Ahmed. “Quality and 100% on time delivery are our goals. If a problem is found, it is to be brought to immediate attention to resolve. Training, communications, and adherence to the AS9100C certification that we hold are vital tools that we use to make it happen.”
Using a simple, 4-point system (Plan, Do, Check, Act), Abbott Technologies delivers 100% quality from the time a new product is defined all the way through to when it is delivered to the customer. This system can be visualized in the graphic above. Ahmed explains, “The time to address issues is before they get out the door. This means diligent inspection, excellent workmanship, and an informed workforce.” Quality assurance and continuous improvement are strategic imperatives throughout Abbott Technologies, not just on the manufacturing floor.