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7. Managing Production or Service Delivery Processes

It’s time to consider the processes involved in delivery of your product or service.

a. Plan for Delivery

“Woohoo! we have the customer order – let’s start work!”


Before you start work you need to review your current status:

  • has the customer given you any samples, drawings, specifications? If yes, how are you going to control them?
  • has the customer specified any special finishes, treatments, tolerances or other workmanship issues that will effect the delivery schedule. If yes, how are you going to communicate these issues to production or service personnel?
  • do you need to create new work instructions or raise new safe work method statements?
  • do you need to amend any existing documents?
  • can you still meet customer delivery dates? If not, who do you inform?
  • have you got adequate stocks of raw materials? If not, can you purchase stocks quickly?

If you are happy that you can meet all customer needs, then you can hit the button and START WORK!

Some smaller organisations use only the customer order to follow the job through the production or service operations. Other companies choose to raise separate Job Orders / Job Sheets or rely on MRP generated documentation.

b. Plan verification activities

When do you need to check / measure / test products or verify your processes?

Verification activities can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Incoming goods
  • In-process
  • Final inspection

Inspection and Test Plans may need to be written to provide details of:

  • Who will perform the inspection? QC or operator? Both?
  • What method is used to take the measurement?
  • How often is the test performed?
  • What is the acceptance criteria expected?
  • Where is a record of this check maintained (e.g., Inspection Record)

c. Control of non-conforming products, processes or services

What do you do when things go wrong?

A documented procedure is required by the standard.

Explain how your organisation intends to define “minor” and “major” non-conformance.

Why is this important?

Incidents of “minor” and “major” non-conformance are usually treated differently. While we may need to monitor the frequency of occurrence of “minor” non-conformance and identify trending (increasing or decreasing frequency) we do not generally need to take any remedial corrective action.

All incidents of “major” non-conformance, on the other hand, will need to be subject to the corrective / preventive action process.

You need to determine how you intend to identify and how you will process “minor” and “major” non-conformances.

Consider the need to segregate defective products

  • are you going to have a special area or bins?
  • how will these areas or bins be identified?
  • will you identify defective product with coloured tags / labels?

Who is responsible for identifying incidents of non-conformance?

How will you identify defective processes or services?

How will you record and analyse non-conformance?

d. Plan maintenance activities

Maintenance activities need to be planned and scheduled for all plant and equipment used for production or service purposes.

We suggest you record the following data for each asset:

  • Asset number
  • Asset description
  • Serial number
  • Date acquired
  • Date put into service
  • Date retired
  • Asset location
  • Digital image of asset (as an aid for identification)

Consider breaking down maintenance activities into the following sub-sets for scheduling:

  • Routine maintenance activities – eg. oiling, greasing, inspecting
  • Preventive maintenance activities – eg. replacement of fan belts every 500 hours

Record all routine and preventive maintenance activities in a Maintenance Log. Keep records of downtime and costs to enable you to judge if an asset is still viable – should you keep repairing it or would it be more economical to buy a replacment unit?

e. Plan calibration activities

Calibration is the comparison of a piece of test or measuring equipment to a known standard.

Calibration of testing and measurement equipment is required for all equipment used to verify that the product conforms to the requirements.

Testing and measuring or monitoring equipment can be used for:

  • indication eg. to test if an electrical circuit is active
  • monitoring eg. to check that the voltage is not fluctuating
  • measuring eg. to take accurate measurement of resistance to meet customer acceptance levels

Some items of test and measuring equipment may be used for all three of the above applications.

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