How to drive quality as an integrated approach?

For the millions of people who rely on commercial air travel, the reliability of the aircraft is something most don’t want to think about-we want to assume it is there.

As air travelers we expect that a commitment to quality runs deep in the aerospace industry. While every manufacturer adheres to high quality standards, there is a need for even higher levels of quality and reliability in the craft that we rely on to transport us at high speeds, far above the earth.

Many people aren’t aware that parts from NL-based Fokker Aerostructures are in aircraft from all major manufacturers including the commercial aircraft built by Airbus and Boeing. How Fokker is driving quality is the topic of a two-part article that describes how Fokker has set out to eliminate poor quality and how the logic and process language of Kepner-Tregoe is helping to make it happen.

According to Tom van Tol, Business Improvement Manager at Fokker:

…quality is not something you do; it’s who you are, it’s a lifestyle. The essence is:

  • From reactive product quality to proactive process quality.
  • From repair to continuous improvement.
  • From engineers jumping to conclusions, to teams finding satisfaction in working for perfection driven by facts.
  • From solving production problems to designing to prevent problems.
  • From the quality department to Fokker-wide.

While van Tol provides the details of how this drive for quality was conceived and implemented, Kepner-Tregoe consultant Gijs Verrest describes how, over the past four years, KT has provided problem-solving training and support to embed a proactive approach to problem solving and a culture change at the core of the Fokker quality initiative.

Regardless of the industry, Fokker’s approach offers lessons in managing change, improving team-work, using facts to drive action, and building commitment.

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