Eliminating Recurring Quality Problems

Client: Tier 1 Powertrain Supplier (270 employees)

Problem / Situation

  • New product launch
  • 12 PRRs (quality rejects) over six months
  • 278 ppm over 6 months after launch
  • Their efforts to improve outbound quality weren’t effective fast enough and their OEM customer placed them on new business hold


Our approach was to deploy a multi-dimensional team (quality engineering, lean manufacturing and organizational development) to address systemic problems rather than just treating the symptoms. Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (P-FMEA) was a key tool in this engagement. Through a multi-pronged approach, we addressed problems simultaneously to produce immediate results: Stopped the bleeding (quickly found root causes to current problems and put in robust corrective actions) Analyzed organizational effectiveness and recommended improvements in methods of communicating Moved the organization from the mentality of assuming things would work to questioning what could go wrong Identified weaknesses in error proofing and recommended more robust error proofing to focus on prevention rather than detection Provided understanding of GM’s quality practices and tools


The results of this engagement were immediate and long-lasting. The supplier achieved the following: Off “new business hold” status No repeat and no new PRRs six months after project, twelve-month ppm reduced from 278 to 16 Reduced scrap and rework. First-time-quality increased from 92% to 97% Moved organization from assuming things would work to questioning what could go wrong Increasing productivity by reducing scrap and rework Estimated Investment and Savings Investment of $100,000. Estimated payback of $ 1,500,000 annually.