Vulcan GMS

September 21, 2011 09:00 ET

Vulcan GMS Cuts Cost of Quality 73% With "Checklist" Approach to Attacking Problems

MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwire - Sep 21, 2011) - Over a four-year period, Vulcan GMS, Inc. (, a supplier of custom-made lead products, has followed a corrective-action checklist that reduced the cost of poor quality as a percent of sales by 73 percent. "When we fix a problem," said Tom Ray, President of Vulcan GMS, "we don't ever want that problem to recur. For this reason, we have trained ourselves to stick to a method that corrects problems the right way, the first time."

"Working too fast because there is never enough time -- but being forced to make time to fix mistakes -- is the problem we wanted to eliminate," said Ray. "To do this, we established a CAPA (Corrective Action/Preventative Action) system designed to make our process as error-free as possible. This is a useful goal, as well as a test of the organization's ability to develop a critical discipline that delivers high value to customers."

According to Vulcan's Quality Manager Steve Imp, "Vulcan focuses 'binocular vision' on problems. The team keeps one eye focused on the big picture, the other on the smallest details in every corrective-action process. The big picture is behaviors and procedures that add value for customers and Vulcan, such as overall speed and low scrap. The small picture is all the details that get in the way of doing that. You've got to keep an eye on both."

Managers will not listen to solution ideas until the corrective-action team demonstrates that all factors contributing to the problem have been identified and evaluated. "If you rush problem solving, you are likely to overlook details that will return you to square one," said Imp. "We must always focus on finding the actual, as opposed to the apparent, root cause."

After four years using this checklist, Vulcan employees have made the principles behind "binocular vision" second nature. A copy of Vulcan's "8 Keys to Solving Problems Permanently" is available for downloading on the company's website. (Click here.)

About Vulcan GMS

Vulcan Global Manufacturing Solutions is a leader in custom-made radiation protection products manufactured from lead, tungsten, high-density plastics and non-lead metal polymers. ISO 9001/2008 registered, Vulcan GMS is a provider of components and assemblies for some of the world's largest equipment companies. The company specializes in the medical, security, aviation and explosives industries.

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