English (English)

Create a Culture of Quality Across Your Heat Treatment Operations

13 September 2021 /

Discover how to create a culture of quality and transparency across your heat treatment operations. 

Manufacturing of all kinds requires exacting standards in order to meet regulatory compliance and satisfy quality expectations. The heat treatment process is no exception.

A culture of quality and transparency is key to maintaining those standards.

But how? What does a culture of quality and transparency look like in the heat treatment space and how can you adapt your operations to achieve it and improve your business?

Why a culture of quality and transparency matters

A culture of quality and transparency directly impacts your service capabilities. As manufacturers increasingly switch on to the critical role service plays in delivering quality products (see below) and keeping their operations running, an internal culture that prioritises service excellence stands you in good stead to remain compliant and improve the business.

The quality of parts produced is also impacted. Output must adhere to strict specifications, and your ability to achieve this will depend on multiple factors, from the rigour of your processes and your operators’ technical abilities to your due diligence. Culture is key to maintaining these standards within your operations — particularly across sites, at scale. 

On the subject of due diligence, a culture of quality and transparency is critical to promote adequate compliance checks and broader record-keeping. A workplace culture that doesn’t prioritise this will find maintaining compliance and passing audits a challenge, not to speak of the financial repercussions if production has to be paused or loads/output scrapped.

Finally, your workplace culture plays a key role in your company’s reputation. The way your operators carry themselves when conducting their work and how they interact with third-party suppliers and external auditors all come together to ensure that your company is known across the industry for its quality and transparency — and not the opposite.

How to create a culture of quality and transparency

A culture of quality and transparency matters. So how can you achieve it? 

Elevate due diligence practices

Greater transparency across your operations goes hand in hand with due diligence. Raising your due diligence standards involves a look at both your people and your technology. 

On the one hand, a dedicated push from management on the importance of due diligence will help to emphasise this across your operating teams and drive habits that support it.

To improve the accuracy and efficiency of your company’s due diligence, consider investing in state-of-the-art control systems. These can be installed on a variety of core equipment, including vacuum furnaces and autoclaves, granting greater visibility of key measurements and elevating the standard of care you’re able to take across your operations.

TO DO: Include due diligence as a topic of conversation in employee reviews. If your operators don’t already have KPIs around it, consider introducing these. Conduct an equipment review to identify shortfalls impacting due diligence/compliance. 

Read more about the operational benefits of a vacuum furnace control system.

Prioritise internal training and development

Internal training does more than heighten your team’s technical skills. A culture that celebrates personal development:

  • promotes positive behaviours among its employees
  • encourages staff to take more pride in their work
  • helps employees to feel more engaged with the business

In a hands-on sector like manufacturing, where materials can be held and output inspected, the impacts of intangible forces like culture and employee engagement can be hard to grasp.

But when the question is how to maintain quality standards and transparency across your operations, personal development plans and training courses that drive the right behaviours and boost employee engagement create a solid foundation on which to build your efforts.

TO DO: If personal development plans are not in place, set these up with each of your operators. Work with employees on an individual basis to develop tailored training plans. 

Discover why some of our customers choose on-site training with VFE.

Partner with reputable suppliers 

Culture extends beyond your in-house teams. Maintaining an ethos that prioritises quality and transparency requires third-party suppliers, partners and even customers with similar values. When this is not the case, your principles risk becoming diluted or, worse, damaged.

Our commitment to quality and transparency ensures that we provide our customers with the very best commercial and technical solutions backed by the necessary documentation. Key to delivering this promise are internationally recognised certifications such as our UKAS accreditation calibrations (UKAS Accredited Calibration Laboratory No.4338) and our network of globally recognised partners, each with quality assurances of their own.

TO DO: Review your policies for engaging suppliers and other third parties. If there is not a step for vetting their service commitments, consider introducing one. What do they promise? What do they value? What certifications can they provide to back that up?

Related reads:

Could a culture of quality and transparency improve your business?

Culture takes time to define but the operational and reputational benefits that come with values such as quality and transparency make it a worthwhile long-term investment. 

Embedded properly, a culture of this kind offers organisations a real competitive advantage, which they can use to cut through the noise and better serve their markets. 

Can you confidently say your operations are meeting the industry’s exacting standards? If not, how could a culture of quality and transparency improve your business? 

For more information about our UKAS accredited calibration services, get in touch.

New call-to-action