For 75 years, Randolph & Baldwin has been manufacturing items to conform to the customers’ drawings. Yet, our success as a business is not only based on the conformity required by our customers, but on the quality of the finished product.
In today’s world of manufacturing to a drawing, the supplier is presented with the term quality. This term is used throughout the process from start to finish. We deal with Quality Departments, Quality Managers, Quality engineers, Quality Ratings, and yes, for the fortunate, Quality Awards. When manufacturing to a drawing, we are seeking compliance to the drawing. An item is bid to the drawing requirements, it is made to the drawing requirements, and it is inspected and accepted to the drawing requirements. The part is compliant. Remember, that while the customer demands quality, they are paying for conformity.
Examine the definition of quality. Quality is a noun. Merrimack-Webster defines it as “how good or bad something is” or “something of high level or excellence.” How does this definition work in manufacturing items to the print? An item that is compliant to a drawing many times is not what we would refer to as a quality item; it is compliant but lacks the essentials of true quality.
So how can a supplier bring quality into “Build to Print” manufacturing?