CASE STUDY: Quality Management Support – Decisive Intervention Corrects Production Problem

The Challenge

A leading automotive OEM, who were using leather seats manufactured by a supplier in mainland Europe, was experiencing production problems due to insufficient supply to meet its build schedules.

The issue began when, after continuous reliable supply, the OEM modified the design of the seats to incorporate a new perforated panel.

Ordering seats with a perforated panel caused a significant reduction in output from the seat supplier.

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, no-one was able to travel from the OEM to the supplier country, so G&P, with highly-trained Quality Auditors on the ground, was asked to visit the supplier to investigate the cause as to why they were struggling to recover the production rate and to propose a permanent fix.

The investigation revealed that the perforated seat backs were tearing during the stretching phase of the assembly process. This was a result of flaws in the leather due to scars from tick bites, causing delays to production and higher production costs for the supplier.

The Solution

G&P was appointed on a project basis to provide excellent quality management support in the form of an experienced Quality Auditor at short notice (within five days of the enquiry).

Over two days G&P investigated the cause of the imperfections and results from the report were delivered within 24 hours of the site visit.

G&P recommended a proposal to allow the supplier to recover the late deliveries.

Hide pre-screening was deployed to detect any imperfections in the leather prior to the perforation process, removing flawed hides prior to value being added to these components.

The Results

All leather leaving the supplier for use as car seats was fit for purpose and a fast turnaround implementing the solution cleared the production backlog in minimum time.

As a result, there was also less handling, shipping and storage costs to accommodate any imperfect leather. Decisive intervention by G&P led to an improvement in quality and efficiency for the supplier and no further disruption or cost to the OEM.

Due to G&P’s efforts, the OEM had confidence that seats reaching it were of the specified quality and met the finished vehicle production rates.

As with all customers, G&P’s personnel were seamlessly integrated within the client’s operations, working closely with the supplier and the OEM to find a mutually beneficial solution to a manufacturing issue.

With the efficient and thorough excellent service provision given to the client, a one-off project led to G&P being engaged to take on all of the OEM supplier quality audits across any location worldwide.

It was an example of how G&P’s award-winning Quality Excellence Model was of benefit to all those in the automotive supply chain, driving back to the root cause to deliver quality, efficiency and cost improvements.

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