Training and development is important across all industries, and in no industry does that hold more true than in manufacturing. In the manufacturing industry, proper training and development for employees and even managers is absolutely vital to ensure efficiency, productivity, a reduction in overall errors, a top-quality produce and it’s even required to prevent accidents or death from occurring in the workplace.

While there are various metrics to measure the effectiveness of training in terms of manufacturing performance, one set of standards can be particularly useful within this technically and detail-driven industry—the Quality-Cost Delivery (QCD) system.

By tying training and development into performance management and the more specific concepts involved with QCD, manufacturing leaders can determine their return on investment for training, learn where changes to training need to be made and track the success of employees alongside a clear set of measurable data.

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How to Use QCD In Your Organization

As mentioned, the QCD standard of measurement can be a great way to gauge how well training is working in the manufacturing industry and also help you assess your workforce to see where gaps exist, and then specifically address them in your L&D.

It’s a really great way to target your training materials because you have a specific picture of where organizational or departmental deficiencies lie.

QCD also has seven defined steps of measurement, which allows organizations to develop a continual, long-term, and robust strategy for improving every aspect of performance and address potential areas of concern through eLearning and training.

The seven (7) steps involved in the QCD approach include:

1. Not Right the First Time (NRFT): This is a measure that specifically addresses the amount of products that are created with some type of defects. This lets organizational leaders assess not just where potential problems in the manufacturing process lie, but also how much waste that creates in terms of resources of all types.

2. Delivery Schedule Achievement: Delivery schedule achievement refers to how an organization is able to meet the needs of customers. How many products are being delivered to customers in comparison to what and when they need it? Deliveries that are late or incorrect are figured into this measurement as a ratio to see how customer needs are being met.

3. People Productivity (PP): This is a clear and direct way to measure just how productive your employees are—to find this figure, simply compare the number of good quality, usable units that are created by an employee as compared to the number of hours it took to produce them. This can let you know, in real terms, what your employees are worth to you based on their level of productivity.

4. Stock Turns: This figure addresses the amount of stocks or raw materials on-hand for a company, versus how many finished products are available. The faster you organization is able to turn raw materials into a product that’s ready for sale, the better off you are because you’re able to turn a profit without having your resources tied up in raw goods that can’t yet be sold.

5. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE): Overall equipment effectiveness gauges how well staff members are utilizing available equipment and technology. This is a comprehensive metric that takes into account the availability of technology and equipment, the efficiency of the production process and the quality being produced.

6. Value Added Per Person (VAPP): To find a figure for value added per person, a calculation is derived by subtracting input value from output value, and then creating a ratio between that figure and the number of employees in an organization.

7. Floor Space Utilization: The final component of QCD looks at how much revenue, in terms of sales, is generated per square foot of factory space.

Each of the above metrics, when combined, make up the QCD process of measuring the performance of an organization and its employees. This system is an ideal starting point for medical device manufacturers, and manufacturers in general who want to assess gaps and training and development needs and create eLearning materials that are going to efficiently and effectively address those gaps.