One of the best parts of my job is interacting with Minitab customers and learning how they’ve successfully used our software to improve quality and save money at their companies.
I recently got the chance to talk to several quality practitioners from Phoenix Contact, a leading manufacturer of electrical connection and industrial automation technology. Phoenix Contact produces more than 25,000 products, and they are serious about optimizing both their process lines and more transactional business functions. With so many product offerings, the company is always performing quality projects simultaneously.
They were using a variety of different software programs to create project forms and templates. When it came time to make changes to those forms or update project information—everything had to be entered manually. Team members spent valuable work hours copying and pasting shared information from one form to another.
And product forms and templates for each project were scattered across the company’s network in multiple files, formats, and folders. It became difficult for improvement teams to update and locate project documentation. It also became challenging for management to track and report a project’s status to company stakeholders.
How Quality Companion Helped
In response to challenges such as these, Minitab designed Quality Companion to organize and manage all types of quality improvement projects within one application. Companion provides and stores all of the tools and documents related to each project in a single file that’s easy to share, review, and archive. “With Quality Companion, all of our project data is centralized,” Joe Russo, a Phoenix Contact Master Black Belt, told me. “I can’t imagine going back to multiple files and folders to manage my projects.”
Phoenix Contact uses Quality Companion to manage all the documents and tools they need to complete their continuous improvement projects in one application.
Companion also greatly reduces the amount of time teams spend manually copying and pasting project data into various project forms. The software’s integrated tool set allows data to be shared throughout the entire project, so when you enter or change a piece of data in one form, it also updates other forms throughout the project. “We’ve saved time on redundant data entry and cut down on most of the paperwork it previously took to report the status of our projects,” Russo says.
And customizing Companion’s project forms is easy. “We’ve developed our own standardized forms to execute projects,” Quality Manager and Green Belt Peter Muller told me, “and all the forms link up and communicate with each other when changes are made or data is added.”
Since beginning their company-wide continuous improvement initiative at their U.S. headquarters in Harrisburg, Pa., Phoenix Contact estimates that they’ve saved millions of dollars.
The company implemented Quality Companion in January 2011, and even though the deployment is still in its earlier stages, the software’s role in helping to complete several successful projects has already proven extremely beneficial.
One project led by new Green Belt and Customer Service Manager Amy Gangl completely eliminated the use of a manual paper filing system in the customer service department. “We’ve made our processes paper-free and saved thousands of dollars,” Gangl says.
Want to read more about how Quality Companion has helped other Minitab customers? Check out our Case Studies and Testimonials area on Minitab.com.