Process management: fueling success in the real world

Optimizing processes at an automotive supplier

In order to tackle the market challenges on the horizon, a small to medium-sized automotive supplier decided to integrate its process management. With customers placing high demands on quality, the supplier needed to improve processes with immediate effect along the entire production chain. To safeguard functionality, the Stuttgart-based Steinbeis Transfer Center Management Quality checked and optimized each process.

One of the SME’s many products is aluminum trim strips for car side doors. Production steps span: grinding (over two steps), polishing (over three steps) and then adding a high gloss finish. And throughout all five steps, the products are tested at intervals to monitor and ensure quality. Then the strips are cleaned and given a final check using an illuminated magnifying glass before they’re packed individually. All of these steps are done by hand.

To help structure its processes, the company joined forces with the Steinbeis Transfer Center Management Quality to reap the benefits in more ways than one. Processes saw sustainable improvements, and all were documented. The course of action planned earlier was put into practice. And since the process management was tailored to the size of the SME, the company could react more quickly as a supplier, ultimately boosting its appeal in the automotive industry.

The restructuring improved the process landscape, playing a key role in optimizing the company’s financial performance. And reducing material losses also cut costs by ten per cent. Thanks to this successful collaboration, the SME could once again focus on its core business – and continue to live up to its quality agreements as an automotive supplier, every single time.

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