Six Sigma analysis

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This semester we chose to develop a Six Sigma analysis on the manufacturing process of computers at Dell, Inc. Our goal was to take the manufacturing process currently in place for the production of laptops and desktop PCs and maximize quality, efficiency, and the longevity of the computers. Historically, Dell has been known as an industry leader in supply chain management. They have been credited with developing supply chain processes that have come to be recognized as some of the most innovative not only in their industry but throughout all business sectors. All of these accolades made Dell an unlikely choice since there didn’t appear to be much room for improvement, at least from a supply chain standpoint. However, over the past few years Dell’s once firm lead on the personal computer market share has begun to deteriorate and they have since lost their hold of the leading market share to top competitor Hewlett-Packard. They are currently in second place in market share but just over the past fiscal year revenues have fallen 33% from the second quarter of 2009 compared to the second quarter of 2010. Some of this drop-off may be attributed to the economic recession; but regardless of external factors a 33% loss is not something to be ignored especially at a time when these types of losses could potentially become a growing trend. Our research indicated that over the past few years the amount of complaints Dell has received regarding faulty manufacturing and shortened life spans for their computers has been continuously growing; so we decided to focus our analysis on determining how to improve on Dell’s quality without diminishing their industry-renowned built-to-order process which is based upon speed and efficiency. Dell’s recent losses are a result of decreased quality and these have subsequently created a lack of trust in Dell’s brand. We set out to not only determine specifically what hardware or software issues these errors can be attributed to; but also in the process, re-strengthen Dell’s brand identity by increasing quality for their products. When we were choosing a company to study and run analysis on, Dell was not necessarily any of our group members’ first choice, primarily because of how successful their supply chain methods had been in previous years. We initially assumed there would be little we could do to improve the process. We began developing a decision by choosing three companies to pick from; Dell, Inc. , Nike, and Herr’s Potato Chip Company. We made a decision after entering several different characteristics into the Decision Lens software and evaluating how strongly we felt about each. Our analysis was based on five criteria which we determined to be the most important for the success of this project. The first criterion was the availability of data. For this project, it was critical to have access to information with as much detail as possible. Such data includes process descriptions, mission statements, business plans, financial earnings, sales, marketing strategies and customer feedback. Without such data, it would have been difficult to evaluate and identify a process that would benefit from a Six Sigma project. All participants in this project recognized the importance of this criterion as evidenced by a 0. 41 weight rating, the highest weight given to any of the criteria. The second criterion was the scope of potential improvement. If the company is already excelling in their processes and dominating the market, it would be difficult to find any room for improvement. One of the companies that we initially considered was Coca-Cola. We subsequently dropped the company from the list because as we could not find many areas we could improve upon. The next criterion was our familiarity with the product. We felt it was important to have at least some knowledge of the company and process before we began the project. Prior experiences with the company or product could be used to assist in our process improvement. Also, we felt a certain level of awareness could provide us with a better understanding of the company from a customer perspective. Our fourth criterion was complexity of the processes involved. In our analysis, the more complex processes often result in higher chances for imperfection or failure. We also felt that processes that require a trained specialist to enhance would not benefit from our analysis because of our lack of understanding the methods. The fifth criterion was personal interest. This was to ensure we were all engaged and interested in working on the decided project. Our criteria were given weights of . 41 for availability of information, . 35 for scope of improvement, . 1 for familiarity of the product, . 08 for complexity of the process, and . 06 for personal interest. Under these criteria out alternatives returned values of . 47, . 4 and . 125 for Dell, Herr’s, and Nike respectively with an inconsistency of . 017. Prior to conducting the analysis, we felt Herr’s would be the best company for the project due to our familiarity with the company’s products, its nearby headquarters and the availability of a tour of the manufacturing process. However, Dell made a much larger amount of information more easily accessible to the general public which we determined would be more beneficial for us during this project. Essentially, our goal for this project was to first identify those aspects of the Dell manufacturing process that were not operating properly with regard to efficiency and quality and then develop ways to improve them by decreasing the amounts of money and time necessary to complete them while not further decreasing quality. At one time, Dell had control of the market share with its successful “direct-to-customer” sale and complex supply models. Rather than manufacture the components it uses to build computers, Dell uses an intricate supply model that consists of almost zero stock inventories. The company has built strong, trust-based relationships with its suppliers. Each supplier is carefully chosen based on predetermined criteria which range from quality to warehouse location. However, Dell has recently lost ground in the computer market. This is due primarily to increased competition and rising computer component defects. These issues have occurred in both Dell’s hardware and software, most recently with defective batteries and motherboards. For our Six Sigma project, we selected the design defect issue because of the large number of complaints as well as the high rate of defect reoccurrence. These issues caused frustration among Dell’s customers and support centers. Also to date, Dell has failed to come up with a long-term solution that has effectively reduced the number of defective products. The name we chose for this process is “Design Quality Control. ” This is because Dell, as mentioned previously, doesn’t manufacture computer components but rather orders them from its suppliers. Therefore, the design of the product and the assembly of the components are the major areas that Dell fully controls. The design is the first step of Dell’s production process. Dell engineers design and develop different styles and accessory options from which the customers can choose. Consequently, the design should be adequate and have undergone sufficient quality control procedures. A good design doesn’t necessarily result in a product free of defects but it helps to significantly reduce their occurrence. Over the past several years, the trust and reliability that Dell has built with its customers has eroded. During this time, competitors such as HP and Apple have made significant gains. Unfortunately, replacements sent to customers also often contain the same or new defects. Fixing the design defects adds additional costs to the users who need to ship the defective computers back to Dell as well as to the company itself that will have to replace the component or the product. Customer service and technology support teams are also spending considerable time troubleshooting flawed components and dealing with dissatisfied customers. It is important that Dell respond to the defect issue because, in a recessionary economy, customers are paying more attention to the Quality/Price ratio. Currently, Dell is running the risk of becoming known primarily as a company with faulty products. Such a reputation can damage sales, especially in a period when purchases of computers and other big ticket items are down overall. For this project we used the same concept of improvement used by Motorola and we targeted a 100-fold improvement. The starting point of the project is when Dell’s engineers begin gathering requirements for the new computer model or option. The process ends when the suppliers of all parts or software are selected and an execution plan is created. We did not set out to change the assembly process but through our results we feel it should be addressed under a separate six sigma process. Our first constraint was the completion time for this project. We felt it needs to be started quickly so the company can start effectively competing again. The second constraint was that our project should not increase the design time. This is important as technology advances quickly and Dell needs to keep up with the developments at the same pace of its competitors or faster. The Design Quality Control project will have an important impact on Dell and its customers. By improving the design and engineering of Dell’s computers, there will ultimately be a lower work load for Dell’s repair and customer service departments. This will lead to reduced operating costs for these departments. The project will also have a positive impact on the cost of production. With a successful implementation, Dell will be able to reduce the cost of product maintenance in addition to cutting down on the repair or replacement of defective units. It will also be possible for the company to decrease the number of employees in their call centers. This will permit Dell to focus on production and innovation at lower costs while increasing revenues. Statistics show that three of every five computers sold in the United States are defective or will have defects in less than one year of operation. This is a defect rate of 60% (http://answers. google. com/answers/threadview? id=304307 ). According to an independent study, the average cost of repairing a defective computer is $200. In the third quarter of 2008, Dell had 13. 6% of the global PC market (http://retailindustry. about. com/od/topusretail- companies/p/dellincprofile. htm) and about 176. 8 million customers (13. 6% of 1. 3 billion PCs http://news. zdnet. com/2100-9584_22-140272. html ). Based on the statistics above, the cost of fixing all of Dell’s defective units would be approximately $21. 2 billion (176. 8M*60%*200=$21. billion). The project would permit Dell to avoid the cost of replacing or repairing components and reduce the cost related to a higher call volume in the customer service departments. In addition, it would reduce the cost of warranties and reassembly of products. The design process was split into six parts: concept or idea creation, research and market study, feedback and development, testing and evaluation, product finalization, and finally action plan creation. Dell is currently using PTC Windchill software to design almost all of its product line from the concept to servicing. However, the software can only be as good as the data input and it cannot eliminate the need for testing and product evaluation. For this project, the Critical to Quality (CTQ) parameters required that a detailed, upgraded design plan be first completed and tested prior to following through with the project. Using these results, we determined to move forward with the project. Furthermore, all stakeholders, including shareholders, all employees, customers, and suppliers needed to be informed and consulted on the details of the plan prior to and during its completion. Also, employees that work directly in the customer service and repair divisions of the company needed to be reassured that these improvements are necessary for the continued growth of the company. In order for the project to be successful, they needed to know that no employee’s job is necessarily in jeopardy as a result of the project. Finally, to ensure continued quality after the completion of the project, the objectives needed to be synthesized with the overall strategy of the company. It is important to have a fairly specific cost estimate as well as a timetable for completion prior to beginning the project. We estimated that a full overview and re-engineered design could be completed, tested, and entered into mass production within one year. However, since this is not a new device or even a completely new design, we felt that we should aim for project completion in approximately eight months. Timing is critical because the longer people continue to purchase potentially defective devices, the more the brand suffers. The goal was to deliver the improved model to the public as soon as possible but without rushing it through quality testing. Finance measurements also play a key role in the success of the project. The cost of this project cannot exceed the amount that the problem is currently costing the company. Given the potentially enormous cost of these defects, this project should be considered as more of a reinvestment in the company’s dedication to quality as opposed to another company cost. In design matters, Dell takes advantage of Small and Medium Business (SMB) feedback, historical purchasing data, and analysis of technology and industry trends to define the appropriate specifications for the majority of its notebooks and computers. The key to producing cost-effective notebooks and computers, while still incorporating some of the same primary design tenets as high-end models, lies in understanding how specific components can affect the cost and complexity of the system. For example, each memory slot, hard disk drive, PCI slot, rear or front I/O feature requires the incorporation of the connectors as well as the associated electrical components, motherboard space, reserve power capacity, cooling capacity, and associated mechanical structures. Similarly, each hard drive bay requires many of those same components in addition to a backplane board space for hot-pluggable configurations. Furthermore, each motherboard requires supporting electrical components and motherboard space. Notebooks and computers are designed to help meet the needs of small and medium sized businesses in a cost-effective way through base configurations that incorporate the minimum feature set. The basic problem of the design begins when incorporating the components of the computer. The lifetime of the components largely depends on the way the notebook or computer has been designed. For example, space should be provided for the motherboards to cool down. If the cooling capacity is not sufficient there is a chance that the components on the motherboard might fail. In setting up our process maps for testing during the initial run for our current state we did not expect to find optimal results. It was after this first run where we determined what our “current state” is and what our “desired state” would be. More specifically, this phase revealed to us exactly how much improvement is necessary for Dell to achieve their desired state. Once the initial run of testing was completed we were also able to more clearly determine the major fault-points. By indicating which aspects of the product and assembly are creating the most frequent trouble we were then able to establish the best strategy to catch and avoid those issues during future production. This would also give us a much more accurate estimation of total cost for the implementation of this process. As of right now we can only make rough estimations of what this strategy would cost Dell but after getting a better idea of how severe the problem is we could make a better projection. Upon being implemented, we expect the reliability of Dell’s hardware components to significantly improve ultimately leading to the overall advancement of Dell’s computers. We fully expect this process to be pivotal in the reshaping of Dell’s product quality and as a result of that improvement their image will also improve. In the long term, implementing continuous and consistent components reliability testing will force Dell to improve their product. More products will be tested and more products will show up as containing errors. A larger variety of errors will be tested for and more errors than ever before will be detected. The more problems Dell looks for and identifies the more prevention they will be able to do for future production and this will ultimately lead to a decrease in problem errors. Overall, this process was designed to make Dell money through decreasing product repair costs and improving sales through brand enhancement. By improving Dell’s quality, we improve Dell’s image and this will lead to a return to a number one spot in industry market share trough increased sales. For our gage R&R study, our first test was collecting information about the components’ lifetime (by reading the barcode printed by the manufacturing company on the back of each component and comparing it to the lifetime cycle of the computer as determined by the designers). For this exercise, the test consisted of two inspectors testing three different computers models and testing four components (Motherboard, Central Processing Unit (CPU), Memory, Hard Drive) for each model four times. TB1: Standard Order for Collecting Data for the Gage R&R Study. Row| Unit| Component| Inspector| Measurement| Row| Unit| Component| Inspector| Measurement| 123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343 536373839404142434445464748| 111111111111111111111111111111112222222222222222| MotherboardMotherboardMotherboardMotherboardCPUCPUCPUCPUMemo yMemoryMemoryMemoryHard driveHard driveHard driveHard driveMotherboardMotherboardMotherboardMotherboardCPUCPUCPUCP UMemoryMemoryMemoryMemoryHard driveHard driveHard driveHard driveMotherboardMotherboardMotherboardMotherboardCPUCPUCPUCP UMemoryMemoryMemoryMemoryHard driveHard driveHard driveHard drive| JohnJohnJohnJohnJohn John John John John John John John John John John John GeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorge GeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeJohnJohnJohnJohnJohn John John John John John John John John John John John | To be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collected| 495051525354555657585960616263646566676869707172737475767778 98081828384858687888990919293949596| 222222222222222233333333333333333333333333333333| MotherboardMotherboardMotherboardMotherboardCPUCPUCPUCPUMemo ryMemoryMemoryMemoryHard driveHard driveHard driveHard driveMotherboardMotherboardMotherboardMotherboardCPUCPUCPUCP UMemoryMemoryMemoryMemoryHard driveHard driveHard driveHard driveMotherboardMotherboardMotherboardMotherboardCPUCPUCPUCP UMemoryMemoryMemoryMemoryHard driveHard driveHard driveHard drive| GeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorge GeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeJohnJohnJohnJohnJohn John John John John John John John John John John John GeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorge GeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorgeGeorge| To be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collected| TB2: Random Order for Collecting Data for the Gage R&R Study. Row| Stand. Order| Unit| Component| Inspector| Measurement| Row| Stand. Order| Unit| Component| Inspector| Measurement| 1| 27| 1| Memory| George| To be collected| 49| 50| 2| Motherboard| George| To be collected| 2| 46| 2| Hard drive| John | To be collected| 50| 65| 3| Motherboard| John| To be collected| 3| 52| 2| Motherboard| George| To be collected| 51| 74| 3| Memory| John | To be collected| 4| 19| 1| Motherboard| George| To be collected| 52| 58| 2| Memory| George| To be collected| 5| 94| 3| Hard drive| George| To be ollected| 53| 39| 2| CPU| John | To be collected| 6| 3| 1| Motherboard| John| To be collected| 54| 5| 1| CPU| John | To be collected| 7| 64| 2| Hard drive| George| To be collected| 55| 24| 1| CPU| George| To be collected| 8| 90| 3| Memory| George| To be collected| 56| 4| 1| Motherboard| John| To be collected| 9| 53| 2| CPU| George| To be collected| 57| 63| 2| Hard drive| George| To be collected| 10| 20| 1| Motherboard| George| To be collected| 58| 47| 2| Hard drive| John | To be collected| 11| 28| 1| Memory| George| To be collected| 59| 44| 2| Memory| John | To be collected| 12| 33| 2| Motherboard| John| To be collected| 60| 76| 3| Memory| John | To be collected| 13| 60| 2| Memory| George| To be collected| 61| 34| 2| Motherboard| John| To be collected| 14| 85| 3| CPU| George| To be collected| 62| 92| 3| Memory| George| To be collected| 15| 10| 1| Memory| John | To be collected| 63| 41| 2| Memory| John | To be collected| 16| 87| 3| CPU| George| To be collected| 64| 55| 2| CPU| George| To be collected| 17| 25| 1| Memory| George| To be collected| 65| 37| 2| CPU| John | To be collected| 18| 38| 2| CPU| John | To be collected| 66| 84| 3| Motherboard| George| To be collected| 19| 61| 2| Hard drive| George| To be collected| 67| 57| 2| Memory| George| To be collected| 20| 49| 2| Motherboard| George| To be collected| 68| 80| 3| Hard drive| John | To be collected| 21| 30| 1| Hard drive| George| To be collected| 69| 43| 2| Memory| John | To be collected| 22| 81| 3| Motherboard| George| To be collected| 70| 2| 1| Motherboard| John| To be collected| 23| 83| 3| Motherboard| George| To be collected| 71| 40| 2| CPU| John | To be collected| 24| 51| 2| Motherboard| George| To be collected| 72| 48| 2| Hard drive| John | To be collected| 25| 8| 1| CPU| John | To be collected| 73| 31| 1| Hard drive| George| To be collected| 26| 29| 1| Hard drive| George| To be collected| 74| 13| 1| Hard drive| John | To be collected| 27| 69| 3| CPU| John | To be collected| 75| 35| 2| Motherboard| John| To be collected| 28| 54| 2| CPU| George| To be collected| 76| 22| 1| CPU| George| To be collected| 29| 59| 2| Memory| George| To be collected| 77| 88| 3| CPU| George| To be collected| 30| 17| 1| Motherboard| George| To be collected| 78| 93| 3| Hard drive| George| To be collected| 31| 16| 1| Hard drive| John | To be collected| 79| 70| 3| CPU| John | To be collected| 32| 72| 3| CPU| John | To be collected| 80| 42| 2| Memory| John | To be collected| 33| 79| 3| Hard drive| John | To be collected| 81| 14| 1| Hard drive| John | To be collected| 34| 86| 3| CPU| George| To be collected| 82| 77| 3| Hard drive| John | To be collected| 35| 91| 3| Memory| George| To be collected| 83| 67| 3| Motherboard| John| To be collected| 36| 12| 1| Memory| John | To be collected| 84| 15| 1| Hard drive| John | To be collected| 37| 23| 1| CPU| George| To be collected| 85| 32| 1| Hard drive| George| To be collected| 38| 9| 1| Memory| John | To be collected| 86| 73| 3| Memory| John | To be collected| 39| 68| 3| Motherboard| John| To be collected| 87| 18| 1| Motherboard| George| To be collected| 40| 66| 3| Motherboard| John| To be collected| 88| 36| 2| Motherboard| John| To be collected| 41| 7| 1| CPU| John | To be collected| 89| 78| 3| Hard drive| John | To be collected| 42| 6| 1| CPU| John | To be collected| 90| 89| 3| Memory| George| To be collected| 43| 21| 1| CPU| George| To be collected| 91| 95| 3| Hard drive| George| To be collected| 44| 26| 1| Memory| George| To be collected| 92| 62| 2| Hard drive| George| To be collected| 45| 1| 1| Motherboard| John| To be collected| 93| 71| 3| CPU| John | To be collected| 46| 11| 1| Memory| John | To be collected| 94| 96| 3| Hard drive| George| To be collected| 47| 75| 3| Memory| John | To be collected| 95| 56| 2| CPU| George| To be collected| 48| 45| 2| Hard drive| John | To be collected| 96| 82| 3| Motherboard| George| To be collected| For the second test we collected information about the components’ performance (we used CPUInfo software which read four performance criteria: Measured CPU Speed, Rated CPU Speed, Caches and Memory). For this exercise, the test consisted of two inspectors testing one computer three times during different phases of the computer lifetime (Phase 1= after assembly, Phase 2 = after 3 years of use and Phase 3 = end of 5 year of use). In each phase, the component performance is measured four times to obtain measurement for four performance criteria. TB1: Standard Order for Collecting Data for the Gage R&R Study. Row| Phase| performance criteria| Inspector| Measurement| Row| Phase| performance criteria| Inspector| Measurement| 123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343 36373839404142434445464748| 111111111111111111111111111111112222222222222222| Measured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDCachesCachesCachesCachesMemoryMemoryMemoryMemoryMeasure d CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDCachesCachesCachesCachesMemoryMemoryMemoryMemoryMeasure d CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDCachesCachesCachesCachesMemoryMemoryMemoryMemory| TinaTinaTinaTinaTina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina MariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMaria MariaMariaMariaMariaTinaTinaTinaTinaTina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina | To be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collected| 495051525354555657585960616263646566676869707172737475767778 798081828384858687888990919293949596| 222222222222222233333333333333333333333333333333| Measured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDCachesCachesCachesCachesMemoryMemoryMemoryMemoryMeasure d CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDCachesCachesCachesCachesMemoryMemoryMemoryMemoryMeasure d CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedMeasured CPU SpeedRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDRATED CPU SPEEDCachesCachesCachesCachesMemoryMemoryMemoryMemory| MariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMaria MariaMariaMariaMariaTinaTinaTinaTinaTina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina Tina MariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMariaMaria MariaMariaMariaMaria| To be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collectedTo be collected| For the Random test, since we could not randomly select Phases for the same computer, we assumed we would use three identical computers with each one in a different Phase (Unit1= Phase1, Unit2= Phase2, unit3=Phase3) TB2: Random Order for Collecting Data for the Gage R&R Study. Row| Stand. Order| Unit| performance criteria| Inspector| Measurement| Row| Stand. Order| Unit| performance criteria| Inspector| Measurement| 1| 88| 3| RATED CPU SPEED| Maria| To be collected| 49| 15| 1| Memory| Tina | To be collected| 2| 2| 1| Measured CPU Speed| Tina| To be ollected| 50| 36| 2| Measured CPU Speed| Tina| To be collected| 3| 74| 3| Caches| Tina | To be collected| 51| 92| 3| Caches| Maria| To be collected| 4| 44| 2| Caches| Tina | To be collected| 52| 43| 2| Caches| Tina | To be collected| 5| 39| 2| RATED CPU SPEED| Tina | To be collected| 53| 45| 2| Memory| Tina | To be collected| 6| 27| 1| Caches| Maria| To be collected| 54| 4| 1| Measured CPU Speed| Tina| To be collected| 7| 91| 3| Caches| Maria| To be collected| 55| 19| 1| Measured CPU Speed| Maria| To be collected| 8| 12| 1| Caches| Tina | To be collected| 56| 81| 3| Measured CPU Speed| Maria| To be collected| 9| 71| 3| RATED CPU SPEED| Tina | To be collected| 57| 64| 2| Memory| Maria| To be collected| 10| 31| 1| Memory| Maria| To be collected| 58| 56| 2| RATED CPU SPEED| Maria| To be collected| 11| 80| 3| Memory| Tina | To be collected| 59| 42| 2| Caches| Tina | To be collected| 12| 24| 1| RATED CPU SPEED| Maria| To be collected| 60| 65| 3| Measured CPU Speed| Tina| To be collected| 13| 26| 1| Caches| Maria| To be collected| 61| 90| 3| Caches| Maria| To be collected| 14| 53| 2| RATED CPU SPEED| Maria| To be collected| 62| 58| 2| Caches| Maria| To be collected| 15| 83| 3| Measured CPU Speed| Maria| To be collected| 63| 54| 2| RATED CPU SPEED| Maria| To be collected| 16| 61| 2| Memory| Maria| To be collected| 64| 23| 1| RATED CPU SPEED| Maria| To be collected| 17| 75| 3| Caches| Tina | To be collected| 65| 57| 2| Caches| Maria| To be collected| 18| 22| 1| RATED CPU SPEED| Maria| To be collected| 66| 49| 2| Measured CPU Speed| Maria| To be collected| 19| 67| 3| Measured CPU Speed| Tina| To be collected| 67| 32| 1| Memory| Maria| To be collected| 20| 13| 1| Memory| Tina | To be collected| 68| 79| 3| Memory| Tina | To be collected| 21| 6| 1| RATED CPU SPEED| Tina | To be collected| 69| 46| 2| Memory| Tina | To be collected| 22| 33| 2| Measured CPU Speed| Tina| To be collected| 70| 41| 2| Caches| Tina | To be collected| 23| 10| 1| Caches| Tina | To be collected| 71| 38| 2| RATED CPU SPEED| Tina | To be collected| 24| 77| 3| Memory| Tina | To be collected| 72| 84| 3| Measured CPU Speed| Maria| To be collected| 25| 17| 1| Measured CPU Speed| Maria| To be collected| 73| 76| 3| Caches| Tina | To be collected| 26| 55| 2| RATED CPU SPEED| Maria| To be ollected| 74| 35| 2| Measured CPU Speed| Tina| To be collected| 27| 16| 1| Memory| Tina | To be collected| 75| 89| 3| Caches| Maria| To be collected| 28| 78| 3| Memory| Tina | To be collected| 76| 82| 3| Measured CPU Speed| Maria| To be collected| 29| 40| 2| RATED CPU SPEED| Tina | To be collected| 77| 51| 2| Measured CPU Speed| Maria| To be collected| 30| 68| 3| Measured CPU Speed| Tina| To be collected| 78| 62| 2| Memory| Maria| To be collected| 31| 73| 3| Caches| Tina | To be collected| 79| 34| 2| Measured CPU Speed| Tina| To be collected| 32| 37| 2| RATED CPU SPEED| Tina | To be collected| 80| 21| 1| RATED CPU SPEED| Maria| To be collected| 33| 69| 3| RATED CPU SPEED| Tina | To be collected| 81| 28| 1| Caches| Maria| To be collected| 34| 52| 2| Measured CPU Speed| Maria| To be collected| 82| 5| 1| RATED CPU SPEED| Tina | To be collected| 35| 95| 3| Memory| Maria| To be collected| 83| 18| 1| Measured CPU Speed| Maria| To be collected| 36| 30| 1| Memory| Maria| To be collected| 84| 85| 3| RATED CPU SPEED| Maria| To be collected| 37| 59| 2| Caches| Maria| To be collected| 85| 29| 1| Memory| Maria| To be collected| 38| 47| 2| Memory| Tina | To be collected| 86| 66| 3| Measured CPU Speed| Tina| To be collected| 39| 20| 1| Measured CPU Speed| Maria| To be collected| 87| 3| 1| Measured CPU Speed| Tina| To be collected| 40| 25| 1| Caches| Maria| To be collected| 88| 86| 3| RATED CPU SPEED| Maria| To be collected| 41| 60| 2| Caches| Maria| To be collected| 89| 48| 2| Memory| Tina | To be collected| 42| 1| 1| Measured CPU Speed| Tina| To be collected| 90| 94| 3| Memory| Maria| To be collected| 43| 63| 2| Memory| Maria| To be collected| 91| 70| 3| RATED CPU SPEED| Tina | To be collected| 44| 11| 1| Caches| Tina | To be collected| 92| 87| 3| RATED CPU SPEED| Maria| To be collected| 45| 14| 1| Memory| Tina | To be collected| 93| 50| 2| Measured CPU Speed| Maria| To be collected| 46| 7| 1| RATED CPU SPEED| Tina | To be collected| 94| 8| 1| RATED CPU SPEED| Tina | To be collected| 47| 72| 3| RATED CPU SPEED| Tina | To be collected| 95| 96| 3| Memory| Maria| To be collected| 48| 9| 1| Caches| Tina | To be collected| 96| 93| 3| Memory| Maria| To be collected| CTQ| Criteria| Test| Decision| Fast Processing Time | The process time should be short to allow Dell to compete. Dell needs to meet the product release date. | Compare the effective release date for each product with the original publicly communicated release date. | If the effective release date is the same or prior to the predetermined release date, then the process is satisfactory. If not the process need improvement. | Product Functionality| -The product should turn on when the power switch is turned on and stay on until it is turned off. The product should respond accurately  and within 15 seconds to a user’s commands. | -Randomly select computers after assembly, connect to power and manually turn them on and off 10 times, each time for different legths (5 min, 30 min, 1 h, 12h and 24h) - Randomly select computers after assembly connect to power and manually turn them on while measuring the response time after each basic command. | -If the computer didn’t start or unexpectedly shutdown at any time during this test, then the design needs improvements. If the computer turned on when the switch was turned on for each test and turned off when requested then the design is satisfactory. If the response time was greater than 15 seconds then the design need improvements. If the response time is less or equal than 15 second then the design is satisfactory. | Component Reliability| All components should at least last for the product’s lifetime. (Lifetime for an average computer is 5 years) -Performance of all components should stay the same through the product’s lifetime (assuming that we start with high performance, high performance is 4 to 5 million arithmetic and logical operations in a second). | -Compare the lifetime of each component with the computer's presumed lifetime. -Measure the performance of the same product during multiple phases of its lifetime. We will use the following performance criteria: *Measured CPU Speed*Rated CPU Speed*Caches*Memory (Dell may have better measurement tools but for this project we are going to use CPUInfo software as the evaluation tool). | -If at least one component of a computer is found with a lifetime cycle shorter than the lifetime cycle of the computer, then design needs improvement. If all of the components' lifetime cycle exceed the product lifetime cycle, then the design is satisfactory. -If one performance criterion for a computer is different from Dell’s original setup of the performance target during the design phase at any time during the product lifetime cycle, then the design needs improvement. If all performance criteria stays identical to Dell’s original criteria for the entire lifetime cycle, then the design is satisfactory. Product Reproducibility| -Product should be reproducible at any time and at any quantity with the same customer’s requirements and characteristics | Compare products side by side | If the products have the same exact components, speed, performance, quality, then the design is satisfactory. If any difference was identified then the design needs improvements. | Standardized Production Steps | Each product should go though the same exact production and quality control steps: design, assembly, evaluation and shipment. | Follow the production steps for the same and for different products. | If the any step was missing or was added then the design needs improvement. If the same steps were followed, then the design is satisfactory. | For our two-way ANOVA test our goal was to set up an analysis that would allow us to determine the degree of dependency between the number of replaced parts (defects) and four different factors: type of Dell computers used (notebook, laptops or desktops), type of users (student/school, home/office or IT professionals/developers), type of design (custom design, partially custom design or Dell's standard design) and time of use (one year, three years or five years). For this study we planned to randomly select male and female owners of Dell computers and separate them into 81 groups. Each group would contain 10 individuals that satisfy the criteria determined by the combination of factors and levels as shown in the table. During the study, we would ask each individual about one type of computer even if the individual owns multiple types of Dell computers. The question would be, “Was any part of your computer replaced since you purchased your computer from Dell Inc.? ” This experiment has nine levels on each side of the table:  (custom design, partially custom design and standard design)*(one year, three years and five years) and (student/school, home/office and IT professionals/developers)*(notebook, laptops and desktops) In this example, we are interested in testing the following Null Hypotheses:  H1: The number of parts replaced does not depend on the type of use  H2: The number of parts replaced does not depend on the type of the omputer used  H3: The number of parts replaced does not depend on the type of the Design  H4: The number of parts replaced does not depend on the number of years of use Our anticipation was to find that the custom design computers are subject to higher rate of defects than the partially custom design computers. Our hypothesis was that the error rate gets higher as more time passes and as the uses become more sophisticated. We did not anticipate a significant difference for the defect rate among the different types of Dell computers. In our analysis we set out to find if there is in fact a relationship among the usage, age, user, and design and the number of times parts need to be replaced. The rationale for this analysis was so if we do find a relationship between any of these factors we could then make recommendations to Dell on how to prevent these types of malfunctions for future users. Ideally, we would like to be able to find some form of relationship because it would enable us to create preemptive measures and allow Dell to alter design specifications for these products. If a relationship exists this could be extremely beneficial to Dell because they would then be able to request information from their customers about usage types, and the length of time they planned to use the computer, etc and then Dell could create the computer based on these specifications. Two-Way ANOVA Table Factors| Student/School| Home/Office| IT Professionals/Developers| | Notebook| Laptops| Desktops| Notebook| Laptops| Desktops| Notebook| Laptops| Desktops| Custom Design| One year| 4| 5| 5| 4| 7| 5| 5| 7| 7| | Three years| 6| 7| 6| 5| 6| 5| 5| 7| 6| Five years| 7| 7| 5| 6| 7| 4| 7| 8| 7| Partially Custom Design| One year| 5| 5| 4| 4| 5| 3| 7| 6| 3| | Three years| 4| 3| 4| 4| 6| 4| 5| 6| 6| | Five years| 4| 5| 5| 5| 5| 5| 5| 7| 6| Dell's Standard Design| One year| 4| 4| 2| 0| 2| 4| 1| 2| 3| | Three years| 3| 4| 3| 1| 4| 3| 1| 4| 2| | Five years| 4| 4| 1| 4| 4| 3| 2| 6| 2| *The data in this table are fakes. The next aspect we covered was building a simulation of the company’s current manufacturing supply chain as well as a comparative “improved” supply chain model, and finally an “ideal” model to show how the company could create a seemingly “perfect” model assuming all other variables and resources would not interfere. For all three simulations we used a warm-up period of 2,400 minutes with results collected after 4,800 minutes. The working time was 16 hours per day with a five day week. The total run time for each simulation was 7,200 minutes and each operation kept the same operating time for the three maps. However, the percentage of “Yes” decisions improved from Current through Ideal. It’s also important to mention for the purposes of these maps that they were slightly modified since we assumed that each order received was for one single unit although realistically this process is actually being conducted hundreds and possibly even thousands of times each day concurrently with one another. In the current state of the process map we were able to produce sixty nine computers per week, in the improved state of the process map the simulation ended up producing one hundred and thirteen computers per week and in the Ideal state of the process map the simulation ended up producing one hundred and nineteen computers. From the results of the simulations, we noticed an improvement in the number of units produced after the implementation of multiple quality controls steps and improvement of the feedback between customers, customer service, suppliers and production unit. Given the results, we believed that the improved process is worth implementing from a quality and efficiency perspective. However, we don’t have a good estimate for the cost. Our goal in improving the current process was to cut down on errors and customer complaints by adding additional product and quality check points while also attempting to maintain the same or similar total times. The increase from sixty-nine computers produced to one hundred thirteen between the current to improved states was a large but expected increase but the one hundred thirteen to one hundred nineteen was not as large of an increase as we had expected indicting to us that our improved state, although not necessarily the ideal process, was incredibly close to what we would consider an idyllic model. Listed on the following three pages in three separate process maps are the results we got upon running Dell’s current, improved and ideal. Ultimately, through the use of process maps and the results of statistical analysis based on the numbers that were available for us for this project we feel that we have not only been able to successfully improve on Dell’s current supply chain model but also advise them on a number of important methods and strategies to implement and control these new models and ensure that they will thrive within their current system. Overall we feel Dell needs to make improvements on their computer designs in relation to the where specific parts will be placed for specific users. As stated previously, the life of a computer can be greatly influenced by how the user utilizes it. Certain components of the same model may need to be upgraded or replaced in a much shorter span of time because of how the computer is most commonly used. Dell already has the resources to determine this information while building the computer so that they can prevent these issues before they ever arise and extend the life of their machines. This means researching new, innovative designs to determine if simply rearranging the placement of certain parts alone would correct the problem or if it would require a set of upgraded parts. Building a strong, long-term relationship with their suppliers would also benefit Dell. Suppliers could help to make very valuable recommendations to Dell as well as aid in the reengineering of Dell’s designs. In combination with research is also the statistical testing. Determining whether there is correlation between errors and usage or errors and specific parts all begins with statistical testing and should be continued with as many different facets of the manufacturing process as necessary. A large part of implementing a six sigma strategy is establishing goals and accountability throughout all levels of an organization. This is important to not only track progress but also to reinforce that this is a company-wide agenda not just centered on manufacturing, design, and upper management. All employees should feel a sense of responsibility and personal drive to take action in making recommendations for improvements. Also, if employees feel that top management is truly on board and involved in these improvements it will send a strong message throughout the organization that this strategy is for the long-term and not just a passing phase. Finally, in closing, it is also important that Dell not forget and disregard what they do well. Their core competency is, and has been, for over a decade, their quick and efficient supply chain model. They successfully revolutionized the omputer industry with their built-to-order service and the incredible speed and efficiency at which they could produce personalized computers. So they certainly should not abandon the strategies that have brought them success. They should however increase the quality checks within the current model (which is what we did in our process maps). Speed and efficiency mean nothing if the product isn’t built properly and needs to be returned, costing the company money and aggravating customers. Among other initiatives, Dell’s mission statement outlines the goal to produce computers of the highest quality so this should be held to the highest standard in the manufacturing process.
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