for any organization that has many departments working together to deliver a single product requires a right coordination. That's timw when you actually need right document controls to take care of the flow of information through all these departments.
So Clairvoyant and anyone else. What order would you put the following positions in place?: Document Control Specialist -Electronics Technician-Component Engineer - Program Manager - Reliability Engineer - Engineering Stockroom supervisor. I know there are many talented and experienced people who can do more than one of these positions, so let's limit this exercise to full-time positions for each one. I would like to see the different responses as differentiated among Executive Management, Middle Management, Individual Contributor staff. Perception among these different groups is often an issue that impacts company growth in more than just the physical infrastructure.
Good point, Douglas. I think for a new company, they should start implementing these types of procedures gradually and when it becomes a benefit to do so. That way the company does not get behind on implementing these procedures and also does not take too much effort away from working on the real products.
To all... Let me throw this out there and see if we have a consensus of opinion. At what point in a technical company's development should formal processes be put in place? Too early and you run the risk of stifling development by slowing down early development efforts by taking hands away from product R&D to handle paperwork, and too late, people start tripping over each other because jobs are I'll defined and repeatability in product quality suffers because there is too much tribal knowledge and new hires have to catch up by violating poorly or nondocumented process and procedures. This amounts to a waste of time, money, and more often than not, occasions many reworks in development efforts. So, when is the best time to hire Engineering Support Services in a company's growth cycle?
Good to hear your point of view Douglas, it is very clear. You are right, as large enterprise veteran, I've really experienced sometimes how is important to fill the gap among marketing/sales/engineering/operations and I believe is one of key talent an executive can bring inside corporation which he is in charge of leading, in collaboration with whole management team. I am convinced your next paper will be very interesting, as current, is.
I think you have hit upon one of the key communication issues within a company, that being who is in the loop whenever there is an introduction, discontinuance, modification, or consolidation of a policy, procedure, process etc. It is rather interesting that companies live and die by whether their product sales are sufficient to support the entire operation. And sales "reach" is definitely effectuated by Marketing and Communications. A change deep inside the bowels of a company that has any impact on form, fit, or function of a customers experience, without the Marketing and Sales force in the "know", could have a huge negative consequence on the morale, credibility, and ultimately sales revenue. So, in the paper ECN, Change Order Control, I definitely include in the routing sequence, Marketing and Sales...anyone impacted by the change. In the next section of this paper on Documentation Control, you will see nuances of that. Your point is well- taken and I suspect you have been a victim of this very omission in "Best Practices".
Good article and good summary Douglas, I would like to put on the table a question: is there a specific reason to leave off sales and marketing in sync process? I believe they are fundamental blocks in the puzzle "keeing sync" and maybe sometimes a few mistakes come just from there. Isn't it?
Dave, I can't work in a disorganized organization that isn't moving towards best practices in all departments. Hence, I am highly motivated to introduce procedures, flowcharts,forms and guidelines as quickly as I can. So to answer your question, I have worked in environments that had already recognized the need for greater controls and so I was compelled from within and without to put the processes that were within my scope of work in place as quickly as possible.Every company I have experienced either as an employee or a consultant have had mild to severe organizational issues, so in brief I would say there probably are more that need a better defined infrastructure with defined, but still flexible job descriptions than not. This first section of the paper posted herein, is just the first secion of a longer document that EBN has chosen to split up to present. I tell of a few disasters because of the poor communications and interdepartmental snafus that resulted from "everyone doin' their own thing". I am a Component Engineer and by definition have to be so detailed and research oriented, that my own discipline would be in shambles if I did not keep fastideous records and follow processes to get from A-Z efficiently. That is a lot of commentary on a subject that defines chaos from order. I appreciate your question. My entire website is dedicated to structuring a Component Engineering department...from the ground up.
I agree with DennisQ on this one, but it does underscore an issue that is more common than we may realize which is companies are still using antiquated and in many cases inadequate methods for file sharing and communications.
Douglas, would you say that companies properly utilizing version/revision/document control systems, as DennisQ mentioned are more the exception rather than the norm?
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.