FMEA, or Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, is an effective tool to identify and eliminate possible failures in a process or business. Many companies use it as a means of assessing risk (see my other blog post here [insert link]), however, FMEA is also a good tool to use for business improvement.
FMEA technique asks the process owner to assess possible ways a process or product can fail, and eliminate, or mitigate, these failure modes.
By using FMEA to identify potential weaknesses in your business, you can also strengthen your current business, gaining improvement.
Let’s talk about an example. You are in the cupcake making business, and you implement FMEA to talk about, among other things, raw materials. You list your raw materials as flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. You identify that your perishables (eggs, butter) could spoil in heat, so you ensure that you have adequate refrigeration space to meet customer demand. By putting a reminder on your calendar to get your refrigeration unit serviced regularly, you are minimizing the risk that the unit will fail and your food will spoil (lowering your Risk Priority Number, or RPN). This simple business improvement (scheduling maintenance on refrigeration units) may then spur you to do something similar for for the cooking units – schedule maintenance, verify heating temperatures (that when you set the over for 350 degrees, the oven temperature inside is 350 degrees plus/minus 5 degrees). One idea spurs another, and soon your entire operation is more robust and less prone to downtime and producing bad products.
For more information on FMEA courses, visit our link here [insert link] for our online courses, or here [link] for our in-house class, where we customize the class examples to your business, so we work on your actual process during class.