Customer Quality Cross Training

The Sales Engineering team at O’Fallon Casting acts as the primary point of contact between the business and its customers. Because of this, it is critical that all of the technical and quality requirements of customer products are understood by each Sales Engineer. Additionally, the Sales Engineer is responsible for verifying the contract requirements and ensuring that they are met. They essentially, acts as the program manager for the customer at the foundry. This past February 11th-13th, O’Fallon Casting had the opportunity to send one of its Sales Engineers to take part in a three day quality training course hosted by one of its aerospace customers.  Typically, this course is only open to Quality Engineers or Quality Assurance representatives. O’Fallon Casting, however, requested that their Sales Engineer be allowed to take part in the training in an effort to promote cross training. OFC felt that this training course offered a superb opportunity for its Sales Engineer to be exposed to its customer’s quality organization and quality requirements.

The three day training session took place in Anaheim, CA. The sessions are typically offered once a month in varying locations. About thirty five Quality Representatives from various suppliers were in attendance. Each day lasted eight hours and was comprised of a combination of lectures, question and answer sessions, and assignments. Coursework covered a wide array of topics including First Article Inspections, Part Marking, Product Safety, and Special Processes. Each topic covered customer specific instructions and preferences for each process. There was even an opportunity to prepare an entire mock First Article Inspection package using the customer’s procedure. This provided vital insight into how this customer accepts inspection data. In turn, this training will enable streamlined qualification of new castings to our customer. Now that the Sales Engineer is more familiar with their processes, design and inspection data can be better communicated to their engineering and purchasing teams. Individualized customer training in inspection and part qualification is important as each company has a different qualification process to follow. O’Fallon Casting encourages other companies to provide similar training.

Now that the Sales Engineer is course certified, he can act as a better liaison between OFC’s Sales and Quality departments. Furthermore, the way our customer handles and resolves quality issues can be better understood. This is extremely beneficial for communication between OFC and its customers. This valuable experience demonstrates the need to expand these classes to supplier employees outside of the quality organization. Contract officers, manufacturing engineers, and other critical employees all act in the production of customer product and can benefit from this exposure. This training experience demonstrates O’Fallon Casting’s commitment and dedication to our customer’s and their requirements. We are willing to go the extra mile and put forth every effort in meeting your product’s needs.