A customer-centric approach to quality

Many customers have recognized GE Gas Power for its safety culture. How do you ensure that quality is and stays a top priority—such as safety?

Ensuring the health and safety of our employees, customers, and partners is an irrefutable, No.1 priority for us at GE Gas Power. Safety, quality and reliability form our foundation, laying the groundwork for everything we do. During the course of last year, we implemented various actions targeting improvement in quality, and we systematically measure how we perform for our customers. Just like for Safety, our teams are fully empowered to Stop Work for Quality, and engage in improved systems for Management Observations, Quality Concerns and Non-Conformance Reporting. Our employees are using systemic problem solving to understand and resolve issues, while taking the next step in implementing actions to prevent them from reoccurring. These efforts are done by teams across our business to holistically improve the quality we deliver to our customers. Our aim is to continuously learn and improve in order to deliver a better experience for our customers all day, every day.

What are GE Gas Power’s main strategic focus areas pertaining to quality in 2021 and beyond?

The three main focus areas are reducing issues for our customers, by driving proactive systemic actions across our business to improve quality. We have already seen reductions in what we call significant events in 2020, but we will continue working on improving them even more in 2021. We have improved our problem-solving systems, so we can get to the true root cause quicker, and take corrective and preventive actions to address the issue. We also continue to put a strong emphasis on transparency during the issue resolution process with our customers to ensure we are working together in resolving such issues. We continue to improve our overall quality system through our ISO9000 Certification and our extensive audit process. Proactive actions are being operationalized in order to integrate quality even more across our systems in manufacturing, supply chain, engineering and field services.

If we take it a level deeper, what are some examples of specific areas where GE is focused in 2021?

Based on the valuable feedback we have received from our customers, we have implemented immediate actions. For example, to improve our engineering team’s responsiveness, we have created Quick Response Centers around the globe to provide rapid technical responses to our customers. This has already reduced our response cycle times, while at the same time enabled us to improve the quality of response to support our customers. We have also improved our Root Cause Analysis process by implementing standardized processes and increasing communication with our customers. We are addressing the technical field advisor capability with focused actions, including:

  • Standardizing the competency framework across all core skills.
  • Revamping the training program for new and current field engineers.
  • Introducing improved planning processes for each outage with a focus on getting the right capability and experience for the specific outage scope.

GE Gas Power has a diverse customer base across the globe. From a quality standpoint, what is GE doing to take a focused, customer-centric approach to meeting its customers’ needs?

We utilize many standard metrics that measure across all customers, such as reliability, availability and non-conformances. But we are also working with each customer on the quality measurements that matter to their specific plant or company. We have been working with customers to develop quality scorecards that measure our performance and progress over time, and we factor in additional data including the outage surveys we receive from our customers. These surveys provide valuable input and direct feedback on our performance, helping us focus on the critical areas for improvement.

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