Communication & Collaboration
When investigating why customers we’ve had for over 20 years continue to choose our business, one answer stood out abundantly clear; communication. Communication is the vital aspect to the success of a company in our business. We are driven to continually improve our communication by investing in communication training for our team (Mindful Communication, Communication/Collaboration), and by annually requesting our customers to rate our communication & collaboration and tell us where we can improve. We believe this diligence in maintaining a high level of communication is what ultimately fosters a successful project and lasting relationships.
At Advanced, our culture promotes being open, honest, and inquisitive and nothing reflects those strengths more than our approach to communication.
We use a variety of different communication methods throughout development and production. Typically during development there are several meetings, conference calls, Teams meetings, and WebEx sessions taking place, especially in the Design for Manufacturing/Design for Reliability (DFM/DFR) phase. Once the design is frozen, communication surrounds customer status reports and timelines. Eventually, we transfer the communication to our customer relations and production teams as the commercialization stage begins.
More recently, we’ve realized how we need to raise our level of collaboration, both internally and externally. Collaboration helps speed up the development process and also helps unlock the best ideas. We’ve been adopting more Agile/Lean Development techniques in our development of new tools and assembly programs. We remapped our development methodology, and as a result, we now engage our metrology, quality engineering, and manufacturing engineering teams sooner in the process. We’ve incorporated 6 development checklists to ensure consistency. We’ve also implemented manufacturing and commercial toll gates, as well as more peer reviews, to ensure effectiveness.
When we started Agile, we realized the first thing we needed to change was our mindset. This realization resulted in us using more interactive communication (e.g. huddles), visual management, project management tools, dedicated working sessions, and project prioritization. We continue to train, experiment, and create templates as we further develop our method of Agile.