Quality management specialist at LEGO Group simplifies issue tracking with PowerApps
Camilla Friedrichsen is a Quality Management Specialist at the LEGO Group headquarters in Billund, Denmark. In this post we look at the PowerApps solution that Camilla created to track and communicate product quality issues with the development and operations teams at LEGO.
Camilla has a degree in Logistics and has been with LEGO for almost nine years. She had developed solutions in Excel and VBA and found PowerApps to be very approachable given this background. She learned about PowerApps in January 2018 while exploring Microsoft Access to manage a list of quality issues. She chose to use PowerApps and created the “Quality Issue List” (QIL) app described below. The app has been used by her team on a weekly basis since early 2018.
The CPQ (Consumer Perceived Quality) department at LEGO works with the Consumer Service team to analyze “crying kid” complaints reported by customers, such as a kid missing an element in their build. The Consumer Service team applies an immediate “bandage” by sending a new element to the customer. The CPQ department then analyzes all “crying kid” data and translates this in a manner that is meaningful and actionable for the development and operation teams. This data is used to make improvement in future LEGO products. The CPQ team needed a robust solution to report and track these issues in a consistent and systematic way.
Before PowerApps – business process, challenges and opportunities
The CPQ team consists of multitalented folks who work with different departments in LEGO. In the past they used a proprietary application plus Excel to capture quality issues. They also use a 'One-Pager' process where the issue is recorded in a central location as a PowerPoint slide, and all the stakeholders can view and agree upon it.
There were a number of challenges with the old process prior to the PowerApps implementation:
- To ensure accuracy and consistency, only 2 team members were allowed to edit the Excel sheet. As the workload grew there was a need to have additional members contribute.
- As more data was placed in it, the file became “too vulnerable”.
- There was no easy way to track open and pending quality cases.
- There was a wish to include more areas in reporting, as new categories were added.
- The “One Pager” that described the quality issue to stakeholders was not linked to the case.
- There was a need for higher transparency and sharing of this information across the organization.
The team was not ready for a big solution that involved their IT department or required a lot of coding. The initial plan was to leverage Access but it was being deprecated. Since the department had upgraded to Office 365, leveraging PowerApps with SharePoint was selected as the best option.
CPQ employees now use a PowerApps Canvas app to enter and track open issues that need to be reported to the operations and development teams. All the data is stored in SharePoint Online lists.
Benefits from using PowerApps
- Everyone is now accountable for their own cases – they can all use the system directly and at the same time. They are no longer restricted to just two people on the team registering issues for everyone.
- The CPQ team was able to implement the solution for themselves, without needing IT to build it for them.
- All the information on a quality issue is available in one spot, they don’t need to search elsewhere for additional information, such as pictures.
- Managing access was easy as SharePoint gave the flexibility of maintaining granular level permissions.