Alexis Brown is marking a Mustang inner decklid from a first run to make sure that the piece meets all specifications and quality standards.
Alexis Brown finds that being the quality checker on the Jiers 2 press at Woodhaven Stamping suits her. She’s meticulous in looking for problems that could slow her line, and she wants every part to be perfect for Ford customers.
That attention to detail isn’t new to her – it’s a part of her.
Before coming to Ford in 2016, Brown was the general manager of a fast-food restaurant where attention to detail and managing people was critical for success. It’s the “little things” that make the difference between a great business and a good business, Brown said. In the end, it’s always about the customer.
“Quality is a more important area to focus on than quantity. As an employee, I want our customers to get the best product possible, so it is our job to make sure they get that quality product,” Brown explained.
When the first pieces come off the press, the run stops while she looks over the part. She asks herself: Are there enough holes and do they cut clean through? Was the press a good press or are there potential tooling issues?
There is a quality control board that has specifications for every part pressed. Even though she is familiar with the parts, Brown uses the sheet as her checklist. “I take nothing for granted,” she said.
Aligned with Ford’s new OS behaviors, Brown holds herself to the highest standards (excellence) and prioritizes the customer (focus). Her quality and leadership abilities earned her a recognition from her process coach.
“Alexis has proven to be beyond a valuable asset to the Jiers and has shown extraordinary leadership,” said Process Coach Michael Moore, who agrees that Brown never assumes or settles for “good enough.”
For Brown, it’s all about doing the job right.
“It is very important to check that first roll,” Brown said. “I am careful when I look for potential issues. When you do it right, you don’t have to worry about the rest of the run.”
Brown checks for details, such as the correct number of holes for screws or bolts, whether the holes are punched clear through and the right curve on a part. The press can make up to 5,000 of that particular part in a shift. However, several different parts can be made for vehicles like the Mustang, Escape and F-150, all in one shift.
"We can have three or four different parts in a day. Each time, we do a quality check before we do the full run,” Brown said. She appreciates her supervisors recognizing her attention to quality.
Brown hired in at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in 2016, working in the Body Shop. She was there for 3 1/2 years and then transferred to Woodhaven Stamping in 2019. She started in lasers and then went to the Jiers. She stacked parts before working on the quality review.
Brown has an 11-year-old daughter, Alannah, and that young woman is growing up with the same work ethic as her mother. A sixth grader, she studied ballet for two years and also plays softball. Currently she is learning to braid hair with a dream to work in cosmetology.
“Alannah may do something else when she gets older and that is fine,” Brown said. “I am teaching my daughter to be an independent woman. Values start at home.”
Brown has a relentless passion to do the best possible work, and her daughter Alannah has a wonderful role model to look up to. As a team, WSP will continue to put quality before quantity across all production.