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For many years at the start of his career he worked as a
statistician for the US Government Service, specialising in statistical sampling techniques.
After the war, in 1946, he went to Japan as an Adviser to the Japanese Census. The Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) invited him to lecture on quality control techniques to engineers and senior managers. His contribution to rebuilding the Japanese economy was recognized by the Emperor who awarded him the Second Order of the Sacred Treasure (Bendell, 1991).
His main message to the Japanese was that variability is inherent in any process and is due to two types of causes, namely, special causes which are easily assignable, identifiable and solvable by operators themselves, and common causes which are due to design and operation and only management can eliminate. Deming argues that 94 per cent of the quality problems are the responsibility of management
Throughout the 1950s, Deming conducted many lectures in Japan on statistical methods. Included in these lectures were many of the principles now constituting the "company-wide" approach or TQM. Whilst much of Deming's message to the Japanese reflected his statistical background, his work extended far beyond statistical methods.
He encouraged the Japanese to adopt a systematic approach to problem solving, later to become known as the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Action) cycle. He also urged senior managers to become more actively involved in quality improvement programmes. It was not until the 1970s that managers in the West began to consider whether Deming's methods could do for their companies what they had done for the Japanese.
“ Quality is neither a department, nor a technique, nor a philosophy. It is a fundamental way of managing. Central to this is the recognition that, without quality, your customers…are simply not going to buy from you.”
Professor Ishikawa (1915-1989) studied Applied Chemistry at the Engineering Department of Tokyo University. During his life he was awarded many prizes for his work and writings on Quality Control and is best known as the pioneer of the Quality Circle movement in Japan during the 1960s.
Like many of the Japanese "gurus", Ishikawa was keen to promote the use of statistical techniques in commerce and industry. In particular, Ishikawa believed that all employees should have a basic training in techniques such as: * Bar Charts and Histograms * Pareto Analysis * Scatter Diagrams * Cause and Effect Analysis
Away from his technical contributions, Ishikawa was a strong advocate of the Company-Wide movement. He saw this approach as implying that: "quality does not only mean the quality of the product, but also of after-sales services, management, the company itself and the human beings who work in it".
During the Second World War he worked in the Navigation Institute of the Imperial Japanese Navy and then the Institute of Statistical Mathematics at the Ministry of Education. In 1950 he joined the Nippon Telephone and Telegraph Company and during his 12 year stay developed many of his methods.
In the early 1970s Taguchi developed the concept of the "Quality Loss Function" and by the end of that decade was highly acclaimed in his own country. It was not until 1980 that Western companies, particularly in the USA began to implement Taguchi's methods. The most notable of these being Xerox, Ford and ITT. Taguchi had made little impact in Europe until the Institute of Statisticians organised a conference in London in 1987 to discuss his methods.
The UK Taguchi Club, (now the Quality Methods Association) was formed later that year. Taguchi's methodology is geared towards pushing the concepts of quality and reliability back into the design stage, ie, prior to manufacturing. His method provides an efficient technique for designing product tests prior to beginning manufacturing. Taguchi methodology is fundamentally a prototyping technique that enables engineers/designers to produce a robust design which can survive repetitive manufacturing in order to deliver the functionality required by the customer.
Shigeo Shingo is the least known Japanese quality writer in the West. His approach emphasizes production rather than organizational issues, and it is thus manufacturing-based. He believed that statistical methods detect errors too late in the manufacturing process. Shingo's method emphasises 'zero defects' through good engineering and process investigation and rectification (Shingo, 1986).
His method, poka-yoke or zero defects, stops the process whenever a defect occurs, defines the cause and prevents the recurring source of the defect. The method relies on a process of continuously monitoring potential sources of error. The machines used in this process are equipped with feedback instrumentation that identifies errors before they become defects, so remedial action can be taken.
Philip Crosby is perhaps the most well marketed and charismatic of the American Quality Gurus. He is a graduate of the Western Reserve University, and after serving with the US Navy in the Korean war, he held a variety of quality control jobs. He spent fourteen years working his way up within ITT, eventually becoming Corporate VP and Director of Quality, with worldwide responsibilities.
In 1979 Crosby published his famous "Quality is Free" book, and as a result of that success, left ITT to form his own company, Philip Crosby Associates Inc. Crosby's name is most strongly associated with the "Do it Right First Time" and "Zero Defects" concepts. Crosby believes that most companies spend up to 5% of their operating revenues in correcting mistakes which need not have been made in the first place.
He does not subscribe to the view that workers should take primary responsibility for quality. He places great emphasis on the "top-down" approach, stressing that senior management is entirely responsible for quality
Crosby defines quality as conformance to requirements which the company itself has established for its products based directly on its customers' needs. Quality is an inherent characteristic of the product, not an added element. Crosby argues that management is to blame for the vast majority of the quality problems within an organization. Moreover, the most important performance measurement within an organization is the cost of quality and it is cheaper to get things right first time.
Tom Peters is an American consultant who has researched into the secrets of most successful American companies. In his most popular book, In Search of Excellence (with Waterman, 1982) he presents Excellence as a universal icon that can guide businesses and sift through winners and losers. Excellence is synonymous with quality yet it is indefinable through objective and rational methods of research.
In a second book, A Passion for Excellence (1985), Peters and Austin identify leadership as central to the quality improvement process. They see management by walking about (MBWA) as the basis of leadership for it enables the leader to keep in touch with the workers, customers and suppliers.
In his third book, Thriving on Chaos (1987) he prescribes ways of bringing about a management revolution in the West. Such ways tend to focus on the end-user as the most important factor in judging quality efforts.
Quality assurance is about how a business can design the way a product of service is produced or delivered to minimize the chances that output will be sub-standard. The focus of quality assurance is, therefore on the product design/development stage.
Why focus on these stages? The idea is that - if the processes and procedures used to produce a product or service are tightly controlled - then quality will be "built-in". This will make the production process much more reliable, so there will be less need to inspect production output (quality control).
Quality assurance involves developing close relationships with customers and suppliers. A business will want to make sure that the suppliers to its production process understand exactly what is required - and deliver!
Examples of Service Quality Dimension Examples 1. Tangibles Were the facilities clean, personnel neat? 2. Convenience Was the service center conveniently located? 3. Reliability Was the problem fixed? 4. Responsiveness Were customer service personnel willing and able to answer questions? 5. Time How long did the customer wait? 6. Assurance Did the customer service personnel seem knowledgeable about the repair? 7. Courtesy Were customer service personnel and the cashierfriendly and courteous?
The Quality System Information Management Purchasing & Inventory Assessment Occurrence Management Process Improvement Customer Service Facilities & Safety Organization Personnel Equipment Documents & Records Process Control (QC & EQA) & Specimen Management
Condition which enables a company to operate in a more efficient otherwise higher-quality manner than the companies it competes with, and which results in benefits accruing to that company.
process by which a company studies the actions of its major competitors in order to determine what specific strategies they are following and how those strategies affect its own; also used by marketers as they try to develop competitive advantage s, ...