A Customer Oriented QA System in R&D Activities

Article

Ruiz, Javier; Villate, Jose M.   (1994, ASQC)   LABEIN Technological Research Center, PB. 1234 Bilbao 48080, SPAIN

Annual Quality Congress, Las Vegas NV    Vol. 48    No. 0
QICID: 10073    May 1994    pp. 93-102
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Article Abstract

Companies can be more competitive in world markets by taking control of their Research and Development (R & D) organizations and approaching Quality Function Deployment (QFD) by aligning ISO 9000 requirements with customer demands. To accomplish this goal, researchers should be close to the customers.

LABEIN, a technological research center in Bilbao, Spain, implemented a quality system in testing and calibration. They incorporated Total Quality Management (TQM) into their company culture, created an R & D quality team, and worked on a QFD project with customers. The QFD project developed an affinity diagram and a "quality house" matrix.

LABEIN's efforts resulted in organizational transformation, a multi-dimensional quality system, and a commitment to continuous improvement. R & D projects have benefitted from better planning, more reliable results and, according to surveys, increased customer satisfaction.

Annual surveys also indicate that employee satisfaction has increased significantly and, although Spain was coping with a period of industrial crisis and recession, LABEIN maintained an annual growth rate in turnover of between 10% and 25%.

Keywords

Affinity diagram,Case study,Competitiveness,Total Quality Management (TQM),Innovation,Quality assurance (QA),Research and development (R&D),ISO 9000


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