Trotter, John (1986, ASQC) Bausch & Lomb, Sparks, MD
American industry today is still trying to come to grip with such philosophies as J.I.T., Quality is Free, and Quality Circles. Another major concept that both the customer and the manufacturer deal with every day is the term "Fitness for Use".
This paper will demonstrate a different concept and philosophy which may be the "glue" that holds all the different philosophies together.
There has been a growing need to address the Quality function from both the RD&E and manufacturing points of view. The manufacturing point of view was Quality Circles and Quality Improvement Teams. The idea here was to involve the workers in solving their mutual problems but these programs have been viewed in many areas as just another management tool to get what management wants from the worker.
On the RD&E side, their answer to Quality Circles is value analysis. Although many Engineers know the term, value analysis or value engineering, not many professionals practice this valuable techniques of cost/function relationship.
In today's market, quality, delivery and price is the gospel that all businesses must adhere to if they want to compete in the world market that we see today. It is also true that human beings make decisions that effect the quality, delivery and price matrix.
Value Analysis/Engineering is the "glue" that holds the various disciplines together by blending the correct blend of technology and psychology in an atmosphere of constructive discontent so that the true function and costs are properly identified and solutions are found to address for once and all the concept of "Fitness for Use".