Quality Improvement Round II: SPC or SPS?


Bajaria, H.J.   (1989, ASQC)   Multiface, Inc., Garden City, MI

Annual Quality Congress, Toronto, Ontario, Canada    Vol. 43    No. 0
QICID: 3598    May 1989    pp. 416-423
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Article Abstract

About eight years have passed since the onslaught of improvement fever within the automotive industry. Various developments in products and systems have emerged within that period to permanently establish an improvement climate; none, however, can claim unqualified success to date. In fact, critical business improvement indexes remain unchanged since major improvement programs were begun within automotive companies. In all, the investment in quality improvement efforts thus far has been far in excess of the benefits realized. How can this be when the improvement programs promised so much?

Current philosophies and methods of pursuing improvement have only tapped 1/100th of the total potential for improvement within the industry. Is it impossible to understand and realize the other 99%? This paper is critical of many popular business and technical quality improvement approaches, and offers an alternative approach to common improvement activities that can help companies achieve that 99%.

Major issues presented in the paper are: (1) Is Statistical Process Control (SPC) a prerequisite for Statistical Problem Solving (SPS), or is SPS a prerequisite for SPC? (2) Has the OEM-supplier partnership for progress in quality improvement produced significant results, or can it use a renewed definition and approach? (3) Why have there too often been greater investments in teaching quality improvement ideas than in implementing quality improvement projects?

The discussion of these and related other issues will lead to suggestions for the direction of Round II quality improvement efforts in the automotive industry. Industries other than automotive can also learn from the renewed definition of quality commitment and effective execution called for in this paper.


Automobile industry

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