Successful Application of Quality Cost Concepts

Article

Yourshaw, Cecilia M.   (1990, ASQC)   Hercules, Inc., Radford, VA

Annual Quality Congress, San Francisco, CA    Vol. 44    No. 0
QICID: 9540    May 1990    pp. 740-745
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Article Abstract

Quality Cost is an integral part of any Quality Improvement Process. It is a valuable yardstick by which the success of any Quality Program can be measured. However, in order to be effective, Quality Cost concepts must be applied practically and meaningfully to the organization. We were successful at developing and implementing a comprehensive Quality Cost Program at a manufacturing plant, through the use of a systematic approach. The Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RAAP), a Government Owned-Contractor Operated Facility, produces various propellants and explosives for the United States military. Hercules Incorporated is the operating contractor. In 1986, RAAP was included under the umbrella of MIL-Q-9858-A, a military specification which required a formal Quality Program Plan, including the collection of Quality Costs. At approximately the same time, Hercules began implementation of the Philip Crosby Quality Improvement Process, which also stressed the importance of Quality Cost. Thus, the process of developing and implementing a Quality Cost System was begun at RAAP. It quickly became evident that the Quality Cost concepts were easy to grasp, but sometimes difficult to apply in a real-life setting. As a way of overcoming this, we implemented the Quality Cost Program in phases, rather than attempting to immediately put a plant-wide system in place.
We began by identifying the purpose a Quality Cost Program was to fulfill at RAAP. Next, we defined Quality Cost in specific terms, created a data collection system, identified reporting requirements and established an outlet for feedback. The paper will cover our implementation process in detail, including various setbacks that we faced which may be common to other organizations. The Quality Cost Program at RAAP is one of the most successful parts of the Quality Improvement Process. Quality Cost receives management support, it highlights those areas where we are experiencing high failure cost so that aggressive corrective action can be taken and it tracks the progress of our entire Quality Program. Taking the Quality Cost concepts and then implementing a comprehensive Quality Cost System is a challenging assignment for any organization, but our experience shows that it can be done successfully.

Keywords

Cost of quality (COQ),Case study


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