Harris Cost of Quality: The Quiet Revolution

Article

Burroughs, N. Phillip   (1991, ASQC)   Harris Corporation, Melbourne, FL

Annual Quality Congress, Milwaukee WI    Vol. 45    No. 0
QICID: 9709    May 1991    pp. 598-601
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Article Abstract

This paper describes the pitfalls that Harris Corporation faced in establishing a Cost of Quality program in its four diverse businesses: electronic systems, communications, semiconductors, and office equipment. The author also presents strategies for overcoming pitfalls and successfully implementing Cost of Quality throughout a corporation. The challenges that faced Harris Corporation included: (1) Employees viewed Cost of Quality as just another corporate program; (2) Different organizations operate at different levels of maturity and efficiency; (3) Engineers did not feel that Cost of Quality applied to them; (4) It was difficult to break the perception that quality is free; (5) Concentration too early on dollars can have a negative effect upon progress; (6) The amount of time allowed for installation was grossly underestimated. After two years, Harris Corporation re-examined their strategies and learned from past mistakes. The factors which then led to their success included: (1) implementing training and education before pilot activities; (2) involving recognized champions who influence the thoughts of others; (3) having a genuine desire to improve quality; (4) starting small and concentrating limited resources on a few departments rather than the entire company; (5) selecting the project most likely to succeed; (6) eliminating the fear of retaliation for honest and open exposure of Cost of Quality issues; (7) providing positive reinforcement at start-up time; and (8) preaching the importance of quality improvement.

Keywords

Case study,Cost of quality (COQ),Electronics industry,Harris Corporation,Manufacturing,Difficulties encountered,Semiconductor industry


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