How Quality Affects Your Customer’s Buying Choice

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In the previous posts in this series, we gained an understanding of what the quality means and that it has a different meaning to different parties.  We then acknowledged that the way the customer defines quality, while highly subjective and of utmost concern, can be simplified.  Today, we walk a step further, considering how a producer’s view on quality, while technically closer to optimal, may not be the best for business.  This variance in process and results is how quality affects your customer’s buying choice.  Let explore this further.

The illustration below shows the output of two companies making the same part. Company A has much tighter control over the dimension but their process is centered near the low limit. Company B, however, doesn’t have enough control to keep their products within spec all the time and produces a 3% out-of-spec product.

FIgure 1-1 The Book of Statistical Process Control

From a producer’s point of view, Company A would appear to be the better company. The tighter control of the dimensions reduces the cost of materials.


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Company A has much tighter control over the dimension but their process is centered near the low limit. Company B, however, doesn’t have enough control to keep their products within spec all the time and produces a 3% out-of-spec product. Again, from a producer’s point of view, Company A would appear to be the better company. The tighter control of the dimensions reduces the cost of materials.

But this is only one way to look at it.  What about the customer’s point-of-view?

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How Does Your Customer (Not You) Define Quality?

[This content is from Zontec’s The Book of Statistical Process Control.  You can download a free copy here.]

In a separate post on quality itself, we defined quality.  This is not an easy task since quality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. We identified five points we can all agree on that equate to quality.  More important than this though is how your customer (not you) defines quality. When it comes to quality, your customer is concerned with three different areas: design quality, manufacturing quality, and performance quality.

Rails

Credit: flickr: Particularly Everything

Design Quality

Design Quality is the intended shape, size, color and function of the product. The designer must assess the needs of the customer and select characteristic values that will create the greatest customer satisfaction. 

Manufacturing Quality

Manufacturing Quality is how well the product meets the design. It is this type of quality that is the main subject of our free e-Book, The Book of Statistical Process Control. The better the manufacturing quality is, the better the product quality will be. And if this type of quality is good, product quality will be more consistent. Keep in mind, however, that while improving manufacturing will improve a product to a certain extent, it will never improve a poor design.

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What is Quality? Quality Defined

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What is Quality?

Credit: flickr: Particularly Everything

In the 35+ years since our founding, we’ve detailed the concepts of quality and SPC to a great degree. However, it’s important from time to time to remind ourselves just what is quality and why is it important.

Before we can control quality, we need to understand what the word “quality” means. Quality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Each of us judges the quality of many items every day, and we each have a different idea about what quality is for each item. We know what we like or what we want, and what we don’t like or want. How we determine the quality of an item depends on both our personal preference and our frame of reference for that particular item. Read more

5 Reasons Businesses Use the Cloud

5 Reasons

Credit: Flickr: Particularly Everything

Recently, IBM shared a fantastic infographic on their Flickr page outlining why the cloud is becoming more of a business decision as opposed to an IT decision.  The reasons they cited may seem obvious but once we consider the broad effect of adoption, they become quite compelling.

It comes as no surprise that companies are adding cloud computing to their technology resources at an ever increasing rate.  Late last year Cisco released its The Cisco Global Cloud Index (GCI).  They identify it as a report that forecasts data center and cloud traffic as well as key trends for 2013-2018.


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Kick-starting Your SPC Program – The Production Team’s Role

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It is important to make your program a success by ensuring your team is educated about SPC concepts.  Another element to success is creating a culture of confidence and patience as the transition occurs within your organization. The next phase is identifying the production team’s role in implementing and making your SPC program successful long-term.

The Production Team's Role in SPC

Credit: flickr: Jim Bahn

The Production Team’s Role.  

Your “eyes on the street”

The production team is vital to the success of the program, because they have the best view of the process. Only shop floor production workers know from personal experience the current practices and problems on the floor. Chances are they have a good sense of their equipment’s capabilities including how to tweak it to make it do what they want.

As improvements are adopted, the production team will also know they are further maximizing their time.  In actual case studies, we have found estimates that clients using the Synergy Suite are saving approximately 30% of an operator’s day due to data entry. Synergy virtually eliminates data entry errors giving your team the time to focus on other value-added activities that include refining processes that are in front of them daily.

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