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.


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

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

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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.

Is cloud-based SPC the place to realize the benefits to your organization? Or just…

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Cloud Computing in Manufacturing is Now a Necessity


Most of us are probably familiar with the early days of cloud computing.  Nudged by endless advertising on AM radio or website ads, the first services that many of us adopted both personally and professionally were the services that promised the backup and protection of our data such as Google Drive, Carbonite, Dropbox, and Mozy among others.

Distribution Facility cloud computing in manufacturing

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Fast forward to today and consider cloud computing in manufacturing.  We see that the majority of the workloads are now on the cloud versus the traditional in-house IT space.  A staggering 82% of companies surveyed in a recent study saved money moving to the cloud.

Our peers are certainly adopting cloud computing or SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions for their business so it is fitting to ask ourselves, “how can my business/department benefit from a cloud-based solution?” Read more

Kick-starting Your SPC – The Next Steps


Today we wrap up our series on kick-starting your SPC.  Throughout the past several weeks we’ve reviewed concepts on how to help make your program a success by ensuring your team is educated, that they understand transition is an investment, and that everyone is aware of the role that production workers must embrace as well as management’s role.

The Next Steps

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6.) The next steps.

Don’t place unrealistic demands on yourself or your team.

Continue the cycle of gathering data, plotting it, studying it, and reacting to it. When you are comfortable with the system of process control, expand to include related characteristics. When you are comfortable with those, add others or bring a new target area into focus. Keep adding new areas until everything is under control.

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