Quality quiz (June 2012): This month’s quiz from Professor Cleary—and May’s quiz winners!

Mike ClearyWinners of last month’s quiz and a copy of Quality Gamebox are Bill Aldinger (Aspen Technology); Lewis Alley (Core Molding Technology); and Margaret Decker (Good Sam Hospital, New York). Congratulations! For this month’s quiz, and a chance to win a copy of Quality Gamebox, go to Quality Quiz. Submit your response by June 29 to be entered in the drawing.

Alene Machyne’s frustration at the number of defects produced by Write Wright Manufacturing is palpable. After all, she’s pulled out every tool in her management toolbox, and defect numbers continue to rise. She has just looked at monthly numbers for the pen manufacturing plant, and they are not any better than last month’s, which were at near-historic highs. She has tried enhanced inspection, threats, promises, pep talks by the president—what else can she do?

Alene consults with Reed N. Wright, the company president, acknowledging that she’s at her wits’ end, and admitting that she does not know how to stop the hemorrhaging of defective products from the company’s assembly line.

“I think we need some outside help,” she says.

Reed concurs in this opinion, and happens to know a consultant to manufacturing who is not only an expert on robotic inspection, but has had experience with employees who continue to make defective products. “Installing the robotic inspectors will free up people to work harder on the line,” he points out. He suggests to Alene that she call the consultant, Cal E. Brate, to see if he can help.

What is the best course of action for Reed N. Wright and Alene Machyne to take to address the problems at Write Wright?

a) Bring on Cal E. Brate, who will install robotic inspection equipment and keep his eye on workers on the line;

b) Hire a management specialist to help the two address larger issues of leadership in the company;

c) Study some articles about preventing defects and apply whatever they learn from these.

4 thoughts on “Quality quiz (June 2012): This month’s quiz from Professor Cleary—and May’s quiz winners!

  1. The Quality Quiz was excellent. I can see sharing this with others here at Pioneer, and will look forward to it each month. I am also going back into the previous releases. This is a great way to spread the dicipline of Quality.

    Thank you again for taking the time to talk with me at the recent ASQ conference. We eat lunch together on Monday I believe.

    • Greg—Thanks for your kind words about the quiz this month, and for spreading the word at Pioneer. It was great seeing you at the ASQ conference; maybe we can do lunch again at next spring’s conference, if we don’t run into each other in the meantime!

      Don’t forget to enter your response to the quiz for a chance to win a copy of Quality Gamebox.

      Best wishes,

  2. it is advisable for the company to follow the guidelines as mentioned in point ” b”.
    It is evident that defects are in the products for sometime and they have not taken corrective and preventive action once the defects started surfacing out in the initial stages. The management specialist whom they are going to hire should study and go the root cause of the problem. Once the causes are identified, the Top management has to implement the corrective actions and follow them up.

  3. I think option b is the need of the hour.Need to look at all the aspect of the process.Along with consultant company can form a cross functional team and work together to identify the root cause and corrective actions. Holistic approach with out any bias is required.

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