Winners of last month’s quiz and a copy of Quality Gamebox are Barbara Brunell (John Muir Health); Robert Buckley (Coca-Cola); Ian Hendra (Clearline Services Ltd); and Jim Judge (Energy Laboratories Inc.). Congratulations! For this month’s quiz, and a chance to win a copy of Quality Gamebox, go to Quality Quiz. Submit your response by July 27 to be entered in the drawing.
R. U. Serious has been appointed as quality manager for Precise Processes, a company that manufactures small medical devices used in hip replacement surgeries. The company slogan, “If you fall, we fail,” seems particularly apt in the current situation, since the company is facing legal action for a number of devices that have proved to be defective. R.U. Serious has been hired to address this problem of defects and to reverse the pattern of sinking sales of these devices.
Feeling overwhelmed by the task facing him, Serious turns to a former colleague from his business school days, when they had both been enrolled in a business statistics course. Mark Miwerds had had special success in the course, while R.U. often missed the 8:00 a.m. class, and barely passed the course.
Mark has ready advice for R.U. “Statistical process control is what it’s all about,” he exclaimed, recommending process charts for every process in the organization. “You just need charts—lots of charts—to solve your quality problems.” He added that control charts would probably be most useful.
Encouraged by the possibility of making an immediate splash at Precise Processes, R.U. Serious set out to collect data from processes throughout the company. Charts began to surround every work station and hang above every machining device. R. U. Serious was certain of his success in improving quality.
Is he on the right track with this approach?