Get rid of quality control

11/09/2011

"Inspecting quality in" is not only bad practice but a sure road to losing money. Deming's book Out of the Crisis is credited with the concept of Total Quality Control although he never mentioned it (probably because it was a buzz-word).

In his 14 Key principles in the book, two are worth examining:

#3 states "Cease dependence on Inspection to achieve Quality. Eliminate the need for massive inspection by building quality into the product in the first place."

#10 states "Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity ........ as the bulk of the causes of low quality belong to the system and lie beyond the power of the work force"

His system was really simple - know what a good part is, be able to make it, and then make it. Period.

Yet when the Western World read his book, it spawned the fiefdoms of charts, graphs and exotic statistical measures couched under the veil of Japanese buzzwords and dozens of multiletter acronyms, not to mention legions of people on the payroll who cost money but didn't contribute anything to the profit margin. Further, it established a culture of explaining and justifying scrap using 'explainable variances' and other code words but what was interesting was even with these explanations nothing happened to eliminate scrap.
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