Category Archives: Quality

GM ignition switch: Fixing the problem, not the blame

GM’s defective ignition switch problem came to light publicly after 11 years of installing a faulty ignition switch and after 13 deaths were linked to it. The new CEO, Mary Barra, vowed that she would get to the bottom of …

Posted in Quality, Risk | Leave a comment

5 ways to tell your if supplier understands quality

Supplier risk isn’t just the supplier’s problem. It’s the customer’s problem. If customer companies don’t take action to mitigate the risk, it will invariably (and adversely) impact their customers. Result: loss of business and reputation. The top supplier performance expectations …

Posted in Quality | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Quality measurement challenge: when a supplier's performance is tied to your review

Recently a supplier quality manager asked me about a dilemma he was having with the way his manufacturing facility was measuring in-process supplier quality. If they found defects in supplier parts during the manufacturing process, each defective item was tallied …

Posted in Quality, supplier evaluation | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Supplier defects: preventing the ultimate sacrifice

Supply chain failures seem inevitable these days, but are especially disconcerting when they indicate a larger systemic problem in critical equipment that is supposed to save lives. The U.S. Army just announced a recall of 44,000 Advanced Combat Helmets (ACH) …

Posted in procurement, Quality, supply risk | Tagged | Leave a comment

Are Toyota's Troubles Tainting Lean?

As part of the public flogging of Toyota for its massive quality problems and recalls, some are calling lean and the Toyota Production System into question. A recent WSJ article, How Lean Manufacturing Can Backfire, describes how Toyota’s use …

Posted in Lean, Manufacturing, Quality | Leave a comment

Supplier Auditing Michelin-Guide Style

In a recent article in the New Yorker, author John Colapinto describes his adventures with a stealth Michelin Guide restaurant inspector in New York City as she visited some restaurants to see if they met the stringent guidelines to …

Posted in Quality, supplier evaluation | Tagged | 1 Comment

Is Toyota's Brand Getting Rusty?

Yesterday Toyota announced that it is recalling 110,000 Tundra trucks built in 2000-2003 due to rust on the frames that is causing the spare tire to break off. Toyota is blaming a supplier, Dana Corporation, manufacturer of the cross member …

Posted in Lean, Quality, Supply Management | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Six Sigma for MBAs

It was only a matter of time before the ever-popular Six Sigma would reach the college classroom. I was reading an article about how York College in Southeastern Pennsylvania has begun to offer a course in Six Sigma in its …

Posted in Business, Quality | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Customer Satisfaction Survey Fatigue

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of being asked to fill out customer satisfaction surveys. It’s not that I don’t understand the need for customer feedback. Understanding the customer experience is important part of a good continuous …

Posted in Quality, Service | Tagged | Leave a comment

Failure to Thrive: A TQM Story

Davis Ballistracchi recently penned an insightful piece for Quality Digest, Why Did Total Quality Management Fail? One of the key reasons is management. They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. They sit on the sidelines, cheering employees …

Posted in Business, Quality, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment