In America we greet quantity and pay lip service to quality. When manufacturers want to boast quote the number of units produced lots of ore kilometers of wired or million books sold. People involved in high production receive gold-plated plaques Las Vegas holidays and outrageous bonuses. Where is quality management while this happens? Fighting with production managers to maintain standards trying to get budget to purchase inspection tools try to get people to participate in manufacturing and process improvement courses. The Quality Manager will purchase Quality Deposits from Office Depot and fill them in themselves.
Quality is recognized as a good thing but we expect to pay expensive for it and the management is secretly willing to sacrifice quality to get better production numbers. We stumbled upon German manufacturing and their dedication to quality. And why not in a long war we determined that the quantity could defeat the quality. We produced them at every turn and won a big victory. When a person or group succeeds in a great endeavor that event can become a test bar for all similar future activities. It is of course a bad reasoning at best. Yesterdays solution is rarely suitable for todays problems.
In many years if you succeeded in life you earned money you bought a German car of high quality. You told all your friends how well it was together how long it lasted. Its not true anymore. J. D. Power and Associates counts Mercedes cars a little below average compared to other cars. Something changed. The quality is what has changed.
Amount: Hail to you destination for real success in America and the world.
What is quality? Go to your bookstore and check the quality section. It is big. Many smart people have had a lot to say about it. And still the other enemy is playing in quantity. It seems so simple.
Playback of the value of strict quality programs has gradual but inevitable effects. How long did it take Mercedes to go from a prominent car manufacturer to the average? About ten years. It is expensive to ignore or lower the quality.
Below are some of the costs of manufacturing a defective car:
In the beginning there was a design. Maybe it was good maybe it was a lemon.
The design costs a lot of money. The manufacturer wants the investment to be returned. This is a manufacturers expense.
The manufacturer made lots of cars as accoding to that design. Everyone costs a lot of money to build. This is a manufacturers expense.
Manufacturers send cars and trucks to dealers. The manufacturer makes money to pay for warranty repairs. This is a manufacturers expense.
Some of the vehicles sent are lemons. This is inevitable.
Consumers buy the cars. Manufacturers make money for a change.
Consumers are upset They hold advice and manufacturers stop either returning the consumers money or replacing the vehicle with a new vehicle. This is a manufacturers expense.
Manufacturers need to pay too many warranty repairs. This is a manufacturers expense.
Manufacturers are in violation of the citizens lawyers and have major legal costs and bad PR. This is a manufacturers expense.
Some lemon deficiencies are subject to massive recalls. This can be a big expense for the manufacturer.
Manufacturers become part of the huge lemon system. They lose serious money and its more bad PR. This is a manufacturers expense.
The manufacturer produces a lot of vehicles that replace those that were lemons. This is a manufacturers expense.
There is not much light at the end of this tunnel. There is not much light in there. But focus on quality of service and prduct would surely add some light to the dark tunnel.
Lets believe its a shame its not. Some manufacturers make real efforts to create quality products and services. But there is a Catch-22 waiting in the weed and its a tough one. As we mentioned in an earlier article what can you do when talking about the complexity of the modern car when the average vehicle has 10000 to 15000 parts? The chances that something will go wrong that a large number of lemon cars will be produced increases exponentially. But Lexus and Infinity seem to have solved the quality problem so manufacturers are not stuck in this Catch-22.
In the war between quality and bottom line the bundle always wins. Campaigns are not transmitted when people improve quality and maintain these improvements. The young executive fresh from Wharton or Harvard has a plan and that plan is marketing. He or she has been taught at school and on our own market. There is no incentive to plan for long-term quality of the year. But there are all incentives to increase production and sales.