The CEO came in to my office carrying a product and said, “The label is off centre on this item. It has a quality defect.” I responded, “Is that actually a quality defect? Quality is a measure of conformance to a standard, and we have no standards.” The CEO didn’t quite understand the distinction. Certainly the item was mis-labelled. But there was absolutely no Quality management process in the company.
I toured all of the company’s facilities around the globe. It seemed like we had a tremendous amount of resource working on quality. But they were spending 100% of their time on inspection. A report subsequently confirmed my concerns. Over 10% of our entire direct workforce was spending the vast majority of their time doing 100% inspection. We had a Quality management system but it’s only principle was to inspect in quality.
Whichever the situation was, proper Quality management objectives required something to change in both cases!