DemingS Fourteen Points For Management Deming has written a great deal over the years to explain his philosophy and methods. Deming defined quality as a ‘predictable degree of uniformity and dependability at low costs and suited to the market’. In this case we are going to examine the causes of the quality problems at EuroCab SA with respect to Deming’s Fourteen Points for Management. His Fourteen Points for quality are: 1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service with a plan to become competitive and thus to stay in business and to provide jobs.
2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in economic age. We can no longer live with commonly accepted levels or delays, mistakes, defective materials, and defective workmanship. 3. Cease dependence on mass inspection to achieve quality.
Require instead statistical evidence that quality is built in. 4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone. Instead, depend on meaningful measures of quality, along with price. Eliminate suppliers that cannot provide statistical evidence of quality. 5.
Find problems. It is management’s job to work continually on the system (design, incoming materials, composition of material, maintenance, improvement of machines, training, supervision, retraining). 6. Institute modern methods of training and education on the job, including management. 7.
Adopt and institute leadership. 8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company. 9. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team to foresee problems of production that may be encountered with various materials and specifications.
10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the workforce asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of workforce. 11. Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management. 12. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship. Eliminate the annual rating or merit system.
13. Institute a vigorous programme of education and self-improvement for everyone. 14. Create a structure in top management that will push everyday on the above 13 points EuroCab as we know is one of the leading European manufacturers of customized metal cabinets of various sizes and designs. In the last five years EuroCab has experienced rapid growth in sales and profits. It has actually sextupled its turnover from 115 million francs in 1992 to 750 million francs in 1995.
Despite this success, EuroCab faces many quality problems, which are a big threat for the performance of the company. Lack of training and responsibility, problems with its suppliers and the pressure and threats that management exerts to the employees are the main causes of the quality problem that EuroCab face. In order to have a closer look to each one of these causes we are going to examine testimonies of the supervisors. Charlotte Lorcy who is supervisor of Final Inspection in her testimony has mentioned that they have to reject a completed cab when they find visual defects on the posts. Anne Cardignac supervisor in the Electrical Assembly has mentioned that despite working with Charlotte in the same area of the factory, they cannot help her because they are not qualified to say whether a small scratch or dent is acceptable or not. We can assume immediately the absence of training from the workers in the electrical assembly section. They have not been taught whether a scratch or a dent is acceptable and thus creating waste of time if they left a cab that they think is ok but actually is not because it will have to be fixed again.
Anne also reported that sometimes because of faults in the design of the cabinets they do a little damage (paint damage). So there is a problem with the designing team that sends defective materials to the electrical assembly section. There is also a problem with the mechanical assembly section. As Anne mentions there is a lack of responsibility and lack of training in the department. Specifically there are not clear build instructions for new employees so mistakes are inevitable.
Finally Anne mentions that by the time the only performance measurement is output, everybody cares only for output and none for quality. That is a fault of the company and it is caused by numerical quotas that can be put to the workforce and numerical goals to the managers. Quentin Latour from the mechanical assembly section starts his testimony by stating the lack of training for his staff. Workers that are temporary or new to the job are not trained thus it is difficult to achieve high targets for efficiency. He also mentions a problem with the defective materials that his section receives from the Alocrom subcontractors and the Sawing and piercing section.
It is the management responsibility to find problems in the incoming materials and training of the staff. By the time EuroCab management doesn’t do that it is inevitable for these problems to occur. Finally, Quentin mentions the problems that the manager of the component department faces with his existing tools. Again management does not make its appearance here, as it should have to by taking care of the improvements and the maintenance of the tools and machines. Hubert Montielle from the components manufacturing department mention the problems that they face with their existing suppliers.
In his testimony says: ‘I am not always happy with the long lengths of aluminium extrusions, which come from our suppliers. Because they are banded in bundles with a cardboard outer protection, the outside ones are sometimes crushed by the banding, or have obviously been damaged by other things on the truck.’ If the management could eliminate all these suppliers that cannot provide statistical evidence of quality control and if the management could by itself locate the defectively incoming materials this problem could be solved. Gaston Cahor, the quality manager states the problem of distance between the facilities of the company. ‘We need to build quality into the design and process before manufacturing starts but his is not easy because of the distance between the design and prototyping facility and thus the lack of communication’. He continues: ‘it is difficult to get people involved in quality when they are so preoccupied with output’.
It is the management team’s fault that EuroCab employees care only for the output and not for quality. As we will see later on employees are threatened sometimes to produce a specific amount of cabs. There is also little cooperation between the departments and this is not only happening because of the distance. Departments must work as a team to foresee problems of production that may be encountered with various materials and specifications but because the pressure for output is so big they cannot achieve that. Business.