Remodeling Product Quality Techniques
The form of an excellent product suits its function, and its innovation is evident.
Processed-food companies have always been extremely innovative about packaging, not only to attract consumers who want convenience, but also to win the fight for shelf space.
Innovation can occur by serendipity: In fact, it usually does.
Between innovation and production comes product design. The fewer the parts, the smoother the assembly process, and the more reliable the final product.
Upgrading quality on the factory floor requires that manufacturers ride herd on their suppliers to improve the parts they deliver. Once the parts are on hand, the assembly process must be done correctly from start to finish, with little or no tolerance for the post-assembly repairs known as “rework.”
The commitment of the senior people to the quality process is unquestioned at the companies that make the best products.
The last ingredient for maintaining quality — and the single most important one — is that sales-force bromide: Know your customer. There is a better-educated, more cynical buyer out there with little patience for poor quality. He wants products that work the first time and is willing to pay for them. To respond to customers’ changing needs and expectations, the manufacturer must be nimble. Flexible manufacturing helps.
For the customer, quality is irresistible. For industry, it is essential.