When was the last time you purchased something that turned out to be poorly made? Once you got home and realized the item wasn’t what you imagined, you probably felt a bit annoyed, disappointed and distrustful of the brand.
Quality is an important component for just about any business and especially those in the manufacturing industry. Poor quality products and services certainly lose the trust and patronage of customers. However, there are more costs associated with poor quality than meet the eye.
What Are the Costs Associated with Poor Quality?
The associated costs can typically be broken down into four categories as noted by the American Society for Quality. Before we analyze the comprehensive solution Lean and Six Sigma provide to remedy these issues, let’s review each category.
- Internal failure costs or any costs related to defects detected before reaching customers
- External failure costs or any costs related to defects detected after reaching customers
- Appraisal costs
- Prevention costs
While there’s certainly a cost to high quality, it’s minuscule when compared the long-term, negative effects of poor quality. Which cost associated with poor quality is the most detrimental to an organization’s success? Let your colleagues know when you share this post.
How Does Lean Reduce Poor Quality Costs?
Lean focuses on the usefulness of techniques, systems and processes within a given establishment. The core concept is to root out any activities that are non-value added and therefore, wasteful.
However, one of the more unsung characteristics of Lean is its ability to improve the quality of work produced by employees. As Lean focuses on working through problems as a team, the support and involvement of each team member are crucial to quality operation success.
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What About Six Sigma?
Six Sigma turns conventional ideas of poor and high quality on their heads. The philosophy focuses on putting procedures into place to ensure top quality from the get-go. As organizations work to meet the Six Sigma target of 3.4 defects per million opportunities, they also lower other costs associated with poor quality such as internal and external failure costs.
Steps are taken to improve existing processes to meet Six Sigma goals and thereby reduce the chances for poor quality output.
What Makes Lean and Six Sigma a One-Two Knockout Punch?
As the name suggests, Lean Six Sigma combines the best of both methodologies. When Lean and Six Sigma join forces, they create a united focus to reduce waste and eliminate defects. This union, in turn, makes for a faster, more effective achievement of high quality.
The result is an organization that’s able to produce and achieve more on a faster, more efficient basis.
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