Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Global Impact of (and Need for) Quality

In his February 2015 blog post, ASQ CEO Bill Troy shares ASQ's mission to increase the use and impact of quality in response to the diverse needs of the world, and asks if they are doing enough throughout the world to accomplish that mission?

I work for a multinational diversified manufacturer. 3M Company's strategic quality leadership team chose to become an Enterprise member of ASQ with the intentional decision to make ASQ's Body of Knowledge, community collaboration resources and global best practice sharing available to every one of 3M's 100,000 employees worldwide. 3M is global; ASQ is global. 3M's partnership with ASQ provides yet one more channel of individualized learning and leadership development.

3M's worldwide headquarters is located just east of St Paul, Minnesota, USA. The bulk of 3M's product designs have historically originated in the USA marketplace. 3M leadership has recognized that products developed in one country (e.g. United States) may not have an existing market in other cultures. Many new-to-the-world products might also require changes or modification in behavior before the product can realize its true potential. 3M has responded to the need for region-specific products by building design centers and customer innovation labs located in countries around the world. The role of the regional design center is to enable and promote product designs specific to the local market need and cultural norms.

Regardless where the the products are developed, fundamental quality principles are bedrock. The use of VOC with sound experimental design and statistical analysis is a requirement for effective and efficient product (and process) design, development and commercialization. Basic statistics, PDCA, lean, Six Sigma, SPC, root cause analysis, CAPA, and many other traditional quality tools and methods too numerous to cite here are universally applicable to assure continual improvement of products, processes and systems for operational excellence, customer satisfaction and profitable growth.

A growing area of quality focus and product development is around sustainability and social responsibility. ASQ and the quality discipline in general have a unique opportunity and responsibility to help organizations learn to innovate and replicate global best practices in sustainable product development, lean manufacturing practices, improved reliability and product life cycle management for the benefit of society and future generations.