October 2003  

Vol. 5, No. 10

Quality Quiz

Dan E. Boiy knows that in order to earn a Black Belt, he has to figure out a way to save his company, Nutzen Bolts Corp., at least a million dollars. Each of his forays into the world of cutting costs has ended in disaster, but he has not given up his dream. A Black Belt, he reasons, will not only bring a promotion with increased remuneration, but will also earn the admiration of all the young women who might come into his otherwise somewhat lonely life. “You never know,” he thought.

Dan E. Boiy’s newest idea lies in the area of scrap reduction, an erstwhile neglected topic because he had anticipated that it would be easy to save millions of dollars with his earlier schemes. Now he needed whatever he could get in the way of cost savings, so he could no longer afford to turn his back on scrap.

As a first step, Dan asked his team on Production Line #2 to brainstorm ways to reduce scrap. “But Dan E. Boiy,” said one (everyone called Dan by his whole name), “Shouldn’t we make a tally sheet of different kinds of scrap first, so we know what we’re dealing with?”

“Well, of course,” he responded. “That’s what I was talking about all along.” The tally sheet showed the following areas:
Oversized parts: 15
Undersized parts: 10
Chipped part: 25
Scratches on part: 5
No flash: 2

“Now it’s time to do a cause-and-effect chart,” Dan E. Boiy announced as everyone looked at the tallies. Since he’s making this process up as he goes along, it’s hard to know whether his confidence is derived from real knowledge of the improvement process, or a random approach to tool use. Which is it?

A) Dan E. Boiy knows the alphabet well enough to understand that “fishbone chart” comes after “check sheet,” and he’s proceeding correctly by using the tools in that order.

B) Regardless of alphabetical placement in the tools manual, what should follow the check sheet is Pareto analysis.


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