The 7 Basic Quality Tools for Process Improvement:

The 7 Basic Quality Tools for Process Improvement:

Quality have many names for these seven basic tools of quality, first emphasized by Kaoru Ishikawa, a professor of engineering at Tokyo University and the father of "quality circles." Start your quality journey by mastering these tools, and you'll have a name for them too indispensable.

  • Cause-and-effect diagram (also called Ishikawa or fishbone diagrams): Identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem and sorts ideas into useful categories.

  • Check sheet: A structured, prepared form for collecting and analyzing data, a generic tool that can be adapted for a wide variety of purposes.

  • Control chart: Graph used to study how a process changes over time. Comparing current data to historical control limits leads to conclusions about whether the process variation is consistent (in control) or is unpredictable (out of control, affected by special causes of variation).

  • Histogram: The most commonly used graph for showing frequency distributions, or how often each different value in a set of data occurs.

  • Pareto chart: A bar graph that shows which factors are more significant.

  • Scatter diagram: Graphs pairs of numerical data, one variable on each axis, to look for a relationship.

  • Stratification: A technique that separates data gathered from a variety of sources so that patterns can be seen (some lists replace stratification with flowchart or run chart).

As well as strategic decisions on manufacturing locations, the logistics function is key to the success of the supply chain. Order fulfillment is an important part of the supply chain and company management needs to make strategic decisions on the logistics network.

The design and operation of the network have a significant influence on the performance of the supply chain.

Strategic decisions are required in warehouses, distribution centers, and determining which transportation modes should be used. If the overall company objectives identify the use of more third-party subcontracting, the company may strategically decide to use third-party logistics companies in the supply chain.

Strategic decisions determine the overall direction of the company’s supply chain. They should be made in conjunction with the company’s overall objectives and not biased towards any particular product or regional location.

These high-level decisions can be refined, as required, to the specific needs of the company at the lower levels which allow for tactical and operational supply chain decisions to be made.


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