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Quality and Power in the Supply Chain - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780750673433, 9780080515496

Quality and Power in the Supply Chain

1st Edition

What Industry does for the Sake of Quality

Author: James Lamprecht
Hardcover ISBN: 9780750673433
eBook ISBN: 9780080515496
Paperback ISBN: 9780123996732
Imprint: Newnes
Published Date: 27th September 2000
Page Count: 232
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Quality and Power in the Supply Chain reconciles two divergent worlds for the beleaguered quality manager. The first is that of quality and managerial fads, promoted by quality professionals and the quality 'industry' - with its seminars, certification programs and the pressures of an ever increasing number of international standards, state and national legislation and powerful corporations. The second is a virtual antithesis to this world of mission statements, quality policies, procedures and statistical techniques, and is embodied in the international phenomenon that is the Dilbert (TM) cartoon strip. Across America and Europe millions of ordinary employees revel in the truths that are exposed concerning corporate absurdities and a blind reliance upon acronym-laden quick-fixes.

Here you will find the gap bridged between the vast literature of quality fads (including the recent tranche of international standards) and that more humorous portrayal of these worlds. The origins of today's quality ideology and industry is traced, followed by a description of how the quality profession popularizes, promotes and ultimately benefits from the fads that come and go. Finally it is shown that despite the propaganda of the profession, there is a separate reality to "quality" and that management principles in this field can only ever be a small limiting factor in corporate success.

Key Features

  • Addresses a vital aspect of Supply-chain Management, one of todays hottest management topics
  • From a widely and internationally published quality author and professional
  • The "Emperors Clothes" for the Quality profession


Quality professionals in any manufacturer, OEM, or supplier in industry. Engineers working in any quality field

Table of Contents

1 Power and its Impact on Customer Supplier Relation;Introduction; The role of power in dictating demands; The Vendor-Vendee Relationship within the Automotive Sector: U.S. vs. Japan; Dual Economy in the World of International Standards; 2 On Registrars and Bureaucratic Power; Constraints and absurdity; Types of Organizations; Registrars as a mixture of Craft and Procedural bureaucracies; Virtual ISO Certification: Guaranteed, Cheap and E-Z; Part III: The Limits of Quality: Essays on a Separate Reality; 3 Thoughts on the Relativity of Quality; The Zen of Quality; Is there a universal approach to management?; Are there universal principals of quality?; Can Quality be Translated?; Quality: Absolute or relative?; When a smile is a sign of inferiority; Conclusion; 4 How Old Can a Company Hope to be?; 5 Built to Last for a While: The Age of Flexibility; Flexibility and Competitiveness; Economic Success of the Firm: Is it solely based on quality issues?; Quality: one small element to economic viability; G.H. Bass vs Vita Needle Co.; The Dilemma of Responsiveness; Conclusion; 6 On Servicing the Customer; Who is the customer?; Who is the Customer? The Case of ISO 9001:2000; Should all customers be treated like Kings?; 7 Fads, Incompetence, Ignorance and Stupidity; Introduction; On Stupidity; Federal Nonsense; The Case of the Truck rental agency; Partial Quality and the French Public Transportation System; Can You Sell Less Quality?; Are benchmarks always conducted to better serve the customer?; On Quality Fads; Ignorance: The leading cause of absurd behavior; On Incompetence; On the limitations of Mission Statements; Side effects of Exceeding Expectations; When Too Much Quality Leads to Ludicrous Scenarios?; The Routine of Quality; Conclusion; PART III Colbertism and the Dawn of Power in Customer-Supplier Relations; 8 Colbertism: The Dawn of Regulatory Practices; Colbertism: The Dawn of Modern Government Regulation; Overview of the French Economic System During the 17th Century; The Colbert System; Colbert's Rules for Inspectors of August 13, 1669; Problems with Colbert's System of Regulation; 9 The Quest for Repeatability: The Emergence of Factory Organization and Standardization; Military Mass-Production; The Managerial Revolution (1840-1880): Regulation from Within; Adoption of the Armory System for Private Production; Controlling the Means of Production prior to WWI: The Age of Taylorism; Controlling the Means of Production: The inter war years (1915-1939); The Emergence of the Government as Customer; The Role and Influence of the Military as Customer of Last Resort; 10 Military as Customer and Controller of Subcontractors; Origins of MIL-Q-5923; Justification for 5923; Early Resistance to 5923; The Omnipresent Customer; Bureaucratic Authority vs Heavenly Power; Introduction to Part IV; Part IV The Age of Standardization; 11 The Value of Standardization: Point Counterpoint; Introduction;
The Value of Standards; Origins of the International Organization for Standardization; Regulations: Who are the interested parties?; The Economics of Standardization; The Limits of Standardization; Standards and the Law: Powerful Combination; Standards Proliferation in an Age of Regulation; Will it Ever End?; Conclusion; 12 The ISO 9000 Phenomenon and The Privatization of Military Standards; Was There Quality Before ISO 9000?
Antecedents to the ISO 9000 Movement; The Need for Quick Fixes; The ISO 9000 Phenomenon: A Case Study in the Manufacturing of Consent; The ISO 9000 Series; Origins of the ISO 9000 Standards; 5923, 9858 and ISO 9000: Deja vu!; Evolution of the ISO 9000 Movement in the U.S.; The Universal Language of quality 190; What Others Have Said About the Series; Evolution of the ISO 9000 Series; Was ISO 9000 a Fad?; Is ISO 9000 a legitimate paradigm for the 21st Century?; 13 Quality Professionalism and the Ideology of Control; What is professionalism?; The Ideology of Quality; Influence of the Military and the Ideology of Quality Control; Influence of the Military on the Perception of Quality; The Role of the ASQ(C) in Promoting Supplier Regulations; Recent Trends: The Ideology of Management (soft quality); The Quality Function and the Economy of the Firm; Conclusion; Part V: Consequences of Standardization; 14 On The Origin of Procedures; Procedures during the dawn of Industrialization; Heritage of the American System; Procedures: anathema, panacea or placebo; On Working Knowledge; 15 Writing Procedures; Introduction; Frederick Winslow Taylor on Procedures; Herbert Simon on Decisions; Some Examples of Dubious Procedures; Should you never deviate from a procedure?;
Should all processes be repeatable?; What is the best way to document a process?; Can (should?) procedures be written for all possible scenarios? Procedures vs. "show me"?; Types of procedures; What to Do?; Do we need special software packages to document our processes?; Are procedures required for all industries?; Should procedures be written like a computer program?; Summary and Conclusion to Parts III-V; PART VI: Conclusion; Introduction; 16 By Way of Conclusion: Dos and Don'ts; Challenges of the 21st Century: General conclusions;
For the quality professional; Need to integrate many methods; For companies; Final Thoughts on Don'ts; What to do; How to Simplify?; ISO 9000 Software: No panacea; On quality speak; Teamwork: Another view; Smaller would be better


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© Newnes 2000
27th September 2000
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About the Author

James Lamprecht

James Lamprecht

Affiliations and Expertise

Independent Consultant


"This book will be useful to quality professionals in any manufacturing industry and engineers working in any quality field." --Chemical Industry Digest, Jan-Feb 2003

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