Quality and Power in the Supply Chain

1st Edition

What Industry does for the Sake of Quality

Authors: James Lamprecht
Hardcover ISBN: 9780750673433
eBook ISBN: 9780080515496
Imprint: Newnes
Published Date: 27th September 2000
Page Count: 232
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This book 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 Re


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About the Author

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