Quality Control, When
August 27, 2004 - by
Robert E. Stevens, GENESIS II
Second Beginning) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not know of any manufacturing company that does not perform
quality control checks. To my knowledge everyone checks for quality at
of manufacturing. How many perform quality control control checks at
points in the product's life cycle? For instance, does your company
the quality of the product at the point of sale? Is this important? I
so. Does your company check the quality of their product in the
home? Is this important? I think so.
If we consider quality control as a program installed to insure that
the consumer encounters our brands when they are in the intended
physical form, then the check at production is only the start. It is
the simplest and easiest check. It should, however, only be the start
of quality control. Consider the
following actual cases.
When I started with P&G in 1951, I started in the PTG Group. PTG
was the Performance Testing Group in R&D Package Soap Division. Our
job involved the testing of both our brands and the brands of
competition. We did not acquire
our brands from the plants. We sent people into the field to purchase
of our production from actual supermarkets, not only production of our
but also competition. The purchasers were trained to read both our
codes and the codes of competition. We requested six samples of every
both ours and competition. The purchases were made twice a month and
to our lab in Cincinnati for performance as well as physical properties
Why in-store purchases? Consider the following cases.
In the Philippines, our sales of Camay and Safeguard were taking a
We had brands superior to competition but the consumers were not
them. We went into the stores and found that the bars were 30 weeks old
and 30 weeks in 100° F. heat is not kind to bars. The result can
be described as a slimy rock. The appropriate age of bars should be in
neighborhood of no more than four weeks. Action was taken to stop
and clear the inventory.
We introduced a new liquid hand dishwashing detergent designed for
food clean-up called Cinch. Cinch was a detergent with abrasive
Controlled testing showed the brand achieved our objectives. Our test
was Seattle. Did this city turn out to be a good choice? Everything
well until we reached the cold months. Our purchased store samples
that shipping through freezing weather resulted in product separation.
to the drawing board. Actually we never did work out all the bugs.
later emerged from P&G as a spray cleaner, a totally different
Quality control samples should include those collected at the time of
at the point of purchase and even samples obtained from the home. One
not enough space for in-store and at-home examples of quality control.
will cover some in-home examples at a later date.
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