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    Quality Assurance: Sampling and Continuous Improvement

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    For manufacturing operations, the United States has seen a dramatic shift away from local manufacturing, and seeing operations move overseas or to other countries (i.e., Mexico) to take advantage of lower labor costs. Read the article "Manufacturers Like Us" published in Industry Week, November 2004, by David Drickhamer, that summarizes a study done by that trade publication comparing U.S. and Chinese manufacturers. While they discuss a number of different elements, one of the biggest issues is the improving quality of Chinese products.

    How has China been able to improve their quality of manufacturing in terms of the inputs used to create higher quality production?

    David Drickhamer (2004, November). MANUFACTURERS LIKE US. Industry Week, 253(11), 35-42. Retrieved February 26, 2008, from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=2&did=000000724550731&SrchMode=1&sid=4&Fmt=4&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1099696651&clientId=29440&cfc=1

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    Solution Preview

    "Globalization is not only of world economies...but also of the technology and innovation."

    As today it is a client driven economy, in addition to skills and facilities to meet the higher demands of their new customers maintaining good and long term relationships and network is also a major trend. This trend is taken by China. China is becoming one of the most prestigious countries of the world. The industry is largely based on state and joint ownership, noticeable by growing technological advancements and productivity. Major industrial centers are located in Beijing-Tianjin- Tangshan area, Liaoning Province, Wuhan and Shanghai. Productivity in economics refers to measures of output from production processes, per unit of input. It is a measure of efficiency of a company, a ratio of sales to expenses (Wikipedia). China has been able to improve the productivity, quality and reduce the cost in a phenomenal manner. Let us discuss the reasons behind this:

    Total Quality Management
    The Chinese follow TQM to reduce the cost and improve the productivity. Total Quality Management (TQM) is a management strategy carried out by an organization with the aim of embedding awareness of quality in all organizational process. Boje, et al, (1993) argued that Total Quality Management has a wider application than that of assuring product and service quality but also it is a way of managing people and business to ensure complete customer satisfaction at every stage internally or externally.

    Drucker (1992) pointed out that Total Quality Management is an approach to improving the competitiveness, flexibility, effectiveness and understanding each activity and removing all wasted effort and energy that is routinely spent on an organization. The concept of good and services being "good enough" is considered inadequate in Total Quality Management and implementing it is being proactive concerning quality rather than being active. Following are the foundational elements or principles of TQM:

    1. People: Involvement of all in achieving customer focus is a key tenet of TQM. This is achieved through Teamwork, Voluntary Activities, Consensus Building, Training, Multi-skilling, Instilling a Sense of Pride, Employee Empowerment and Leadership ...

    Solution Summary

    This is a discussion on the manufacturing operations in China.