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Picture Picture

The Customer Is Not Always Right

A. Blanton Godfrey's column, "Is the Customer Always Right?" (July 1997) brought back fond memories. When I worked for Raytheon Corp. developing the Patriot Missile, I wish the supplier of the critical, expensive batteries had said to us, "We can't make the battery that way." Instead, they let us dictate the design, which resulted in dangerous, hazardous conditions that delayed the program and cost twice as much. Eventually, the batteries were vented overboard, which resulted in excellent performance.

I certainly agree, Blanton, the customer is not always right. It's too bad suppliers don't let us know when we are wrong; it could save us taxpayers a lot of money.

 -- Martin Rachman
Vendor Control Service Inc.
Concord, Massachusetts

Employee Qualification Part of Quality Process

Current discussion on quality improvements and ISO 9000 registration have left out the most important part of the picture -- documentation of employee training and knowledge profiles.

A manufacturing company may have a very detailed and sophisticated audit structure for machinery, processes and quality parameters. But what about the audit structure for employees?

No matter how much thought and planning go into quality registration, the plan is incomplete without including a documentation program for the employees' knowledge profile.

 -- Glen W. Spielbauer
Dallas, Texas

Another Quality Prediction

Process improvement and customer delights are the two key roles for the future manager. Inspection will be eliminated. Statistical process control will be in demand.

The future process improvement manager's (previously quality manager) primary role will be for training, development and measurement of quality objectives.

 -- Laila Iskander
Quality Manager
GEC-Marconi Hazeltine


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