A recent B2C study reported that 53% of consumers rate quality as the most important factor in purchasing decisions.
There are two approaches to controlling quality of a product. One is through the direct examination of the quality of the product. And, the other is through an examination of the quality of the process. Quality 4.0 engages within both approaches and addresses the challenges noted among manufacturers.
* Maintaining a high level of quality among high expectations and changes in customer demands.
* Allocating resources for innovation and for research into new methods of quality improvement.
* Compliance with changes in regulation laws.
* Agility: increases in product variety demand work on multiple products simultaneously (development and production stages).
* Global standardization: companies producing from a number of locations have to offer consistent output quality regardless of differences in the standard of local raw materials and production conditions.
Quality 4.0 has answers and is increasing as a priority within organizations, delivering on the promise of a future filled with seamless connectivity, developing and innovated technologies, associated reduced variability, etc.
What is Quality 4.0?
The Juran Institute noted, "from a base position where only 13% of organizations believe that quality is a priority for top management, Quality 4.0 provides the scope to both redirect quality activities and to alter the perception of the quality function in organizations as being little more than the quality policy."
Industry Week described Quality 4.0 as "another way to describe Quality 4.0 is that it's designed to be a company-wide strategy with executives leading the charge. With Quality 4.0, you finally get the data you need to monitor quality performance and assess the true costs of good and bad quality."
Why is Quality 4.0 important?
It's estimated that 23% of initiatives that are digitalization driven are actually quality improvement.
"As the fourth revolution takes hold, it will impact everything that we do. It connects people, machines and data in new ways, it democratizes technologies that were previously only accessible to the specialized few, and ushers in transformative capabilities such as those in analytics, material science, and connectivity. For quality, these technologies are important because they enable the transformation of culture, leadership, collaboration, and compliance." Dan Jacobs
Quality 4.0 emphasizes smart, connected assets. For example, sensors that can receive data in real-time, tools allowing to analyze data with new techniques, collecting data from multiple devices, identifying patterns, etc. There's also an impact on technology and humans, such as new insights and increased performance in the industry.
How does it work?
In a global survey of 220 industry leaders shared by ASQ, five key insights were identified:
1) Only 16% of organizations have started implementing - 63% have not even started planning.
2) High impact among metrics - 12-20% reduction in quality costs.
3) Across the whole value chain, largest impact was in manufacturing followed by R&D.
4) Where are the barriers? Shortage of folks with skills needed.
5) Soft skills rank highest. There's a need for people to tell a story with data
Keys to success noted include:
1) Need to start at the top - It has to be a priority of the leadership team.
2) Everyone owns quality - Cross-functional nature.
3) Build the foundation.
Additional information regarding the survey noted is found here:
Winning the race to quality 4.0 - ASQ video
Quality 4.0 Channel
LNS Research identified 11 axes that should be considered in a Quality 4.0 transformation. Manufacturers should use the full framework to interpret their current state and identify what changes are needed to move to the future state.
5) App Development
7) Management Systems
What are the challenges associated with Quality 4.0?
A recent Industry Week article noted that "Quality challenges and pain points can appear anywhere in the manufacturing ecosystem - design, manufacturing, shipping, distribution. It is a challenge for any company to ensure that quality processes are upheld at every stage, which can be seen in the number of product recalls and the daily litany of quality-related woe that appears in the news cycle."
Dan Jacobs coined the term Quality 4.0 in 2017 and noted in an interview "quality leaders need to get educated."
He continued to discuss that leaders need to be involved and update existing strategy to include Quality 4.0. Build on top of traditional quality framework.
A great interview with Dan is here:
Another one from Quality Digest is here:
How is your organization engaging with Quality 4.0? Contact us to learn more about how we're assisting clients here with our quality solutions.