Here are just a few examples of how business successes
can be achieved by applying statistical methods. These are real
success stories, accomplished by our customers from many different
WINNING THE GOLD MEDAL
United States won a gold medal in the shooting events at the 1992
Summer Olympics in Barcelona. For the first time in many decades,
the United States shooters used American ammunition because its
accuracy and consistency surpassed that of the competition. Our
customer developed this ammunition and its manufacturing process
in a short span of less than one year. Our Design of Experiments
and statistical process control seminars and consulting played a
major role in guiding and optimizing the development of this product
and the associated manufacturing process. Much can be accomplished
with leadership, the right tools, user-friendly implementation and
a bit of luck.
OPTIMIZING PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES
The dramatic success of ‘Winning the Gold Medal’ has
been repeated in many other industries — making a better cake,
brewing better beer, improving the yield of integrated circuits,
reducing the operating cost of a blast furnace, improving drug formulations,
and many more.
Have you been in a situation where the development time was short?
Very short? The orthogonal arrays coupled with scientific knowledge
have dramatically accelerated product development to meet demanding
Has this ever happened to you? Production was going smoothly but
now we have lost the recipe? When a metal parts manufacturer was
in this situation, regression analysis and design of experiments
helped discover the cause.
How to involve suppliers in quality improvement? How to monitor
supplier performance? We wrote the document for a division of a
renowned company. They made it a part of every purchase order.
MAKING LARGE COST REDUCTIONS
A food company used variance components analysis in an interesting
case of cost avoidance. It was believed that the old, in-house equipment
was responsible for product variability. The variance decomposition
showed that such was not the case and over half-million dollars
in capital expense was avoided.
REGAINING LOST MARKETS
The West Coast operation of a company lost its major customer due
to quality problems. Financial losses and layoffs followed. Our
advanced SPC and VCA seminars and consulting support helped achieve
a quality turnaround. The Cpks were dramatically improved from 0.5
to 5.0. The previously dissatisfied customer returned and now calls
this operation a world class supplier. The operation was declared
the most financially successful operation throughout the parent
Have you heard about the case of the conscientious operator who
adjusted the process every time the observation was not on target
or calibrated the equipment every day before beginning measurements?
The operator worked hard but the effort resulted in making things
worse. Our Basic Statistics seminar is being used to educate large
segments of the work force to work smarter. Competitiveness demands
IMPROVING SAFETY PERFORMANCE
In many administrative areas, two-point decision making is a common
practice. The distinction between common and special causes of variation
is lost. Simple graphical approaches are sometimes not used to make
decisions. In this particular case, tools such as control charts,
Pareto charts and cause and effect diagrams were used to improve
IMPROVING REVENUE PROJECTION
This was a long time ago, but a division of one particular company
had single point forecasts for future revenue. All other projections
were based upon this forecast. Often the revenue projections were
kept low because executive compensation was based upon them. We
used a decision analysis approach to provide a probabilistic revenue
forecast, which led to better planning and an improved assessment
of risks. Harvard Business School wrote two case studies about this.