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Edwards-Deming's impact on the Fiero by afRaceR
Started on: 01-30-2016 11:58 AM
Replies: 4 (744 views)
Last post by: jazz4cash on 02-12-2016 07:10 PM
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Report this Post01-30-2016 11:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for afRaceRSend a Private Message to afRaceREdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It has been many years since I have owned a Fiero or been on the boards here. I still dream of buying another one day but as it is, life is just too busy. But I still have a love for these cars so when I run across something Fiero related it gets me excited. This one was too good not to get back on the board and share with the Fiero community. I have never seen this video before, but it provides a new understanding of what was happening at Pontiac during this time.
To give some back ground info, I have been studying a man name W Edwards-Deming for some time. For those that don't know, this man revolutionized manufacturing and management, although his impact has only been lightly noticed in the United States. After WW2, Deming was the man that we sent to Japan to help rebuild the country. With Demings techniques, Toyota and Honda and numerous other companies were able to take over the global markets within a matter of years. After he came back to America, he was almost unknown until a TV special called "If Japan Can...Why Can't We?" Watch it, its on youtube and will give a very basic understanding of what Deming did in Japan. After this special, Ford hired him and with his techniques pulled Ford out of the crapper - and Ford continues to use Demings principals.
But then I ran across another video on youtube that talks about two things I love, Demings principals of management and Fieros. Read the whole description under the video, says volumes about the failure of corporation and management in our country.
For your enjoyment....
Edwards-Deming Quality Guru
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Report this Post01-30-2016 05:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin87FieroGTSend a Private Message to Kevin87FieroGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Demmings lessons and principles certainly were a tough pill for the GM 1980's management to swallow. Thanks for sharing the videos.
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Report this Post01-30-2016 08:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Old LarSend a Private Message to Old LarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When I was a working stiff, Deming's theories became the buzz ideal in my place of employment. However actual workplace action was (my three words) cost, quality or turn-around-time. To follow Deming's techniques required a lot of testing of your process and determine when the process was in "control". You needed to understand how to insure that your process was in "control" which required more testing at the steps in your process.

However to determine when your process was in "control", you needed more time to measure all your steps. Spending more time increases costs, making your product more expensive. When you ask your customer what they wanted, they wanted the product at low cost, and have it as soon as possible expecting a quality product. My statement of "cost, quality or turn-around-time", pick any two. The first thing out the door was QUALITY.

As an analytical chemist, measuring trace elements in "stuff". I was required to measure components in control samples of known trace elemental content a long with the real samples, along with duplicate samples, samples that were spiked with known concentration of trace elements. The results were tabulated for the controls and that data needed to be within control limits to deem that the results were good in the samples. Of course you needed to run a set of controls within every batch of ten samples and about 40% of the analysis were controls. These testing requirements were mandated by the both the state and federal EPA. So 40% of your work doesn't pay the bills unless you increase the cost of the analysis to the customer (who wanted the low cost option) and 40% takes time in getting results out ( and the customer wanted faster results). The thing you want to cut out are the "quality controls (which you cant do).

So the customer would send their work to another lab because they got a low cost estimate. But quickly discovered that that lab was also under the same rules for EPA testing. Actual cost maybe $100/sample so the customer believed he was getting a good deal, but having to do all the same quality samples, their one sample turned into six samples and a $600 bill for one sample, but if you had ten samples, cost per sample $100/ 10 samples = $1000 plus the six QC sample $600 and a $1600 bill or $160/sample.

If the Deming criteria does get met, you can theoretically reduce all the checking in your process, reducing your costs and producing a high quality product. But major industry (I'll use GM as an example) see all these Quality checks (QC) as non productive, so they get cut out. So you get ignition switch failures, engine issues, leaks, or faulty air bags because the company assumed that QC measures were being met, but human nature takes short cuts and "things" get by the QC people, if they in reality exist.

The Fiero was built trying to follow Deming theories, but shortcuts were done skipping over some of the Deming plan.
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Report this Post01-31-2016 08:20 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RayOttonSend a Private Message to RayOttonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Originally posted by Old Lar:

The Fiero was built trying to follow Deming theories, but shortcuts were done skipping over some of the Deming plan.

And there it is.

I went through the nightmare of Deming approach, Six Sigma and ISO 9000. In every case top management took a pick and choose approach rather than actually committing to full acceptance as if they knew better than the experts. For the employees it was more along the lines of "never try to teach a pig to fly, you're bound to fail and just annoy the pig".

If you don't have full buy in and a commitment to corporate culture change by the top management then all you end up with is a new set of posters plastered on the walls and a bunch of employees laughing behind your back.

Sort of reminds me of a time when I almost got fired.

Back in the early 80's one of the hot deals was the Zenger-Miller management seminar series. We had mandatory weekly sessions for line supervisors and managers that droned on for about 3 months. It all boiled down to the following - Focus on the problem, not the person.

At the last meeting they asked us for input as to how we thought the seminar would affect our performance. Everyone HAD to answer. The top brass was at this round table because they wanted to make sure they had gotten their money's worth.

When it got around to me I asked why did the seminar only include line management when most of the problems in the company stemmed from the inability of top management to conform to the very ideals put forth by Zenger-Miller. And then I detailed the problem areas so they knew I'd been paying attention. Awkward but fun for a non-conformist.

Didn't do much for my career there but 6 months later I was offered a job by another non-conformist that launched me into top management.
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Report this Post02-12-2016 07:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jazz4cashSend a Private Message to jazz4cashEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thank you for posting this video...I had not seen this before.

I worked at a small GM Division and we hired Dr. Deming to coach us on his methods. I think it must have been very close to the same time that he was working with the Fiero team. Prior to that, we had experienced a period of very high demand that led to a quantity vs. quality attitude but eventually high costs due to low quality threatened the business.

Dr. Deming's coaching was exactly as Old Lar described....statistical quality control, but there was also a very heavy layer of empowering employees to make decisions in the best interest of the process which the video highlights. We had drawings with all dimensions and tolerances required for every part of an assembly. Dr. Deming gave us a lot of grief ( why do you allow any variation?) and we eventually got rid of the tolerances. The tolerances permitted were based on the measuring tool's capability ( and oh by the way do you have control over the process of calibrating your measurement tools).

I think management did not realize what they had signed up for and all levels of employees were challenging how we did things and whether it met the Deming Principles. Eventually, the Deming method became ingrained and our quality was better than any other division within GM. We realized that higher quality=lower cost which was 180 degrees from conventional thinking. Thanks in part to Dr. Deming I had a very rewarding career.

[This message has been edited by jazz4cash (edited 02-12-2016).]

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