Which Japanese company should I analyze for quality management, Atlas Copco or Mr. Sparkle?

Even though I am a big Simpsons fan, I will have to choose Atlas Copco. I will analyze an Atlas Copco’s Japanese division’s emphasis on quality, which in turn is related to how the factory addresses prevention cost.

My primary source for this post is this two and a half minute video, entitled “A career at Atlas Copco: Quality Control engineer.” The interviewee’s name is Shinpei Muto and he works in an Atlas Copco surface drilling factory in Japan.

A career at Atlas Copco: Quality Control engineer

As the 34 second mark shows, Atlas Copco’s first priority is customer satisfaction. Furthermore, at the 39 second mark, the mission of this factory “is to provide world-class safety and top quality, as well as an environmentally friendly product and service” (AtlasCopcoGroup). One way the factory addresses customer satisfaction, and thus their mission, is through quality control. As the quality control engineer, Mr. Muto’s duties include inspecting the “incoming parts[,] as well as the final check on the product before shipping” (AtlasCopcoGroup).

Mr. Muto’s job is important because in order for the customer to be satisfied, the customer must receive a fully functioning, Atlas Copco drill. The customers presumably have high expectations as they are expecting a top quality drill equipped with world class safety. As our book’s pages 190-191 discusses, quality improves reputation and reduces the risk of product liability. At the bare minimum, Atlas Copco wants to maintain its reputation as a world class company. At the 1:16 mark, Mr. Muto raises the concern that a product with a loose bolt could be a serious problem. The serious problem is of course costly litigation that will most likely involve the international courts. Mr. Muto wants to prevent this because product liability lawsuits will hurt the Atlas Copco image, as well as cost him his job.

At 1:38, we learn that Atlas Copco provides the opportunity for employees to take 40 hours of training per year. From this fact, I assume Atlas Copco as a whole does this and not solely Mr. Muto’s factory. By offering training, Atlas Copco is addressing one of the four major categories of costs that are associated with quality; prevention cost. Prevention costs are costs that are “associated with reducing the potential for defective parts or services” (Heizer and Render 192). By offering training, Atlas Copco is reducing the likelihood for defective parts, and thus live up to their mission.


How can you compare Atlas Copco’s emphasis on quality with that of your job?

Does your workplace account for any of the four major categories of costs associated with quality? (Prevention costs, appraisal costs, internal failure, and external costs).


Works Cited

AtlasCopcoGroup. “A Career at Atlas Copco: Quality Control Engineer.” YouTube. YouTube, 02 May 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDp2SDhzMmQ>.

Heizer, Jay H., and Barry Render. “Managing Quality.” Principles of Operations Management. 8th ed. Boston: Pearson Education, 2011. 207. Print.

Screams in the House of Pain!: Tattoos and TQM

I am a self proclaimed tattoo connoisseur with over twenty hours of needlework under my belt. One thing I found out about myself is that I apparently am not like most people who stay with one artist; I like to get tattooed by different artists and in different studios. I don’t know all the artists in Chicago, but I have been tattooed in five shops (visited a total of eight shops). My experience more than qualifies me to talk about this topic, as well as provide a general overview of the Chicago shops. I am here to analyze my experience with tattoos and total quality management (TQM).

Our book claims, “the tangible component of many services is important,” which certainly applies to the tattooing industry (207). All eight shops I have been to had a “greeter,” whose job includes tasks such as welcoming guests and filling out paperwork. Upon visiting a shop for the first time, I have only dealt with lukewarm greeters (not grouchy but not overly friendly) which more or less takes away from my experience. For the tattoo aficionados, do you not agree with me that most of the greeters in Chicago are lukewarm? I suppose if a greeter told me to get out of the shop just because I am a minority, I would not want to return to the shop. That has never happened to me, but that would be poor quality on the hypothetical shop’s part. On the flip side, tattoo shops do have a reputation to maintain. They have the right to kick drunk people out coming in at 2 A.M. A reputable shop will not want to be known as the shop that tattoos drunks.

As the book states, “9 out of 10 of the determinants of service quality are related to the service process” (207). I consider this part to be the time when the artist starts to sanitize his/her equipment to the time he/she bandages me up. Most people do not want to contract a disease such as hepatitis from a tattoo shop. The tattoo artist should follow safety guidelines such as putting on clean gloves and opening sterilized needles in front of the client.

While the tattoo artist is inserting the needle into the client’s skin, the client should not have to worry if the artist is incompetent. The artist should be able to make immaculate lines and properly complete their shading techniques. Most clients do not want a poorly finished tattoo that might require expensive removal.

Lastly, the book states “service quality is judged on the basis of whether it meets expectations” (207). As my photo shows, tattoo work is a creative form of art. However, not everything can be tattooed. On one of my visits to Insight Studios, I wanted to get a tattoo of this picture of a fire I found on the Internet. My artist honestly told me that that picture was more of a computer graphic design and that he would and could not tattoo it.

I’m interested if anybody has any experience with tattoo shops (with tattoos or even piercings). What aspects of quality do you think tattoo shops should work on?

Blogspot.com. Web. 5 October 2012. < http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QOVWkR0hFxw/UFlc686e5GI/AAAAAAAAAfU/3ZEK5adiikM/s1600/bellybuttontattoo2.jpgphoto>.

Heizer, Jay H., and Barry Render. “Managing Quality.” Principles of Operations Management. 8th ed. Boston: Pearson Education, 2011. 207. Print.

Loaded Radio. Web. 5 October 2012. < http://www.loadedradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/tommy_lee_001_080506-115×115.jpg>.