How important is a small scratch on an iPhone? In our class, one topic that interested me was product quality and its many definitions, dimensions, and quality systems. Through vacation trips and experiences around the world, I have obtained all kinds of products not knowing much about quality comparisons. I did not realize that there was a quality system like ISO 9000 that companies acquired. Learning this will help me better examine products before making the purchase.
On Forbes.com, there was an article that talked about the struggles in quality control. Thousands of workers for the production of iPhone 5 strike over workload and pressure. China Labor Watch claims that those on strike are mostly from the “onsite quality control” line. Workers not only have regular long hours but they need to work on holidays as well. On top of this, the precision and demand of product quality has pushed workers too far. Indentation standards are 0.02mm and workers did not have training for corresponding skills making it extremely hard for employees to meet the standards. Fights have started causing several quality control inspectors to be hospitalized.
Learning from the puppet production, the number of defects is high when you do not regulate and check on each worker. In my opinion, to ensure that every customer receives a product with no defects, standards need to be set high. I think it is reasonable for indentation standards to be 0.02mm. Do you think these standards are set too high? What do you think about this strike?
On our third and fourth week of classes, I found learning about the precedence diagram, business strategy, and forecasting extremely interesting and helpful. In one of my school organizations, I work with a team to plan several cultural events per semester; and a problem we had last year was that we had to cram many tasks a week before the big event. Also, we planned for 400 people when only about 250 actually attended. I believe learning about these operational components will help me better plan for events this year.
As the precedence diagram, business strategy, and forecasting relate to the general idea of having a business plan, I found an article on ‘Forbes.com’ that seems to disagree with having a business plan at all. The article, “Bob Dorf: Throw Out The Business Plan”, talks about a “serial entrepreneur” who gives a speech about business plans being all fiction. He believes that time and money should not be spent on forecasting the number of customers a new start-up business will have because these forecasts are never right. Instead, businesses should spend their time and money on gathering “aggressive feedback” to truly understand whether a product would or would not sell. A start-up team should have members falling into one of the three categories: the hackers, hustlers, and artists. The hackers are for coding, hustlers for gathering feedback, and artists for designing graphics.
In my opinion, I do agree that sometimes forecasts can be extremely off; however, I also believe that there is no harm to having predictions. Forecasting allows you to set prices, deadlines, and goals to reach. With this, I do not disagree with his advice. Aggressive feedback should be taken and I like the three categories he’s created. In another post that I have commented on, I learned the importance of product design and how it suades the decision of a consumer.
Should a company have a business plan? Should a business look at past data to forecast or possible future data through feedback?