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In the quality control homework exercise, you were presented with a scenario where a misinformed operator tried to counter some of the filling...

In the quality control homework exercise, you were presented with a scenario where a misinformed operator tried to counter some of the filling problems existing in a canning process. His “fix” was to constantly move the target fill quantity, hoping that his process would stay in control, and more importantly, within spec. It may be easy to imagine that this was NOT a good strategy.

Changing the frame of reference from a very tangible customer specification to more of a business system-level view, consider the following scenario:

A manufacturer builds to a well-established target quantity. One year, the company produces 8,000 widgets, short of their goal (target)of 10,000. 2,000 customers were unhappy, but the company finds that the market price for their widgets has gone up, primarily due to the shortfall (typical supply and demand tracking).
The following year, the company is able to invest more (in part due to the higher price it can charge for its widgets) and elevates its output to 12,000. By the end of the year, however, it is found that a surplus occurs and the company is faced with selling off 3,000 extra units at a loss. With less demand seen, and less capital, the company only produces 7,000 the following year. Again, the same effects are seen from the initial scenario. The cycle continues. . .

This method of operation reflects a style of process tampering that is outlined by Dr. Deming. What Deming “rule” is being observed here?

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