YKK Stories

Fundamental Behavior 4 – Make Quality Personal

July 16, 2021
Author: YKK
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YKK Fundamental Behavior 4 - Make Quality Personal - Brad Anderson


Quality in a manufacturing environment can seem so remote until we bring it into the context of our daily lives.  So let’s take a few moments to do so by looking at acceptable levels of quality in our lives.

Most of us think of 99% conforming as being really good.  When we were in school, if we came home with a 99% on a test, there is a strong chance that everybody was happy.  But if there are enough things being created or handled, 1% defective really starts to add up.  If 99% is good enough, then in the U.S. we are accepting:

Nearly 2,500 lost pieces of mail every minute;

Unsafe drinking water nearly 15 minutes every day;

(Before COVID-19) Nearly 4,200 incorrect operations every week;

(Before COVID-19) Five short or long landings (a polite way to say “crashes”) at each major US airport every day;

Nearly 875,000 defective prescriptions every week;

No electricity for nearly 7 hours every month.

Hmm, that doesn’t sound so good, but we may think that the odds are in our favor and those bad things will happen to someone else.  So let’s bring it to a really personal level:

How many incorrect pills do I want in my prescription bottle?

How many incorrect surgeries do I want to have?

How many hours of unsafe drinking water to I want to have each day?

How many times is it OK for the post office to lose my mail?

How many times is it OK for my flight to miss the runway?

I, like you, answer zero to all these questions.  I don’t want any of these “defects.”  Our customers are like us as well.  They don’t want any defects in the products they buy from us, either.

So that is why we make Zero Defects and Zero Errors our ultimate goals, and why we work to get better each and every day.

Brad Anderson
Quality Manager
YKK AP America Inc.