Doing things right the first time – literature review

Quality is free, what costs money is defects- all the activities resulting from not doing things right the first time. It is always cheaper and efficient to do things right the first time

garment quality

Doing things right the first time(DRIFT)/Zero defect(ZD)

Doing things right the first time (DRIFT)/Zero defect(ZD) was coined was Philip Crosby in his book Quality is free. According to him Quality is free, what costs money is defects- all the activities resulting from not doing things right the first time. It is always cheaper and efficient to do things right the first time[1] Crosby’s response to the quality crisis was the principle of “doing things right the first time” (DRIFT).

He included four major principles:[1]
1. The definition of quality is conformance to requirements (requirements meaning both the product and the customer’s requirements)
2. The system of quality is prevention
3. The performance standard is zero defects (relative to requirements)
4. The measurement of quality is the price of nonconformance
According to this principle it is wrong to believe that non-quality would be inevitable. For the purpose of, any defect can be avoided since it is determined either inadvertently or by a lack of knowledge and practical skills in both situations solving the problem through training and
adopting new attitudes and behaviors by each employee [3]. Therefore the performance standard should always be Zero defects

Zero Defects is a management tool aimed at the reduction of defects through prevention. It is directed at motivating people to prevent mistakes by developing a constant, conscious desire to do their job right the first time.”[2]

To help further comprehension about the term ZD P. Crosby listed some of the myths that apply to it and information that will overcome them ,in his paper Myths of zero defects[4]
Some of which are listed below:
1. Is it reasonable to expect people to be perfect?
Answer: Probably not. However , ZD has nothing to do with being perfect. All ZD means is: perform to the requirement you have agreed to, and do it right every time
2. Isn’t ZD impractical?
Answer: There are many examples where ZD is being practiced. For instance, all the radio and TV stations have the same time accuracy. Buildings and companies open and close on time. If a company is sending out 2% defective products they are still doing 98 % right .
3. What is so special about the words Zero Defects? Why not use excellence or something like that?
Answer: Defect free is just as good as zero-defect. Anything that can’t be misunderstood is okay. “Excellence” means different things to different people.
4. Why do we need a “performance standard that can’t be misunderstood”? We did alright with quality levels.
Answer: Did we? That is why so many things don’t work. We have learnt to take requirements seriously, both in making and meeting them. Think of giving your people a standard of “one defect” or “four defects “. That guarantees non conformance.The performance standard ZD is: how often do you want me to meet the requirement?
5. Anyone can develop a ZD program ?[3]
Answer TRUE – Any rational person can run a successful program. It takes some research and understanding of the particular culture of the company.The concept of ZD can be practically utilized in any manufacturing environment to improve quality and reduce cost. However implementation of ZD requires Right Conditions[5]

 Doing things right the first time  (DRIFT)/Zero defect (ZD), case stories[7]

Nelson Nameplate Co. of Los Angeles manufactures membrane switches, nameplates, graphic overlays and lenses. It’s been in business since 1946 and has earned a well-deserved reputation for quality processes and products. “We believe that all work is a process,” says Tom Cassutt, co-president of Nelson. “By eliminating the possibilities of error in a process, we achieve continuous improvement and move closer to our goal of obtaining zero defects.”Nelson was introduced to the concept of zero defects in the late 1980s, when co-president David Lazier first read Quality Is Free. Soon thereafter, the company made zero defects the goal for its manufacturing and delivery processes.

Before implementing what Nelson calls its quality improvement process, the company measured delivery performance by analyzing the percentage f backlog that was past due. Now, with zero defects in mind, management has established the goal of shipping each of 12,000 annual jobs on time. “We still haven’t achieved zero defects in this area, but every Nelson employee knows the goal of shipping on the exact date planned and is working toward meeting this goal as part of our commitment to continuous improvement,” says Cassutt. Adopting the zero defects philosophy has had some impressive results for Nelson. The company has tracked its cost of quality on a monthly basis since February 1990. During that time, its cost of quality has decreased from 27 percent of sales to 16 percent of sales. The cost savings led tomore competitive pricing and helped pay for the brand-new 117,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility that Nelson moved into in October 1999. Clearly, the emphasis on zero defects isworking for Nelson Nameplate.

Others have demonstrated similar successes by bringing zero defects into their companies.
CarboMedics Inc. of Austin, Texas, is a medical device manufacturer that specializes in heart valves. If ever there was a manufacturing process that demanded zero defects, this would be it. Inits publication, the In-Plant Newsletter, Terry Marlatt, president of the company’s CardioProsthesis Division, relates the company’s journey to excellence using zero defects.
“Since December 1997 over 300,000 CarboMedics prosthetic heart valves have been implanted,with no reports of any post-implant mechanical failures. This is a record every manufacturer ofmechanical valves is envious of,” writes Marlatt, in the article “300,000 Heart Valves With Zero
Defects.”CarboMedics’ senior managers made zero defects their priority after a lengthy debate overwhether perfection was a realistic, achievable goal. But the objective was not perfection as anabstract principle but complete fulfillment of customer requirements every single time. “What is
abstract about clearly understood customer requirements?” asks Marlatt. “It’s reasonable to expect us to meet customer requirements perfectly. 300,000 implants with zero mechanicaldefects is fact, not fantasy. This performance is in line with our quality policy and embodied in
our quality statement: ‘CarboMedics Inc. will provide products and services that conform tocustomer requirements the first time, every time.’”
The number of heart valves that CarboMedics has implanted without mechanical defects nowexceeds 500,000–and counting.
[1] Philip B. Crosby, Quality is free: McGraw-hill books, 1979
[2] Halpin and james F. Zero Defects: A New Dimension in Quality Assurance
[3] Andrei Octavian PARASCHIVESCU, George Bacovia University, Bacau, ROMANIA: Zero defects” and ”Zero nonconformities, 2014.
[4] Philip B. Crosby, Myths of Zero defects: Philip Crosby associates II, Inc.
[5] K Sheng Wang: Towards zero-defect manufacturing (ZDM)—a data mining approach,Shangai University andvslbkfdjdd Springer, 2013
[7] Mike Richman (Quality Digest’s Managing Editor ): Quest for zero defect, May 12,2015

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5 thoughts on “Doing things right the first time – literature review”

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  3. Hi, It is very nice concept to improve the garment quality constantly. This standard is very useful to garment manufacturers. I am very much interested to learn more about ZD project. Kindly if you have any documents related to ZD please you can share to my email:

    Kind Regards.,

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