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Clayboy Pottery Company: A Case Study in Quality Management in a Job Shop Operations System

Author(s): Michael R. Summers

Journal: American Journal of Economics and Business Administration
ISSN 1945-5488

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 113;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Operations management | statistical quality control | case studies

Background: This case study is designed for upper-level undergraduate students in a basic operations management course. Prerequisites would include statistics and computer science. Objective: The purpose of the case is to give the students an opportunity to apply statistical quality control techniques. The case presents an interesting problem in a real setting and students will be forced to consider realistic issues in tradeoffs between cost and quality. The setting is a job shop, where jobs arrive randomly and have different requirements, as opposed to a mass-production type of system. Methodology: The analysis lends itself nicely to working on spreadsheets and the data may be changed easily to provide for reuse of the case. Based on probability calculations of the number of defects found in a group of current jobs, students calculate the costs of various sampling techniques. Results: Students are expected to try different sampling alternatives in order to minimize costs and also to consider nonquantitative ramifications of different alternatives and the realities of the situation. Conclusion: From this case study students should develop a good appreciation of statistical quality control techniques, as well as other aspects of a total quality management program.
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