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Discussion Assignment 15–1: Reacting to a Process Gone Wrong
Cignet Plastics Corporation is a contract plastics die-casting house serving a wide range of clients. Over the years, Cignet has been a favored supplier of precision die castings for a major producer of model airplane kits. In recent days the defect rate of these parts has increased. (Acceptance is based on a visual inspection of the parts for appearance.) After a thorough audit of the process, Quality Assurance has concluded that there has been no change to the process. It claims that the increase in defects must be variation that is related to some assignable cause. The president of Cignet Plastics does not have a clue as to what that means, and he has called you in for an explanation.
Discussion Questions
Discuss the following questions in class or outside of class with your fellow students:
1. What will you tell the president?
2. He wants you to change the process to reduce the number of defects, but you know that is the wrong approach. How do you talk him out of it?
3. What approach would you use to get the operation back to normal?
4. Why is it important for managers to employ process thinking?
5. Identify at least two quality management tools that could be used to present data and persuade the president? Why would you use these tools to support your arguments?

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