Management And Accounting Web

Gabel, N. 1991. Is 99.9% good enough? Training Magazine (March).

Summary by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida

Deming Main Page | Quality Related Main Page

Is an acceptable level of conformance quality good enough? For example, what would it mean if organizations achieved 99.9% quality? The author provides several examples based on 1991 data. A few examples appear below.

Two million documents would have been lost at the IRS.

22,000 checks would have been deducted from the wrong bank accounts per hour.

12 babies would have been given to the wrong parents each day (4,380 during 1991).

268,500 defective tires would have been shipped during the year.

103,260 tax returns would have been processed incorrectly.

5,517,200 cases of soft drinks produced during the year would have been flat.

Two plane landings would have been unsafe at O'Hare International airport per day.

291 pacemaker operations would have been performed incorrectly during the year.

20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions would have been written during the year.

107 incorrect medical procedures would be performed per day.

According to Gabel, an acceptable level of quality is a trap or form of corporate quicksand.


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