Quality, Time, Cost & Flexibility
In 1984 Hayes and Wheelwright suggested that companies compete in the marketplace by virtue of one or more of the following competitive priorities:-
Many authors and practitioners have added to and adapted this list over the years.
Foo and Friedman (1992) for example proposed a set of six competitive priorities, adding `Service' and `Manufacturing Technology' to the above while expanding `Time' into:
- `time to market' and
- `lead times'.
Others have added
- `Dependability' etc.
Quality, time, cost and flexibility can be defined in various different ways to include, for example:
Dimensions of quality:
- Performance - the primary operating characteristics.
- Features - optional extras (the "bells" and "whistles").
- Reliability - likelihood of breakdown.
- Conformance - conformance to specification.
- Technical durability - length of time before the product becomes obsolete.
- Serviceability - ease of service
- Aesthetics - look, smell, feel, taste.
- Perceived quality - reputation.
- Value for money.
Dimensions of time:
- Manufacturing lead time.
- Due date performance.
- Rate of product introduction.
- Delivery lead time.
- Frequency of delivery.
Dimensions of price and cost:
- Manufacturing cost.
- Value added.
- Selling price.
- Running cost - cost of keeping the product running.
- Service cost - cost of servicing the product.
Dimensions of flexibility
- Material quality - ability to cope with incoming materials of varying quality.
- Output quality - ability to satisfy demand for products of varying quality.
- New product - ability to cope with the introduction of new products.
- Modification - ability to modify existing products.
- Deliverability - ability to change delivery schedules.
- Volume - ability to accept varying demand volumes.
- Product mix - ability to cope with changes in the product mix.
- Resource mix - ability to cope with changes in the resource mix.
- Hayes, Robert H., and Wheelwright, Steven C., Restoring Our Competitive Edge: Competing Through Manufacturing. New York: John Wiley, 1984.
- Foo, G., Friedman, D.J., 1992, "Variability and Capability: The Foundation of Competitive Operations Performance", AT&T; Technical Journal, July/August, pp 2-9.
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