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Built in Quality (BIQ)

What is it?

Built In Quality(BIQ) is the first of five steps in the lean journey. The foundation of BIQ is building employee engagement around quality and preventing defects from flowing forward. The basic principal of BIQ...Stop the flow of defects. This process was perfected through the Toyota Production System (TPS) and has been implemented at great companies worldwide.

How is it different than traditional quality systems?

In the past, quality inspectors were trying to stop defects as they flew by… typically too late. Traditional quality approaches also lead to inappropriate “corrective action”. This "reworking" is always out of the normal process which leads to more poor quality issues of the final product. Again, too late in the process to be effective.

BIQ teaches us that when the product is manufactured, it's level of quality has already been established. The quality, good or bad, is already "built" into the product! The only way we can improve the quality is to improve the processes that produced it. The most effective way to achieve quality is to avoid having defects in the first place. It's much less costly to prevent the problem than it is to find it and correct it. With BIQ, each employee has the obligation to ensure they never create, accept or knowingly pass on a defect.

Quality is a process. It involves everyone in the manufacturing process, from assemblers to suppliers to engineers, including support services, marketing, sales and up through the CEO. BIQ teaches us that we can’t blame it all on our quality inspection team - everyone is responsible, accountable, and empowered to ensure defects are not passed on. That’s the engagement piece. That’s how BIQ is different.

What are the steps of BIQ?

There are five distinct steps for completing BIQ:

1. Stop the defect from flowing.

2. Get a good description of the defect.

3. Sort the defect to the offender.

4. Drive feedback to offender.

5. Perform Root Cause Corrective Action.

Stop function is the differentiator between BIQ and other traditional quality approaches. In BIQ, we are programmed to stop the defect, but NOT fix the defect...initially. Typical quality designs have us fixing defects as we encounter them. BIQ teaches us a completely different approach. We can only begin to fix defects when we can prove we can stop 100% of all defects flowing. It’s very hard to not go after fixing the defects, but rest assured, this approach is far more robust as it involves every employee within the business unit. Stop, sort, then fix.

What improvements can be expected with BIQ?

To sum up the number one benefit of BIQ…Customer Satisfaction. BIQ helps match up customer metrics with quality metrics. It will drive the practice of continuously monitoring and improving the internal processes to drive customer satisfaction. BIQ will help you produce faster deliveries of a higher quality product.