Although Participants in a Global Survey Recognize Quality 4.0’s Importance at All Stages of the Value Chain, Few Have Defined a Detailed Strategy or Launched an Implementation Program
BOSTON—Nearly two-thirds of manufacturers believe that Quality 4.0—the application of Industry 4.0’s advanced digital technologies to enhance quality management—will significantly affect their operation within five years. The benefits of this approach include reductions in defect rates and in costs related to poor quality. Nevertheless, a scant 16% say that their company has begun implementing Quality 4.0. Only 20% say that their company has started to plan for implementation, and 63% have not even reached the planning stage yet. European companies are off to a faster start: 21% have started to adopt, compared with only 6% of US companies.
These findings, from a recent global survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in collaboration with ASQ and German Association for Quality (DGQ), are discussed in a report titled Quality 4.0 Takes More Than Technology. The report is being released today.
The survey sought to evaluate participants’ views on Quality 4.0 as it exists today and as it will exist in 2024, to understand the most important use cases, and to identify major challenges and skills needed to implement a transformation. It was conducted as part of a broader study that included interviews with numerous experts to gain insight into industry benchmarks, the impact of use cases, and best practices.
The study found that technology is only one piece in a broader quality transformation that must also focus on people and skills. “Survey participants identified a shortage of skills as the main impediment to adoption,” said David Ryeson, a BCG partner and coauthor of the report. “Notably, participants regard soft skills—such as change management, communication, and teaming—as the most critical skills for success, even as they acknowledge the need to improve their analytics and big data skills.”
“Taken together, the findings point to the need for companies to take a multifaceted approach to Quality 4.0 adoption that addresses the full range of strategic, cultural, and technological issues,” said Bill Brody, a market research manager at ASQ.
“Companies that master the challenges will be rewarded not only with lower defect and failure rates but also with competitive advantage in the form of higher customer satisfaction and improved operational efficiency,” said Benedikt Sommerhoff, an innovation manager at DGQ.
The survey’s findings revealed a diverse set of opportunities and challenges:
A copy of the report can be downloaded here.
To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASQ is the leading membership association to help quality professionals achieve their career goals and drive excellence through quality in their organizations and industries.
ASQ provides expertise, knowledge, networks and solutions to a global membership of individuals and organizations spanning more than 140 countries. ASQ was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., USA.
The DGQ (German Association for Quality) is the national, centralised society for quality in Germany and the first port of call for quality, quality management, and quality assurance. The umbrella organisation is a registered association comprising a unique network of more than 6,000 quality experts in more than 4,000 companies of all sizes and industries. Young professionals, experts, and managers connect, reflect, and share experiences in more than 70 regional and expert circles as well as networking events throughout Germany.
The DGQ network offers the most versatile and comprehensive platform for sharing knowledge, practical experience, and trends on quality-related topics in Germany. The DGQ is engaged in national and international initiatives, partnerships, and committees developing and accelerating key standards as well as innovation and research projects. With around 300 trainers and 1,000 practice-related training courses, the DGQ offers a wide range of trainings and awards individuals with internationally recognized certificates. It contributes effectively to anchoring "Quality made in Germany" as a principle of success in business and society. In a world of transformation, it also develops new quality approaches for the future.
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