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What is QRQC (Part 1)

KZK Solutions /kzoli62/
Published by Z. Kovács in Quality · 10 December 2021

What is the QRQC

The QRQC (Quick Response Quality Control) method is one of the best tools to solve quality problems quickly and effectively.

Unlike other problem-solving tools such as 8D, DMAIC, or 5W1H, the QRQC method suggests an approach that aims to stop the deterioration of quality in the shortest possible time, at the place where it was detected. This is primarily a method based on objective measurement, it works to prevent the problem from recurring. Let’s now look at this very popular method.

There are six key points in the QRQC quality control method

While the origins of the QRQC method are sometimes attributed to the Toyota Manufacturing System (TPS) set up by Taiichi Ohno and the resulting Lean Management (LM) practices. This was first actually used by the Japanese company Nissan in the 1990s. Its aims are very clear and could not be more pragmatic:

  • Always send the right products to customers,
  • Elimination of recurring events,
  • Increase productivity,
  • Make the teams responsible.

To achieve these goals, the QRQC is primarily based on facts. Not assumptions, not hypotheses; this method is based on the direct, tangible observation of the persons directly affected at the site of the problem. In contrast, although designed for use in the manufacturing area, it also solves problems in the long run through six key stages:

  1. Go where the problem occurs and watch.
  2. Examine all components, both bad and good, and outputs to understand exactly where the problem is coming from.
  3. Talk to people using only facts and real data.
  4. Quick response to the end user.
  5. Stay logical and factual to find the real root causes of the problem.
  6. Explain this to others and gather feedback to learn from it.

The QRQC method consequently improves self-monitoring, strengthening the quality approach at all stages of the process. While all employees are involved, the manager has the ultimate responsibility for the method and must also ensure that end users are satisfied. The manager trains and guides employees into the QRQC mindset to fully embed it in the manufacturing culture in such a way that from now on, everyone sees the problems as opportunities for improvement.

QRQC method: escalation-based treatment method

In order to guarantee a quick reaction, a deadline is given to solve the problem. After the deadline, if no viable answer is given, the issue is raised to the next level of management, which in turn has a deadline, and so on.

This principle means that all appropriate levels of the organization are involved in solving the problem, thus in the continuous development process. Escalation is directly related to the complexity of the problem. If the unresolved problem has multi-functional causes, or the more people needed to solve it, the faster the escalation. The same goes for the budget and the resources for remedial action, the higher the expenditure.

What to look for in order to succeed?

The QRQC method has been shown to speed up collaboration between management and operational staff in the event of problems. In fact, you can save a lot of time solving the problem by simply involving employees and taking responsibility. In addition to operational staff, support and multifunction areas can also help, improving operational excellence in any business.

However, there are some aspects that need to be considered if we want to take full advantage of the QRQC method:

  • Don’t underestimate the workload required - the QRQC method takes time and energy for all employees to meet.
  • The procedure must be organized and conducted in such a way that, in the long term, all those involved are involved.
  • Focus on the human aspect, not just the production side; the method will only work if all stakeholders are properly involved.
  • Consider the overall environment to ensure that those involved in the problem are involved in the solution, including external parties such as suppliers.

In the next part of my series, I will illustrate the operation of QRQC through examples.

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