Reduce Costs and Increase Quality with Information Exchange Standards for Manufacturing Quality
John A. Horst
With the proliferation of computers to process, store, and transfer information, manufacturers are suffering increasing costs due to information incompatibilities. The information incompatibility problem in manufacturing quality is costly to everyone: vendors, suppliers, end users, and customers. A mandated single-vendor solution is a popular solution to information incompatibilities, but is accompanied by a multitude of non-value-added costs that are substantial and persistent. The standards solution is the best long term solution to information incompatibilities, since standards have no non-value-added costs and afford freedom for users and suppliers. Standards development efforts need a modest amount of funding and leadership from tier suppliers and end users, which automatically guarantees participation from vendors and government experts. Standards are the superior solution only to the degree that the standard and its implementations are verifiably correct, complete, unambiguous, and timely, but each of these requirements is attainable.