United Kingdom electronics manufacturers employing SMT| 29 May, 1998
To: United Kingdom electronics manufacturers employing SMT The Centre for Operations Management at London Business School (United Kingdom) is currently carrying out a study of quality management practices in the electronics industry. The "TQM in the Electronics Industry" research project involves a series of case studies of UK electronics manufacturing companies with the overall aim to develop understanding of how companies adapt standard quality management programs and concepts to their particular business and manufacturing contexts. Information abounds on what quality practices plants should adopt to become "world class manufacturers". Standard quality management programs are prescribed by the literature and quality consultants as universally applicable across organisations. However, the economics of quality differ markedly across organisations pursuing different competitive strategies and operating in different business and manufacturing contexts. Unfortunately, there isn�t much guidance available to companies on how to adapt standard quality management concepts and practices to their particular contexts. Our view is that the adoption of individual quality initiatives should observe a cost-benefit logic dictated by the economics of quality underlying your business. Standard full fledged quality programs should be fine tuned to your particular context. The "TQM in the Electronics Industry" project addresses this important issue and aims to provide guidelines on how companies can adapt standard quality programs to their business and manufacturing contexts. The study addresses both organisational aspects of quality management (e.g., relationships with customers and suppliers, workforce management) and shop-floor quality control (e.g., SPC, Zero Defects, Inspection and Testing). Concerning shop floor quality activities, we are especially interested in studying Surface Mount Printed Circuit Board assembly lines. As an expert in SMT assembly, we would highly value an opportunity to include your company in our sample. Including your company would involve one of our researchers visiting you for two or possibly three days. In our project we are interested in discussing with you the extent to which several quality management practices are used in your plant, and how effective they have been. We would also like to learn how your plant�s business and manufacturing characteristics have shaped your quality management activities. Full confidentiality will of course be respected. All data collected in this research will remain at London Business School and will not be disseminated in such a manner that it identifies participating companies. At the end of the project, participating companies will receive customised feedback and the overall project results. If interested in participating in this new and exciting project, please contact: TQM in the Electronics Industry Project c/o Rui Sousa London Business School Sussex Place, Regent�s Park London NW1 4SA United Kingdom Tel: +44-(0)171 - 262 5050 Ext. 3546 Fax: +44- (0)171 - 724 7875 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for your co-operation. Information on the Centre for Operations Management of London Business School can be found at http://www.lbs.lon.ac.uk/om/.