Outlines the main findings of a longitudinal study into the use and application of quality management tools and techniques in a speciality chemicals manufacturer. Finds that the use of a particular tool or technique is related to the stage of development of the organization’s improvement process and, in the early phase of the improvement process, tools and techniques were used in a haphazard manner, which improved with operating experience. Points out that those tools and techniques which were introduced in relation to a defined need were better understood and utilized than those which were applied company‐wide and without a specific use in mind at the time of the training. Highlights the fact that soundly based training delivered by credible trainers is vital to early success in the use of tools and techniques.
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