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Santa Cruz Case

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Santa Cruz Guitar Company is a small-scale musical instrument company that produces custom high quality guitars. Although Santa Cruz Guitar Company manufactures few guitars a year, compared to competitors, and lack an actual quality department, Santa Cruz Guitar Company is known for high quality instruments.

Dr. Robert W. Edwards Deming was a statistician that had a large impact on quality, as we know it today. Deming realized how management processes could be viewed in a statistical matter. Deming also realized that overall quality could be improved by strong relationships between management, customers and suppliers.

Deming established how overall quality could be improved by fourteen key elements that a company should abide by. He believed that higher quality leads to higher productivity. Higher productivity can be achieved by higher quality due to the reduced amount of rework, which in turn uses less valuable resources, and less delays, because orders can be completed in a timely manner, which include efficiencies.

Deming’s 14 points can be applied to the Santa Cruz Guitar Company’s stance on overall quality and how they are able to achieve such perfection.

Point 1: Create a Vision Demonstrate Commitment
* Santa Cruz takes great pride in each guitar that they manufacture, each one is hand made and inspected by a skilled luthier. * Each part of the guitar manufacturing process is meticulously crafted.

Point 2: Learn the New Philosophy
* Everyone within each stage of the manufacturing process is involved with the quality of the finished good.

Point 3: Understand Inspection
* The guitar will not go to the next process until a lead luthier ensures that the work in process has met Santa Cruz Guitar’s quality standards.

Point 4: Stop making decisions purely on the basis of cost
* Santa Cruz uses the best raw materials in the manufacturing process. They select the highest grades of tone woods, ebony fret boards, and mother of pearls, along with the highest quality of finishes. * Although all of these items are relatively expensive Santa Cruz knows that the customer will be satisfied with their product because it is manufactured from the finest of materials

Point 5: Improve constantly and forever
* Luthier’s are given the opportunity to take classes outside of the work environment that help enhance their skill sets to ensure that they are keeping a high level of skill for their job. * They also are able to make their own guitars which helps luthier’s to become more creative, and explore new options for the manufacturing of guitars.

Point 6: Institute Training
* A lead luthier is placed on each station. This individual can help each skilled laborer increase their skills, and ensure that they understand the mission and objectives for Santa Cruz Guitar has.

Point 7: Institute Leadership
* The lead luthier is able to mentor and closely supervise the workers to ensure that they are meeting the quality standards imposed by their demanding customer. A lead luthier also performs manufacturing processes, which enables them to lead by example.

Point 8: Drive out fear
* Santa Cruz Guitar Company enables and promotes their employees to have creativity and to have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and to make their own quality control decisions.

Point 9: Optimize the Efforts of Teams
* Each station of the guitar making process is a vital part in the creation of the finished good because the guitar cannot move on to the next station without the approval of lead luthier. * Each station is composed of a team that increases productivity and efficiencies and the overall quality of each manufacturing process.

Point 10: Eliminate Exhortations
* Workers are encouraged to go out on their own and open up their own guitar shops, which helps to promote the current success of their company.

Point 11: Eliminate Numerical Quotas and Management by Objective. * Santa Cruz Guitar Company does not manufacture a large quantity of instruments a year. The company focuses on the quality rather than the quantity of guitars. This improves Santa Cruz’s profitability, as consumers know that when they purchase a Santa Cruz guitar that they are receiving a quality product. Santa Cruz sets their objectives for their firm by the quality of instruments they produce.

Point 12: Remove Barriers to Pride in Workmanship
* Santa Cruz selects only the few individuals that have the passion and pride to make guitars. They do not need a formal Total Quality Management perspective because it is already instilled within the employees to take great pride in every process of manufacturing guitars.

Point 13: Encourage Education and Self-Improvement
* Employees are encouraged to go out and start their own luthier guitar businesses; they are encouraged to attend continuous education classes outside of the workplace. They are also encouraged to spend extra time making their own guitars.

Point 14: Take Action
* Management all the way down to the lead luthier’s have the same mind-set and objectives to meet the meticulous quality standards of Santa Cruz Guitar Company.

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