QDC (Quality, Delivery, Cost)

QDC is an acronym that stands for Quality, Delivery, and Cost. It represents a management approach that evaluates separate components of the production process and provides feedback which enhances decision-making and improvement. QDC was originally created for the automobile sector as a “three-dimensional” approach that breaks the process down into more organized and manageable goals. Each category influences the others, and each is essential to performance. In the end, implementing QDC can not only enhance worker experience, contentment, and safety, but also streamline a business’s overall success.

An easy way to carry out the QDC system is to establish daily measurements for each category and display these on a QDC board. If a team meets these goals, then the category is marked for the day. Green indicates that the goals were achieved; red indicates that they were not.

Facilities should update and review each of these areas consistently (daily or weekly rather than monthly or quarterly) so the established measures can effectively drive improvement. This also encourages employees to hold themselves accountable for their performance.

Quality metrics:

  • Consistent high/good quality across all products
  • Level of customer satisfaction
  • Reducing failure rate
  • Conducting quality control
  • Evaluating and improving the average time between failures

Delivery metrics:

  • Decreased waiting times
  • Proper planning and implementation for all orders
  • Managing inventory turnover
  • On-time delivery

Cost metrics:

  • Price kept competitive
  • Managing costs by:
    • Improving efficiency
    • Reducing waste
    • Controlling overhead costs
    • Reducing spoilage
    • Reducing customer acquisition cost

What is SQDC?

The acronym may be expanded to include safety: Safety, Quality, Delivery, and Cost. A SQDC board may be placed in a process area to convey how the facility is performing for these four separate categories. Safety is extremely important in a wide variety of industries. Including this factor can boost a company’s regulatory compliance and prevent on-the-job injuries and illnesses.

The Safety category measures whether safety metrics are achieved during each day of operations, and is marked accordingly. Safety metrics may include goals such as:

  • No safety violations
  • No missed work due to injuries
  • No near misses
  • No unsafe work practices observed
  • Identifying hazards and eliminating them
  • Completing corrective actions on time

Recently, companies have begun to add Morale to the categories and have adopted SQDCM boards. Positive employee morale and engagement often leads to better Quality and Safety, and to more overall success in these categories. Adopting this system provides a realistic and easy-to-follow approach to solving inefficiencies and problems within the workplace.


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