It's actually not difficult to identify the numerous systematic solutions for perfecting product qu-
ality at each critical phase of product cycle from initial product manufacturing to final customer
delivery. In general, in order to solve problems those individuals with responsibility for quality
management resort more frequently to discussion meetings,more so than their counterparts with no
responsibility for quality management. Stated another way, there are always endless series of prob-
lems to be solved when dealing with quality management.
This spirit of partnership to solve quality problems reflects Kia's strong determination not to
tolerate quality problems, even minor ones. This is why all working-level staff from the quality
management segment of the company can regularly be seen visiting every site and production line in
Sohari, Hwasung, and the Kwangju Plant. Besides the structural change in the overall quality manag-
ement organization of the company, Kia's quality control system has significantly improved with the
introduction of more advanced quality auditing techniques. They are as follows.
· Improvement of Zero Defect Rate: The goal of this quality control system is to achieve a zero de-
fect rate in a car right up to the stage before shipment so the car is not returned to the repair
line. It will contribute to the reduction of repair costs on every production line, while helping
boost overall production efficiency.
· Customer Audits: This second quality management system evaluates the quality status of a produc-
tion car. It is presented in the form of an index after summing up all the predictable complaints
and defects which the company uncovers when examining cars from its potential customers' point of
view, so that the findings can be reflected in the quality improvement process. This quality audi-
ting technique has been applied to every production cars on all production lines of the company at
home and abroad. One of the details of the auditing requirements is to perform a quality audit
every Thursday to pinpoint any quality problems.
· Claim Per 100: The total number of official claims which are received three months after the sales
of a car is summed up and converted into percentage. This index is used in improving the quality
problems of cars already in the market, problems which purchasers are now experiencing or might
experience sooner or later.
Initial Quality Study: This quality audit technique, developed by J.D.Power, is particularly useful
for improving quality problems, in that customers present their ideas, not claims, for possible qual-
ity improvement to be made on the basis of their own experience. This quality auditing technique has
been applied to all domestic sales and export models of Kia Motors.