Journal : Quality Management Journal (QMJ) , vol. 8 , p. 49–60 , 2001
Publisher : Taylor & Francis
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 1068-6967
Electronic : 2575-6222
Publication type : Academic article
Issue : 3
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During the 1990s, MATFORSK (the Norwegian Food Research Institute) taught applied statistics to personnel from the Norwegian food industry, focusing on the simple tools of statistical process control (SPC) and experimental design. Through this work, observations revealed that many companies have difficulty applying these methods to their processes and quality improvement projects. Therefore, a study on factors that might facilitate or inhibit the introduction of applied statistical methods in the industry was initiated. In 1997, eight Norwegian food companies participated in a training program focusing on simple statistical tools. The participating persons and companies are the subjects of this study. The result of this study shows that several factors affect the success of applying statistical methods. For example, • Management’s involvement and insight into statistical methods • Systems for internal distribution of competence • Some aspects of corporate culture Although this material is from the food industry, these findings likely apply to many branches of industry and manufacturing. This article discusses the results from the study in detail and considers the challenges of introducing statistical thinking to nonstatisticians.