Case Report - Longxi Machinery (China)

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China is potentially a huge market for small diesels. Sales of diesel-powered agricultural machinery and vehicles had grown by more than 10% annually since 1985, and this growth rate was forecast to continue until at least the year 2000.

85% equipments use single-cylinder diesel engines, while the rest use multi-cylinder ones. In the market of multi-cylinder diesel the competition is less intense because of excessive demand. The prospect is much more promising. Longxi has a certain competitive advantage in this market, resulting from its popular product such as SL2100.

Quality of Machineries in the Market

Prior to 1978, both manufacturers and customers had paid little attention to quality of diesel. Later, they have been realizing the importance of quality. Under-quality products may cause customers to lose production time due to engine breakdown. They may also cause manufacturers to delay engine production and incur high cots in repairing. So quality will have more and more significant implications for future business of all manufacturers including Longxi.

Total Quality Management at Longxi

The total quality management is valuable asset for Longxi providing it was an competitive edge over most of other competitors. However Longxi needs to improve the quality control system further to meet industry accept standard, i.e. ISO9002 to expand further into the overseas markets.

First of all, the top management was clearly aware the importance of quality control. The company is one of the earliest companies to bear a vision of quality control in China. And the GM had attended modern management training from overseas, which made him focus on the establishment of quality control procedures.

Secondly, from years of quality control practice the firm established a well-know quality control procedure, "the Method". It has great value to the company in that it includes detail best practices for the production procedures which guarantees and improves the quality of the products. It serves as an efficient decision measure tool and a great training material.

Thirdly, Longxi conducts intensive training program for it's employees and there is a well established reward system to incentive people to improve quality. This policy is quite efficient to get all the employees involve in the quality improvement procedures, which will translate great profit to the firm.

But there are still some concerns about the quality management:

Firstly, there is no external quality or process auditors. Frequently, the internal auditors faced great pressure to declare quality defects. For example the QC should shut down the affected product lines when they found defects, but in real cases, they are hardly dared to do so.

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