Monday, June 20, 2022

What is Benchmarking?

In the early eighties, The Mexican Government expanded the capacity of Imexsa to 2 million tons. Imexsa was a steel mill, based on the DRI process situated at Lazoro Cardenas. DRI or Direct Reduced Iron also called sponge iron is used for steel manufacturing. Sponge iron is produced from the direct iron ore which is found in form of lumps, pellets, and fines. The iron ore is then converted into iron by a reducing gas or elemental carbon produced from natural gas or coal. Many ores are suitable for direct reduction.
Three years after expansion and after having absorbed significant losses. The Government then decided to privatize the facility. Ispat was invited by the Mexican government, and successfully won the bid for the ownership of the facilities, in January 1992. Ispat International N.V. is owned by the Mittals, and it was registered in Holland and headquartered in London. It is one of the most successful Indian-led enterprises. Later on, it was merged into Arcelor Mittal in 2006.
The new management started to benchmark the operating processes. Team members looked at the best practices within the Ispat network, the steel industry as a whole, and also identified and studied related processes at global leaders such as Ericsson and General Electric. They collected and analyzed the detailed data of volume, cost, quality and productivity for each step in the production process on a daily basis. Ispat started implementing the recommendations.
By the 1998 the annual steel shipments had increased to over 3 million tons. Productivity had improved from 2.62 to 0.97 man-hours per ton. J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse First Boston, known for financial services and reorganizing businesses, reported Imexsa as the lowest cost slab producer in the world. 
And the whole credit goes to benchmarking!

Benchmarking Meaning

Successful companies in every industry engage a variety of practices, which lead to the achievement of high-level performance. Benchmarking has become one of the most popular tools of business management in corporate attempts to gain and maintain a competitive advantage. The central essence of benchmarking is about learning, how to improve business activity, processes, and management. However, benchmarking as a term has been used widely to refer to many different activities.
There is a wide variation in definitions used to describe 'benchmarking'. Let's take a look over various definitions to highlight the diversity of benchmarking.

Benchmarking Definitions

"Benchmarking is a structured process for comparing your organization’s work practices to the best similar practices you can identify in other organizations and then incorporating these best ideas into your own processes."

"A benchmark is a permanent mark with known position and altitude. It is used as a reference point when other positions around it are measured."

In business, to “benchmark”,  has for many years meant comparing your own products, services, or financial results to those of your competitors. 

In quality improvement, benchmarking has attained a new, very specific meaning. Robert C. Camp introduced benchmarking to the world through his book, published in 1989. 
The title of the book was, "Benchmarking: The Search for Industry Best Practices that Lead to Superior Performance."
The title itself defined the benchmarking, Search for industry best practices leading to superior performance.

Jack Grayson, Founder of American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), has said, “Benchmarking is the practice of being humble enough to admit that someone else is better at something, and being wise enough to learn how to match them and even surpass them at it."
This means it is good to accept sincerely that someone else is better than us, and it is much better to learn from him rather to criticize.

Hence, "Benchmarking is a systematic and continuous measurement process: A process of continuously measuring and comparing an organization's business processes against process leaders anywhere in the world to gain information which will help the organization to take action to improve its performance"

Therefore the three characteristics that emerged from these definitions are that benchmarking is:
  1. Measurement via Comparison
  2. Continuous Improvement and
  3. Systematic procedure in carrying out benchmarking activity

Concept of Benchmarking

The concept of benchmarking is the systematic search for best practices, innovative ideas, and highly effective operating procedures. Benchmarking considers the experience of others and uses it. Indeed, it is the common-sense proposition to learn from others, what they do right and then imitate it to avoid reinventing the wheel, which means, to avoid innovating the same thing.

Benchmarking is not new and indeed has been around for a long time. In fact, in the 1800s Francis Lowell, a New England colonist studied British textile mills and imported many ideas along with improvements he made for the burgeoning American textile mills.

Benchmarking measures performance against that of a best-in-class organization determines how the best-in-class achieve those performance level and uses the information as the basis for 
adaptive creativity and breakthrough performance.

Elements of Benchmarking

The two key elements of the benchmarking are; 
  • Performance Measurement
  • Performance Difference

Performance Measurement

Measuring performance requires some sort of units of measure called metrics and usually expressed numerically, the numbers achieved by the best-in-class benchmark are the target an organization seeking improvement, then plots its own performance against the target.

Performance Difference

Understanding the performance difference means, managers must understand why their performance differs? And hence, Benchmarkers must develop a thorough and in-depth knowledge of their own processes and the processes of the best-in-class organization. An understanding of the differences allows managers to organize their improvement efforts to meet the goal.


Finally, we can conclude that benchmarking is about setting goals and objectives and about meeting them by improving processes.

#Benchmarking #BenchmarkingMeaning #Benchmark

Sunday, May 29, 2022

What is the difference between "Universe" and "Population"?

Universe and Population are the two very common terms, Definitely, you know the two terms. Even though the two terms are considered as same and used interchangeably, However, both should be clearly understood in the context of statistics and research. Such as how the universe is defined? And How the population is defined in statistics and research? How do the two terms differ from each other and how do they similar to each other, that means for which case the population is said to be the universe? Here you will get the answers to all the questions. 


From the statistical point of view, the term 'universe' refers to the total of the items or units in any field of enquiry. 

For example; 

  • Total number of screws produced by a manufacturing unit in a week constitutes the universe
  • Total number of calls received by a call center in a week can be considered a universe
    Universe and Population


Now turn to population. The term 'population' refers to the total of the items about which the information is desired or the set of all items or measurements in which the investigator is interested.

For example;

  • Average length of the number of screws produced in an hour
  • Average call duration of the number of calls received in an hour.

The Focus of the Population

The population focuses on a particular characteristic such as; average length of the screws or the average call duration of the calls. And the number of units possessing this characteristic constitutes the population like; a hundred thousand screws or a ten thousand calls

Now to get the average length of the number of screws produced in an hour, we take random samples of screws at different points of time in that particular hour. Same way to get the average call duration of the number of calls received in an hour, we take random samples of calls at different points of time in that hour.

When the Population and Universe are said to be the same?

But in which case, the population is considered the universe? That's the big question!  

Universe or population can refer to the same thing and can be considered synonym if the population you use while choosing your samples includes all the items of the universe.

For example: 

If you take samples from the screws produced in a week which we considered a universe, here in this case the population and universe are the same thing. Similarly, if you take samples from the calls received in a week that was also considered a universe, here again, the population and universe are the same thing.

Finite and Infinite Population

Finite Population

Now let's try to understand the finite and infinite population. 

The population or universe can be finite and infinite. The population is finite if we can enumerate or count all the items in the population.

For example:

  • The number of people living in a city
  • The number of workers in a factory
  • Number of calls received in an hour
Capital 'N' is generally used to indicate the number of items in the population.

Infinite Population
In the case of infinite population, theoretically, it is impossible to observe all the items. 

Thus in an infinite population, the number of items is infinite. We can't have any idea about the total number of items, which means we can't enumerate or count the all the items in an infinite population such as:
  • The number of stars in the sky 
  • Rivets manufactured in a company
  • Births of the insects
But the point to remember is that an infinite population of physical objects does not exist in the true sense. In spite of the fact that many such populations appear to be very very large. 

Hence for practical consideration, the infinite population is infinite because we can't count all the elements of the population in a reasonable period of time. And therefore we use the theoretical concept of infinite population as an approximation of a very large finite population.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

When and How did the Women's Day Come into Existence

March 8, 1857: New York, about 100 women who worked in the textile mills gathered to protest against the inhuman working conditions.  The reason was very low wages and 12 working hours.  The police suppressed this protest but after two years the same women workers formed a union.
March 8, 1908: 15000 women in New York take out a movement march, demanded;  Reduced working hours, better wages, the right to vote, and an end to child labor.  In May this year, the Socialist Party of America declared the last Friday of February to be National Women's Day.

 February 28, 1909: The first and first National Women's Day was celebrated across America.  And it was celebrated till 1913.

 1910: Women in Europe started celebrating Women's Day on the last Sunday of February.  The demand for International Women's Day was raised for the first time at the Socialist International Women's Conference in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark.  The leader of the Socialist Party of Germany, Clara Zetkin, played an important role in this, and women's representatives from 17 countries supported the proposal for International Women's Day.  But till now no fixed date of International Women's Day has been fixed.

 19 March 1911: International Women's Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm in Europe.  In Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark more than one million women marched in support of their rights and demands;  They should get the right to vote, participate in politics, the right to work, the discrimination between men and women should end at the place of work.  A few days later, 140 women were burnt alive in an accident in New York, most of them Italians and Jews.  But this incident acted as a spark in the movement of women workers across America.

 March 8, 1913–14: In Europe and America, March 8 began to be celebrated as International Women's Day.  Women strongly opposed the First World War.

 23 February 1917: Two million women marched on the streets of Russia in support of bread and peace, and against the increasing poverty that grinds them to pieces at the mill.  At that time the Julian calendar was in practice in Russia, but according to the Georgian calendar, this date was also March 8.

 March 8, 1975: United Nations declared March 8 as International Women's Day.

December 1977: Proposed in the General Assembly of the United Nations that all member countries would recognize one day as Women's Rights Day and International Day of Peace.

Source: No Country for Women, Taslima Nasreen

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Strongly Condemn the War Anywhere!!!

In the middle of the twentieth century, the reason for Hitler's defeat in the Second World War was Soviet Russia, later Hitler committed suicide... That's one thing.
Then perhaps even Hitler would not know that by committing suicide, his idea of ​​winning the world would not die, but with the rise of the 21st century, Hitler would be seen all around in the world.

Bhagat Singh says, "Man can be killed but his thoughts cannot"
This is absolutely true, but this was said in the context of the overthrow of power by the oppressed people and this idea laid the foundation of communism in Russia under the leadership of Lenin in 1917 by ending the Tsar Shahi.

But it was from the womb of the pain of the defeat of the First World War that a person like Hitler was born in Germany, who under the flag of the Nazi regime set such an example of barbarism that even the soul of the listener trembles, and it is difficult to believe, that there must have been such a person in this human world who had played the orgy of death openly on the soil of Poland.

After turning the wheel of time after 100 years, it seems to have come again, the dream was to control the world even 100 years ago and after a hundred years it is the same thing.

Capital was in the roots at that time and still there is capital at this time again.

But this time Hitler is seen in power all around.

Don't know where and how brutally the orgy of death will be played !!

 Strongly condemn the War Anywhere!!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control | QA vs QC | Difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control | Shakehand with Life

Quality Assurance and Quality Control
Difference between QA and QC
Quality Assurance and Quality Control both are different from each other in many aspects such as definition, focus, objective, execution, and many more. If you're working as a quality professional in the manufacturing or service industry then you must be aware of the difference between the two. 

Before we understand the meaning of 'Quality Assurance' and 'Quality Control', we need to understand the meaning of 'Assurance' and 'Control'.


Assurance stands for a promise, a belief, or confidence. It is like a positive declaration, a manual, a plan, or an agreement intended to give confidence. It represents the plan of action. e.g. Showcasing a driving license to a traffic inspector provides the confidence to the inspector that the driver can able to drive the car.


Control stands for the activities to manufacture a product within the specified limits or sustain a process with the lowest possible variation. e.g. control over the steering of the car, brakes, clutch, and gear for the smooth run of the car. Similarly, we can consider 100% inspection, random inspection, verification, and validity testing are a few activities of control that help to maintain and sustain the quality of the product.

What is quality?

Quality is the ratio of performance to expectation. 

So if Q=(P/E) where 'P' is performance, 'E' is the expectation and naturally 'Q' is quality.

It is expected that an organization shall deliver a maximum of 1% defective parts in every lot.

  • Now if the organization delivers more than 1% defectives that means the organization's manufacturing process has some problem and the performance of the process is not expected, and therefore the quality of the process is below par.
  • If the organization delivers exactly 1% defectives as expected then the customer perceived the quality of the process of the organization is at par i.e. performance is the same as expected.
  • If the organization delivers less than 1% defectives then, in that case, the quality of the process of the organization is above par i.e. the performance is greater than expected.

Hence the Quality Assurance includes the plan of action to control the quality or the performance of the process.

Quality Control is the bunch of activities that can control the quality or the performance of the process actually.

Difference between QA and QC under different contexts.

Definitions of QA and QC as per ISO9001

QA: A part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled. It relates to how a process is performed, or how a product is made.

QC: A part of quality management focused on fulfilling quality requirements. It is more the inspection aspect of quality management

Functional Definitions

QA: All the planned and systematic activities are implemented within the quality system that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that a product or service will fulfill requirements for quality such as product or process audit.

QC: Operational techniques and activities are used to fulfill requirements of quality while manufacturing a product such as inspection and testing of the product

7 QC Tools PDF
Click here to Download 7 QC Tools PDF


QA: 1950s; The quality profession expanded to include the quality assurance and quality audit functions.

QC: 1920s; Following the industrial revolution and rise of mass production. It became important to define and control the quality of products in a better way.


QA: Focus on planning and documenting the processes to assure quality such as quality plans, inspection plans, and test plans.

QC: Focus on physical verification that the product conforms to these planned arrangements through inspection, measurement, and testing.

Key Activities

QA: Development of quality plan, development of inspection plan, development of SOPs, evaluation of the quality system through audits, preparation of documents for QMS, etc.

QC: Implementation of the quality plan, follow the inspection plan and SOPs, control the quality of product through inspection, and implementation of QMS as per the documentation, etc.


QA: Prioritize the customer requirements and translate them into technical requirements for product development with the help of the engineering team using quality function deployment.

QC: Inspect the technical requirements of a product or service and conform against the specifications to meet the customer requirements using measuring, examining, and testing one or more characteristics.

Quality Function Deployment (QFD) PDF
Click here to download QFD eBook in PDF

What they do?

QA: Prevent the quality problems through planned and systematic activities including documentation, SOPs, control plan, inspection plan, quality plan, FMEA, etc.

QC: Achieve and maintain the quality of product, process, and service using activities and techniques including 100% inspection, measurements, gauge R&R, Attribute R&R, etc.

How they do?

QA: Establish a good quality system and assessment of its adequacy through conformance audit of the operating system also the review of the system itself using product audit, process audit, and system audit.

QC: Find and eliminate the causes of quality problems so that customer requirement is continually met and the tools used for this purpose include; Why-Why analysis, cause and effect diagram, What is-What is not, etc.

Defect Control

QA: Predict potential defects right from the product development and process design, categorize the defects like critical, major and minor and establish a quality system that could prevent the occurrence of the defects such as prototype testing, Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA), etc.

QC: Identify the defects and defectives through in-process inspection, sorting of defective parts through 100% inspection, and implement the inspection plan to prevent the escape of defective parts such as final inspection as per AQL.

Performance Evaluation

QA: Evaluate the performance of the product against a system, standard, or specified requirements for customers. e.g. Evaluation of the performance of a tyre with a particular car.

QC: Ensure the job management, competence, and performance during the manufacturing of the product or service within the system to ensure it meets the quality plan as designed e.g. testing the performance of a tyre while manufacturing.

As a Quality Tool

QA: Way of management, it is a complete system including the control also to assure the quality of the product or service. 

QC: It is a process itself and part of the QA, just measures and determines the quality level of the products or services.


QA: It is a process-centric and proactive approach. It is a staff function that uses the 7 new QC Tools. It prevents the defects with help of quality audits and quality tools.

QC: It is a product-centric and reactive approach. It is a line function that uses 7 basic tools for process improvement. It finds the defects by a walk of the process, testing, and inspection.

#quality #qualitymanagement #qualitycontrol #totalqualitymanagement #leansixsigma #qualityassurance #totalqualitymanagement