SPC – In A Nutshell

SPC is an ocean, capturing that in a one page nutshell is not a wise idea. Yet I have tried it in such a way that everyone atleast understands the conceptual idea of SPC. This article & seeing some more articles in our page will help everyone to understand SPC perfectly. I have seen SPC is practiced almost everywhere in a wrong way or just to satisfy the auditors, not to improve the process or product.


To emphasize the importance of SPC, we must know how the Japanese brought a quality revolution. In 1954, they invited quality gurus like W. Edwards Deming and Joseph M. Juran to help them improve their businesses. Japan becoming world no.1 in product quality is the result of the lectures given by two Americans W. Edwards Deming and Joseph M. Juran. Had Deming and Juran not given those lectures, Japanese goods would still be of stone-age quality.


These two quality gurus helped the Japanese to launch their quality revolution. The senior executives of Japanese companies took personal charge of managing quality. The companies trained their engineers to use statistical methods (SPC) for quality control & quality assurance. The companies enlarged their business plans to include quality goals. Each of these actions was unprecedented in industrial history. Together, they added up to a massive change in direction. Japanese companies evolved means of measuring customer satisfaction, competitive quality and performance that challenged the entire business community across the world. In contrast, CEOs of world’s leading companies had long been detached from the quality function. The image below shows renowned quality gurus & all of them are from USA & Japan. Why no quality gurus from India? It is because India’s businesses & its CEO’s are still detached from the crucial quality function, hence the seriousness of making quality as the no.1 priority is still not happening.


Here is the list of few things that we are using / used actively, yet will become obsolete soon or already obsolete, it is due to the quality revolution or the competitors have built better alternatives for these,

  1. Shopping malls
  2. Cash
  3. Public telephone booths
  4. Calculators
  5. Paper maps
  6. Print catalogues
  7. Business cards
  8. Parking meters (pay for parking cars)
  9. House keys
  10. Manual-transmission cars
  11. College textbooks
  12. Classroom chalkboards
  13. Post boxes
  14. In-person voting
  15. Plastic shopping bags
  16. Plastic, single-use straws
  17. Car keys
  18. Cheques
  19. Desktop computers
  20. Cursive writing
  21. Remote controls
  22. Fax machines
  23. Stand alone GPS devices
  24. Portable music players (iPod)
  25. Sharing school photos
  26. Print magazines
  27. Alarm clocks
  28. Headphones with cords
  29. Hotel room keys
  30. Landline phones (rotary or button telephones)
  31. Compact Discs CDs
  32. Paper receipts
  33. Movies on DVD
  34. Paper bills
  35. Paper airplane tickets and boarding passes
  36. Theatre tickets
  37. Internet Explorer
  38. 3G Phones
  39. BlackBerry Phones
  40. Encyclopaedias
  41. Typewriters
  42. Vinyl Albums
  43. Film rolls
  44. Answering Machines
  45. Slide Projectors
  46. Overhead Projectors
  47. Phone Books (Yellow pages)
  48. The Walkman
  49. Floppy Disks
  50. Bench Seats in Cars
  51. Pagers
  52. Calculator Watches
  53. Minidisc
  54. The Polaroid instant photo
  55. Video Home System (VHS)
  56. Dial-Up Modems


SPC helps businesses attain a profitable quantity & quality. SPC is like a horoscope of a person where the future can be predicted based on certain inputs in the present or past. I am 100% sure that most of the owners believe in astrology & vastu, like this if they believe in SPC, they can escalate their businesses to world class levels. Exactly this is what the Japanese did, i.e, believing in SPC that made them world no.1 in quality. It is important to quote about Mr.Aaron Levenstein (1913–86) who was an author and Professor of Business Administration at Baruch College. In one of his most memorable quotations he suggested that: Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. Basically, he is saying that statistics can be used to confuse and mislead the reader. You can understand these when paid media or fringe groups post a poor picture about India & its economy by using irrelevant statistics. Hence it is advised to be careful while interpreting statistics. Do it the right way, if not, you will be trapped.