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What QC tools to use for problem resolution?

by Renaud Anjoran

Many buying offices in China struggle to have their QC inspectors (trained to assess conformity to a set of requirements) act as QA technicians (able to analyze problems and solve them). What type of training is appropriate?

I think the 7 basic quality tools are very appropriate. They are easy to teach and to use. According to Dr Ishikawa, these tools can help solve 95% of quality problems that are encountered in daily operations!

The question is, how to integrate these tools in a problem resolution method that follows the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) logic?

I found a simple explanation (see below graph) that puts it all together:


  • Data collection to select an improvement project: use Pareto charts and/or scatter diagrams
  • Study of current procedures: flow chart
  • Thinking of potential causes: cause-and-effect diagram (or fishbone diagram)
  • Data collection on potential causes: check sheet
  • Data analysis: control charts, histograms, Pareto charts, and/or scatter diagrams


(No need to use these tools)


  • Data collection: check sheet, control charts
  • Data analysis to see if there is improvement: control charts, histograms, and/or scatter diagrams


(No need to use these tools)

Use of 7 QC tools

Source: Primer for CQE exam, published by the Quality Council of Indiana.

Renaud Anjoran has been managing his quality assurance agency (Sofeast Ltd) since 2006. In addition, a passion for improving the way people work has pushed him to launch a consultancy to improve factories and a web application to manage the purchasing process. He writes advice for importers on

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