Santa Cruz Guitar Company: Viewed Under the Lens of Deming’s 14 Points

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Santa Cruz Guitar Company:
Viewed Under the Lens of Deming’s 14 Points

January 29, 2013

Deming’s 14 points and the Santa Cruz Guitar Company

“Richard Hoover has built a culture that thrives on sharing, teaching and challenging. The collaborative nature of our luthiers insures exceptional instruments that last for more than a lifetime.” - Santa Cruz Guitar Company

Santa Cruz Guitar Company is a business composed of dedicated craftsmen and music lovers who craft acoustic guitars with great attention to detail. Their craft is one similar to the kind handed down by generations before them. To build the highest quality acoustic guitars, SCGC takes the time and pays attention to the fine detail that customers worldwide have grown to appreciate. Quality is a central focus at SCGC and their founder, Richard Hoover, makes certain that this attention to detail and love of the craft is instilled in each employee on a daily basis. To continually foster this mindset, however, is often a challenge to most businesses. In this paper, we take a closer look inside SCGC and evaluate the processes in place under the lens of Dr. Deming. The class text allows us information that can be analyzed and considered in light of Dr. Deming’s 14 points philosophy so that we are able to extract examples of that philosophy in real life situational review.

Point 1: Create a Vision and Demonstrate Commitment (99)
Deming’s point one is: “Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and services, with the aim of becoming competitive and to stay in business and to provide jobs” (Evans, 143). What Deming is talking about here is keeping customers happy by giving them what they want, every time they come back. This means keeping the quality high and finding ways to improve the already quality product that is being made. If these things are done correctly then the business will be around for a while and provide jobs because the customers will keep coming back. Santa Cruz Guitar Company, SCGC, does this in all of their steps. They improve their products by keeping track of everything that was done to a specific guitar so if it sounds awesome then they can try to recreate it. This is done in step 4 while the top is being trimmed. Then when step 7 comes around and they do the final testing if the sound “knocks their socks off” then they can try and recreate it (Evans, 146). One of the ways they try to improve the product is by allowing their luthiers to build two personal guitars a year. This allows the luthiers to try new methods of building the guitar and see if they can improve the sound or speed of making the guitar (Evans, 147). In the FAQ section of SCGC’s website one of the customers asked about what makes their guitars so much lighter than other guitars. Richard answered this by telling him about the 7 years of R&D to add strength to the guitar while making the guitar. This shows that SCGC is focused on improving their product (Santa Cruz, FAQ).

Point 2: Learn the New Philosophy (99)
Deming’s point two is: “Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change” (Evans, 143). What this point is talking about is changing the philosophy of a company needs to change from a metric driven approach to a quality driven approach. This is hard to do because quality is a hard thing to see when it is working. Metrics are easy to track and see but quality isn’t. SCGC only hires people who have a team attitude and a passion for guitars (Evans, 146). These people will always try to do the best job they can because they have a love of guitars. Also, SCGC workers are encouraged to go out and start their own luthier business (Evans, 147). On SCGC’s website there is a question about the bench-style process verses an assembly line. Here is the answer: “Instead of one process, people carry on a logical...
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