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Recommended Search Terms

Simply knowing the right search terms can help immensely in the research process. Some recommended search terms are:

  • Quality
  • Six Sigma
  • Inventory Control
  • Lean Manufacturing
  • Supply Chain Management

You may try combining these terms with AND connectors, such as to find results marked as being about both Six Sigma and Inventory Control.


There are several terms you'll come across while looking for information on quality and manufacturing, and it helps to be acquainted with them. Some of these are:

  • Quality: ISO 9000 defines quality as "The degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils a need or expectation that is stated, generally implied or obligatory." Quality has a more specific definition in business and manufacturing than it does in regular life.
  • Toyota Way: The fourteen principles behind Toyota's managment and production systems. These were first described in 2001, and are documented in "The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer (2004)." They can be grouped into two areas, continuous improvement and respect for people.
  • JIT (Just in Time):  Operates under the principle that inventory is waste, and therefore a manufacturing process should only have the resources on hand that are immediately necessary. Another name for it would be quantity control (Wilson, 2010) More difficult to implement than it sounds.
  • Six Sigma: A particular implementation of quality techniques with a focus on minimizing errors by decreasing variability. (Pyzdek, 2003) Uses a model called "Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control," often abbreviated DMAIC. Experts within an organization who are chosen to lead a Six Sigma implementation are often assigned titles based on martial arts belts, such as black belts and green belts.
  • Lean Manufacturing: Also called lean production, it focuses on identifying and reducing or elminating seven wastes (Wilson, 2010). It is often identified with and considered as being derived from the Toyota Production System.

Familiarity with these terms and how they are interrelated will allow you to perform more efficient and productive searches while performing research.



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