Philip Bayard "Phil" Crosby, was a businessman and author who contributed to management theory and quality management practices. Crosby initiated the Zero Defects program at the Martin Company Orlando, Florida, plant. As the quality control manager of the Pershing missile program, Crosby was credited with a 25 percent reduction in the overall rejection rate and a 30 percent reduction in scrap costs.
In 1979, after a career at ITT, Crosby started the management consulting company Philip Crosby Associates, Inc. This consulting group provided educational courses in quality management both at their headquarters in Winter Park, Florida, and at eight foreign locations. Also in 1979, Crosby published his first business book, Quality Is Free. This book would become popular at the time because of the crisis in North American quality. During the late 1970s and into the 1980s, North American manufacturers were losing market share to Japanese products largely due to the superior quality of the Japanese goods.
Crosby's response to the quality crisis was the principle of "doing it right the first time" (DIRFT). He would also include four major principles:
- the definition of quality is conformance to requirements
- the system of quality is prevention
- the performance standard is zero defects
- the measurement of quality is the price of nonconformance
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