Quality Progress - May 2013 - 54

3.4 Per Million BY Joseph D. Conklin roundabout estimation An indirect way to find quantities you need for your investigation THE IDEAL ApproAcH in Six Sigma nies may exist, and there may not be the industry trade association that occasion- is to directly measure your inputs and money or time to draw one up and visit ally asks a random sample of them about outputs. What can a quality practitioner do most or all companies. Companies may their cement use. Suppose further that the when that’s not possible or practical? If the be unwilling to release internal data to results are published at the state level. The difficult-to-measure variable has a known outside parties if they fear publishing it companies are more willing to share their or theoretically reasonable relationship to might help local competitors figure out data in this way because: another quantity that is readily available, their business. 1. They are confident in the trade associa- Skipping the measurement may not be one option is to use this relationship to indi- an option. In the case of cement use, let’s rectly estimate the challenging variable. tion’s ability to protect it. 2. State-level numbers are aggregated at say this number factors into models of a high level so competitors can’t figure tons of cement used in construction for economic activity used to forecast future out what any single company is doing 10 counties in a certain state. The direct business trends in the state. Without it, the locally. approach requires drawing up a list of forecast is incomplete or unavailable. How construction companies and contractors might an indirect approach work? Suppose you want to estimate the total In this situation, what you want—county level numbers—is unavailable. The trade association has state-level numbers that it in the state and surveying them about their cement use. This may not be viable for Building a solution collects for its own purposes. It’s willing to several reasons. To illustrate, suppose the construction share them to help you meet our goal. How companies are willing to work with an do you indirectly estimate the county level No master list of construction compa- county data, state totals and indirect estimates of cement tonnage / Table 1 County 1 New permits Percentage of state total 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 State total 1,146 2,004 1,560 6,726 3,501 2,071 7,692 4,549 1,115 2,239 107,168 1.07% 1.87% 1.45% 6.27% 3.27% 1.93% 7.18% 4.24% 1.04% 2.09% 100% Sidewalk spending 140.90 125.64 146.16 123.72 105.13 188.04 176.16 136.148 176.73 101.38 (thousands $) Percentage of state total 3.17% 2.82% 3.28% 2.78% 2.36% 4.22% 3.96% 3.07% 3.96% 2.28% numbers? To keep things simple, say there are two uses that consume almost all of the cement in a state: building and maintaining sidewalks, and new building construction. 4,450.98 100% Note: State total includes all counties, not just the ten of interest. With a few exceptions, sidewalk work will be managed by local governments. They will need to keep records Trade association Sidewalk tonnage – – – – – – – – – – 1,709,979 of how many miles are Roofing tonnage – – – – – – – – – – 21,344,437 covered, or maybe the local budget has a line County Estimated cement used 1 Sidewalk tonnage Roofing tonnage 2 3 4 5 6 7 18,286 31,976 24,891 107,273 55,862 33,045 122,734 8 9 10 72,584 17,791 34,726 675,678 602,500 700,902 593,293 504,145 901,736 844,766 654,483 846,061 486,162 Note: County 1 has 1.07% of the new permits for the state. Take 1.07% of the state total for sidewalk tonnage. 1.07% of 1,709,979 is the County 1 estimate for sidewalk tonnage. Percents are shown to two decimal places. More precision is used to derive estimated cement used. 54 QP • www.qualityprogress.com item for dollars spent. New buildings require permits. These are likely on file with the planning or licenses office. While gathering public http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - May 2013

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Balancing Act
Avoiding an Avalanche
What Makes You Tick?
Mood Righting
Innovation Imperative
Quality in the First Person
Standards Outlook
Statistics Roundtable
Special Section: ASQ Enterprise and Site Members
3.4 per Million
Career Corner
Career Corner
QP Toolbox
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
QP Reviews
One Good Idea
One Good Idea

Quality Progress - May 2013

http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0719
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0619
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0519
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0419
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0319
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0219
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0119
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1218
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1118
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1018
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0918
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0818
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0718
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0618
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0518
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0418
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0318
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0218
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0118
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1217
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1117
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1017
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0917
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0817
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0717
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0617
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0517
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0417
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQC12518
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0317
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0217
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0117
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1216
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1116
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1016
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASAC0016
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0916
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQA0016
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0816
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0716
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0616
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0516
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0416
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0316
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0216
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0116
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1215
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1115
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1015
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0915
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0815
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0715
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0615
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0515
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0315
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0215
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0115
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1214
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1114
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1014
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0914
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0814
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0714
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0614
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0514
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0414
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0314
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0214
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0114
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1213
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1113
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1013
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0913
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0813
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0713
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0613
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0513
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0413
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0313
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/ASQM0213
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/ASQM0113
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/ASQM1212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/ASQM1112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/ASQM1012
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/ASQM0912
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com