Elizabeth Burke found a drop in suppliers-reported problems while studying PLE data. PLE’s 2010 quality problems were due to increased supplier-supplied products with defects. In August 2011, the corporation began a collaboration with suppliers in order to reduce these issues, improve quality and coordinate delivery more closely. Elizabeth noted that the program seems to have reversed a trend of growing defects. She wanted to know what could have been done if the supplier initiative was not implemented, and how she might be able to decrease the number of defect cases.
Elizabeth shared with PLE’s human resource director concerns over the company’s field staff turnover. The department’s senior management has urged it to examine its recruitment processes more carefully, in particular to identify the characteristics that lead to higher retention. Staff decided to conduct a statistical analysis of the effects of college grades, years in school, and age when hiring on retention. To examine the effect of these factors on an employee’s employment length, a sample of 40 field service engineers was selected 10 years ago.