Throughout my business experience, I have never encountered a company that did not have some form of improvement process under way. Most of these efforts were intended to cut costs as close to the bone as possible, while others had a slightly more noble intention. For a while, quality became a serious matter as we heeded the calls of Deming, Juran, Crosby, and others to pursue total quality management. Most firms set out to do things right the first time and bring processing under acceptable control limits. Some firms qualified themselves under ISO 9000, the Baldrige Criteria, or other standards, providing proof they were serious about the effort. A few even moved to six sigma standards by improving systems to generate less than 3 bad parts per million. The smart ones used quality as a rallying point to reduce costs while they made things better.