ASI was formed as the Ford Supplier Institute in May of 1981 to provide training to suppliers of the automotive industry. Dr. W. Edwards Deming provided the original material for supplier training and also served as the initial instructor for the Institute.
In the beginning, ASI’s efforts were oriented around “Statistical Thinking” based on ideas promoted by Dr. Deming. Most of these early efforts were in Statistical Process Control and Manufacturing Process Capability. In March of 1982, ASI initiated annual supplier study missions to Japan to investigate Japanese quality technologies, including Taguchi Methods, Quality Function Deployment, and Company – Wide Quality Control. These study missions greatly expanded the scope of ASI’s activities and have since served as the basis for the introduction of several important new quality technologies into U.S. companies.
In 1984, ASI was chartered as an independent, nonprofit education institute in the State of Michigan. A Board of Directors was created which included representatives of major automotive supplier companies as well as Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and selected American Universities, including the University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
ASI was first to introduce Taguchi Methods to American industry (1982) and developed the first applications of Quality Function Deployment (1984). ASI is a leader in the development of Total Quality Management implementation, not only for business and industry, but for health care food processing, and education as well.
From the beginning, ASI’s activities have been oriented around the development of management methods to improve the competitive position of U.S. industries. Its intent is to capture the latest world-wide technologies available in management and quality improvement methods, cost reduction, and time-to market while developing applications and implementation strategies. ASI’s goal is to lead the way in research, development and transfer of knowledge of management and quality improvement methods to foster customer applications and build the strengths of companies, institutions, and individuals.