People who attend my "Introduction to Design of Experiments (DOE)" seminar often ask why it's so important to learn and apply DOE. Obvious answers include the need for lower product cost and reduced new product development lead times. In the excellent text, Understanding Industrial Designed Experiments, Schmidt and Launsby took it a step further. They suggested that the ability to effectively apply DOE is necessary for survival in this new economic age! The authors wrote:
“The time is quickly approaching when one will not be considered a competent engineer, scientist, or technical manager without the ability to 'think statistically' and implement proper experimental design techniques. The demands for increased efficiency of processes, lower product cost, and shortened development cycles will dictate that we use simple, but powerful tools to get the most out of our experiments. No longer do we have the luxury of running one-factor-at-a-time experiments or experiments with excessive sample sizes. In competitive environments, only those groups who apply experimental design approaches efficiently and effectively to maximize knowledge will survive.”♦
♦ Stephen R. Schmidt and Robert G. Launsby, Understanding Industrial Designed Experiments, 4th Edition, Air Academy Press &
Associates, Colorado Springs, CO (2004), Preface.