Profitability is the key to any production line's existence, and to maintain profitability, production processes must continually improve. As products change, the production lines must adapt quickly, often drastically. This stressful metamorphosis leads to one inevitable result: drastic inefficiencies. To assure the success of a new production line, one must optimize the production processes as quickly as possible.
But how do you optimize a world with dozens of factors in a matter of a few weeks? The key is methodology, and specifically, a methodology called Design of Experiments (DOE). This "art" is the result of years of research by ingenious statisticians, and its application is finding uses in varied fields such as advertising, marketing and product design.
This book narrates the story of Luc, an orchid farmer that finds that his orchid greenhouses are continually less profitable. After much contemplation, Luc decides to change his principal crop from the standard orchid to the highly praised 'African Sunset' orchid. Unfortunately, this beautiful flower is a headache to cultivate and requires completely different growing conditions than his previous orchids. After a couple of disastrous attempts to characterize the cultivation of this exotic orchid with what might be considered "conventional" experimental techniques (changing one variable at a time and seeing what happens), Luc decides to get help for his project.
Help comes thanks to Stefan, an experienced statistician, who helps Luc over the pitfalls of characterizing a complex multi-variable process. Through their amusing dialogues and experiences, the reader is lead through the practice of the art of Design of Experiments.