Ford Motor Co. expects its 15-month-old quality improvement system, “consumer-driven Six Sigma,” will add $300 million to its bottom line this year, says Louise Goeser, the automaker's vice president-quality. The boost, which comes on the heels of a $52 million gift in 2000, will come from warranty cost savings and improved manufacturing efficiency. Ford also will require its suppliers to adopt stricter internal quality controls, but, Ms. Goeser says, no firm date for the measure has been set. The automaker is taking this position because suppliers have been implicated in some of the 2,600 quality improvement projects it has undertaken. “We're saying, ‘When the data leads us to your door, we want you to be able to work with us,’” she says. In addition, Ford is implementing a pilot version of the system, an adaptation called “design Six Sigma,” intended to reduce variation from entering the manufacturing process. Variation is “the enemy of quality,” says Ms. Goeser. Identifying shortcomings is easy, fixing them isn't.