Is Bigger Always Better?
Trade show attendance is down overall, but attendance at quality-related shows is rising--if only just a little.
In examining trade shows all over the world, Tradeshow Week magazine reports that shows held during the first quarter of this year saw year-over-year growth of 2.7 percent in exhibit space net square footage and a 1.4 percent increase in exhibiting companies. Attendance, on the other hand, dropped by 1.6 percent. Show managers, reports TSW , speculate that February blizzards in the Northeast and hurricane fears in the Southeast could be major reasons for the decline in attendance.
For quality-related niche trade shows, though, the figures are significantly better. For example, the American Society for Quality reports that its flagship annual event, the World Congress on Quality and Improvement, was a smashing success. Attendance at the event, held in May in Milwaukee, was 2,290 (including complimentary admissions); that's up from 1,953 attendees at last year's event held in Seattle.
"We were very pleased with the turnout," says Fay Spano, ASQ's senior manager for communications. "It's turned out very well for us, and I think a lot of people got the information they came here for."
Perhaps noting flagging attendance in the trade show world as a whole, ASQ plans to enhance offerings at the 2007 World Congress on Quality and Improvement, which will be held in Orlando. Programming is still in development, but Spano reports that there will be an increased emphasis on the Team Excellence Awards, as well as increased exposure for ASQ organizational members and better networking opportunities.
The International Manufacturing Technology Show, always one of the largest biannual shows in the world, will be held next month in Chicago. Already, attendance figures for the event look good. John Krisko, the show's exhibitions director, expects upward of 90,000 people from 80 countries to attend the show. If his forecast turns out to be true, that would mark three consecutive attendance increases for IMTS. In 2002, 85,030 attended IMTS; in 2004 (the last time it was held), 86,232 people attended.
AutoTech, hosted each year by the Automotive Industry Action Group, is also a major draw to quality professionals, even though it's not specifically focused on the quality or manufacturing industry. Leslie Santos-Cotham, AIAG communications specialist, reports that attendance has been very steady for the past three to four years.
This year's Quality Expo Detroit delivered 2,471 attendees, up about 1 percent over its 2004 event. WESTEC Total Manufacturing Experience, an annual production of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, also shows gains in attendance. In 2005, it included 178,027 net sq ft of exhibition space and 13,742 attendees. Its March show in Los Angeles included 181,313 sq ft of exhibition space and 14,185 attendees.
These larger quality and manufacturing shows with expanding attendance figures may be the exception to the rule. Many "super" trade shows--the behemoth Consumer Electronics Show, held annually in Las Vegas, among them--report flat or slight drops in recent attendance figures. Quality professionals aren't generally drawn to these splashy events because the information at these big shows doesn't usually apply to them.
Many niche shows, on the other hand, are tailored specifically for quality professionals. These smaller shows, such as the popular events hosted regularly by organizations like WCBF and IQPC, are planned and marketed for practitioners of Six Sigma and lean, among other methodologies. The result are smaller shows in intimate venues in which attendees can get the knowledge they came for.
"I've heard from a lot of people that when they go to a big show, they have a hard time figuring out where to start," says Louise Gosling, WCBF marketing director. "There's too much to do, and it's hard to find the people you might want to connect with. You don't have that problem at a small show where there's time to talk to just about everyone there."
Gosling's comments echo those from exhibitors at this year's Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference in Orlando. Attendance at this year's show, which focuses on portable 3-D metrology products, leaped from 360 last year to more than 450 this year. Exhibitors at the CMSC say that the show attracts much more focused attendees, those who have specific questions relative to purchase decisions. The intimate setting of a small show allows more time for conversations between exhibitors and their potential customers.
ISO 9001? Who Cares?
If you're an upwardly mobile professional male, you probably know more about ISO 9001 registration than your female, blue-collar peers.
Such were the findings in an interesting study performed in the United Kingdom. Study authors James Tannock, of Nottingham University Business School, and Henry Brown, an undergraduate student at the university, used an in-home, face-to-face survey method to interview 1,012 British adults about their perceptions of the ISO 9000 series of standards and ISO 9001 in particular. Their goal: To figure out if consumers care about which companies are registered to ISO 9001 when making purchasing decisions.
As it turns out, just 26 percent of the general adult population was aware of ISO 9001. Knowledge about the series was higher among men, those in higher-income groups, those in higher-status social groups, and those between the ages of 35 and 54.
The survey also reports generally positive attitudes about ISO 9001 among those who knew about the standard. The best perceptions of ISO 9001 came from consumers who were "spontaneously" aware of it, and those who had purchased a product or service that was produced by an ISO 9001-registered company.
The results suggest that organizations registered to ISO 9001 could improve their public perceptions by touting the registration more.
"The results of the questions asking about the importance of ISO 9001:2000 certification in making purchasing decisions also suggest potential business advantage from wider consumer knowledge about the standard, especially for services provided directly to the consumer," Tannock and Brown report. "Consumers who were already aware of ISO 9001 were more likely to choose this factor as the most important issue in purchasing decisions."
For more information, visit www.iso.org.
Six Sigma Award Winners Announced
Jill Considine, chairman and CEO of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC) received the top honor as Six Sigma CEO of the Year at the Global Six Sigma Summit & Industry Awards, hosted by WCBF at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas on June 28.
Considine was honored for her leadership and implementation of Six Sigma at DTCC, which has achieved annualized savings of $17 million and customer-satisfaction scores of 90 percent. Eight other organizations and/or individuals also received prestigious awards. The Six Sigma award winners are:
• New York-Presbyterian Hospital--Platinum Award for Most Outstanding Organizational Achievement Through Six Sigma, and the Best Achievement of Six Sigma in Health Care. Mike Richman, Quality Digest's publisher, presented the Platinum Award.
• CHRISTUS Schumpert Health System--Best Achievement of Innovation Through Six Sigma
• James O. Pearson, EMC Corp.--Six Sigma Vice President of the Year
• Lonmin plc--Best Achievement of Six Sigma in Manufacturing
• TD Bank Financial Group of Canada --Best Achievement of Six Sigma in Financial Services
• Capital One Direct Banking--Best Achievement of Six Sigma in Service and Transactional Environments
• PACCAR Inc. --Best Achievement in Integrating Lean and Six Sigma
• Cooper Standard Automotive--Best Achievement of Design for Six Sigma
The award program was established to identify outstanding organizational success through the application of Six Sigma. It received 65 entries from organizations all over the world.
The accompanying Global Six Sigma Summit is the largest international gathering of CEOs and senior executives who apply Six Sigma processes. Best-selling authors Malcolm Gladwell and Subir Chowdhury, and leading consultant Joseph Grenny served as keynote speakers.
For more information, visit www.wcbf.com.
A new book takes issue with the fabled Sloan management model, arguing that its widespread use in American industry is a major reason why U.S. manufacturers are struggling in the leaner global economy.
Rebirth of American Industry, by William H. Waddell and Norman Bodek, outlines the core principles in the Sloan management model--massive inventories that lead to supply chain delays--that General Motors adopted in 1920. The book also studies Toyota's lean Toyota Production System.
For more information, visit www.qci-intl.com/rebirth.htm.
Detroit in India?
A study conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry estimates that the Tamil Nadu region of India--that country's automotive manufacturing hub--will generate as many as 500,000 new jobs during the next decade.
That isn't good news for the U.S.-based automotive manufacturing industry, which is forecast to lose thousands of jobs over the same time frame. Across the world, though, the Indian auto manufacturing business is booming: the CII study finds that Tamil Nadu--which is often called the Detroit of India--has the potential to increase its output up to sevenfold. Currently, Tamil Nadu has a 30 percent share in India's auto components industry and a 17-20 percent share in the vehicle production industry. By 2015, the output of the auto industry in Tamil Nadu will be worth $15-20 billion, reports the CII. Currently, the region's automotive industry employs 80,000 people.
Interestingly, the study found that team management is difficult for Indian automotive executives and attributes this to a lack of emotional intelligence--i.e., the ability to perceive, evaluate and influence their own or other's emotions. Furthermore, the industry's monumental growth spurt has led to significant skill gaps in the labor market. Among them: a lack of techno-commercial orientation, inadequate process knowledge, a failure to adhere to consistent quality practices and exporting inefficiencies. To combat these problems, the industry needs experienced Six Sigma practitioners as well as operators with basic understandings of environmental, safety and quality concepts such as total quality management.
However, the study notes that increasing adoption of lean manufacturing practices, comprehensive quality methodologies such as Six Sigma, and companies evolving from being assemblers to contract manufacturers, is helping to further strengthen the region's power in the international automotive manufacturing market.
For more information, visit www.ciionline.org.
Eighty-six organizations have applied for the 2006 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a significant increase from 2005.
A major gain in the number of health care organizations applying for the award, along with the addition of a new nonprofit award category, are the reasons for the application spike, says the Baldrige National Quality Office. Last year, there were 64 applications for the prestigious award. The numbers are as follows:
• Manufacturing industry applicants: three (2006), one (2005)
• Service industry applicants: four (2006), six (2005)
• Small business applicants: eight (2006), eight (2005)
• Health care industry applicants 45 (2006), 33 (2005)
• Education industry applicants 16 (2006), 16 (2005)
• Nonprofit applicants (pilot program): 10 (2006)
For more information, visit www.baldrige.nist.gov.
IRCA and RABQSA Announce Training Partnership
The International Register of Certificated Auditors and RABQSA International have signed a bilateral agreement that will allow the mutual recognition of some of each other's training certifications.
The organizations have agreed that the following IRCA training courses will be recognized by RABQSA for auditor certification:
• IRCA's ISO 9000 series auditor/lead auditor course
• IRCA's internal QMS auditor course and ISO 9000 series foundation course
• IRCA's OHSMS auditor/lead auditor course
• IRCA's EMS auditor/lead auditor training course
• IRCA's EMS conversion auditor course
The organizations report that they will continually add to the list of mutually accepted certifications over time.
"Training is now a global market, and there are major advantages in aligning our certification products and making them mutually acceptable," says Simon Feary, IRCA president. "The training organizations, the delegates and, indeed, everyone, benefit."
IRCA provides auditor training courses and certifications to many quality-related fields. More than 105 countries are represented on its register. RABQSA designs, develops and delivers personnel training and certification services to a large number of industries.
For more information, visit www.rabqsa.com or www.irca.org.
Signs of the Times
A subcommittee of the International Electrotechnical Commission is developing a set of workplace-focused symbols to simplify offices.
Soon, reports the IEC, the same easy recognition that operates instantly for traffic signs will allow workers to easily understand computer equipment. Symbols being developed include:
• Computer network
• Hard disk
• Telephone line
• Locking, numerals, num-lock
• Locking, capitals; caps-lock
• Locking, scroll; scroll-lock
For more information, visit www.iec.ch.
New Online Columnists
Three new columnists recently made their debuts in three of Quality Digest's online newsletters: Fred Mason, Steven Ouellette and Douglas C. Fair.
Mason, who will be the regular columnist in Inside-Metrology , has nearly 20 years of experience in metrology engineering, and in international and domestic marketing. He is Quality Vision International's marketing communications manager and has experience in holography, laser and white-light interferometry, microscopy, and video and multisensor metrology.
Steven Ouellette is the founder of Six Sigma Online ( www.six-sigma-online.com ) and president of The ROI Alliance. He is a Master Black Belt and has been in process design and improvement since 1992. His column, "Six Sigma Heretic," will appear in InsideSixSigma .
Douglas C. Fair is vice president of statistical applications at InfinityQS International. A member of the American Society for Quality, he is the co-author of two books on statistical methods. His "What's the Point" column will appear in Quality-Insider .
You can sign up for a subscription to Quality Digest's online newsletters at http://qualitydigest.com/security/add_user_forums.htm.