Organization for Standardization Backs Children’s
As more youngsters around the
globe increase their awareness of environmental issues,
the International Organization for Standardization has seized
an opportunity to educate children on ISO 14000.
ISO is increasing its support of promoting and spreading
the Kids’ ISO 14000 Programme to develop environmental
awareness among children around the world and enable them
to take practical steps to improve the environment.
The Kids’ ISO 14000 Programme draws upon the organizing
principle of the ISO 14000 environmental management system
standards. It was created and is operated by the Japanese
nonprofit organization ArTech. Since the program’s
launch in 2000, more than 50,000 Japanese schoolchildren
have participated. ArTech and ISO now wish to expand the
The United Nations University is cooperating with the
program and the United Nations Environmental Program also
On Oct. 24, ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden and ArTech
Director General Takaya Kawabe signed a memorandum of understanding
in Tokyo, confirming an October 2002 agreement between the
two organizations when ISO first lent its name and logo
to the program. Under the new memorandum of understanding,
ISO has pledged active support by using its communication
media to promote the program and encouraging its dissemination
worldwide through ISO’s network of national standards
institutes in 147 countries.
“Just about everyone is agreed on the need to do
something to control the negative effects of man’s
activities on the environment,” says Bryden. “Practical
tools for achieving this, and for improving environmental
performance, are provided by international standards like
ISO 14001, which is implemented by more than 50,000 organizations
in 118 countries. Therefore, it’s normal that ISO
should respond positively to ArTech’s desire for cooperation
because the program demonstrates even to young children
that the small, practical steps they carry out can have
incremental, positive results.”
The three principal aims of the Kids’ ISO 14000
To stimulate environmental awareness among children
To teach children to implement a simplified form of the
plan-do-check-act cycle at the heart of ISO 14001 and use
it to monitor and reduce energy and water consumption in
To encourage the formation of networks of these children,
both locally and worldwide, in order for them to work together
on global environmental issues
“In many cases in Japan, the parents of children
participating in the program work in business organizations
that are implementing ISO 14001, and the families live in
municipalities registered to or seeking ISO 14001,”
says Kawabe. “ISO 14001 enjoys recognition on an international
scale as a tool for improving environmental performance.
ArTech is therefore happy to incorporate reference to the
ISO 14000 family in the name of its program because it aims
at educating children to the practical measures they can
take to improve the environment--first in their homes and
then in their communities.”
Learn more at www.iso.org.
Online Database Lists Pharmaceutical Best
As the Food and Drug Administration
strengthens its guidelines for pharmaceutical manufacturing
processes, many quality control laboratories in that sector
are seeking advice in the form of case studies, proven tactics
and lessons learned. As an answer to such inquiries, the
Best Practice Database, produced by Best Practices LLC,
includes a new section that lists tips for improving productivity
and quality in the pharmaceutical quality control laboratory.
Research available on the site includes staffing levels,
structures, sample testing and documentation processes,
performance metrics and innovative workflow technologies
gathered fromin-depth interviews with laboratory managers
and directors at seven leading pharmaceutical companies.
The Best Practice Database also includes detailed demographic
and performance data for pharmaceutical laboratories, including:
Number of products supported
Number of different test methods
Number of tests per year
Personnel employed at each lab (categorized by full-time,
part-time or contractor)
First-pass yield rate
Percentage of total testing costs consumed by rework
Percentage of rework caused by a variety of root causes
The Best Practice Database provides best business practices,
metrics, presentation slides and flowcharts on key business
topics. Members use the database to prepare for meetings,
conduct primary research, create presentations and strengthen
management reports. The database, available on a subscription
basis, provides simplified and ongoing access to key decision
support material for quality control professionals.
To learn more, visit www.bestpracticedatabase.com.
Report Offers Statistical Techniques
Most of the time, when quality-minded
people think of statistical process control, they relate
it to Six Sigma and the define-measure-analyze-improve-control
method. However, statistics is a major part of any quality
initiative, including standards like ISO 9001:2000.
Statistical techniques offer insight into the nature,
extent and causes of variability in products and services
and, in doing so, help control and reduce problems that
could arise from such variability, and which exists throughout
the life cycle of products, from market research to customer
service and final disposal.
A new technical report is expected to help users of the
ISO 9000 series identify statistical techniques that will
improve the effectiveness of their quality management systems.
Published by the International Organization for Standardization,
the new technical report, “ISO/TR 10017:2003, Guidance
on statistical techniques for ISO 9001:2000,” is intended
to assist managers in statistical techniques that could
help improve the quality of their organizations’ products
“The effective deployment of statistical techniques
is largely governed by how well their potential application
and benefit are understood by management,” says Lally
Marwah, convener of the working group that developed the
new standard. “This need is well served by the technical
report, which offers a clear and concise view of a range
of widely used statistical techniques and their potential
value in driving quality improvement.”
It can be used by organizations in developing, implementing,
maintaining and improving a quality management system based
on ISO 9001:2000, although the use of ISO/TR 10017 isn’t
a requirement for registration.
ISO/TR 10017:2003 replaces ISO/TR 10017:1999. It’s
aligned with ISO 9001:2000 and will serve as a strategic
tool for managers who may not necessarily be experts in
ISO/TR 10017:2003 is available from ISO national member
institutes, a list of which can be found at www.iso.org.
Six Sigma Business Scorecard Debuts
Quality Technology Co. has
developed the Six Sigma Business Scorecard for achieving
growth and profitability. The methodology is documented
in the new book The Six Sigma Business Scorecard (McGraw-Hill,
2003) by Praveen Gupta.
“The Six Sigma Business Scorecard merges two powerful
performance improvement processes: Six Sigma and the balanced
scorecard,” explains Bill Wiggenhorn, who wrote the
foreword to the book explaining the methodology.
The Business Scorecard provides a clear way to produce
inspiring leadership by CEOs, breakthrough improvement by
managers and innovation by employees.
The Six Sigma Business Scorecard includes a way to measure
performance, called the Business Performance Index. It provides
a method to determine corporate sigma levels and is based
on the proven concepts of Six Sigma.
The Six Sigma Business Scorecard combines the two methodologies
Key performance metrics for companies already using Six
Sigma to determine their sigma level
A well-defined measurement system that builds on the Balanced
Scorecard, for use throughout a corporation
A business performance index specifically designed for CEOs
A methodology for effective implementation at all levels
in a corporation
“The Six Sigma Business Scorecard is a powerful
set of measurements to help an organization in predicting
and improving its total performance, especially the bottom
line,” says Frank Brletich, president and CEO of the
Centre for Strategic Management in Chicago.
To learn more, visit www.qtcom.com.
New Strategy for Pushing Baldrige Nonprofit
As 2003 draws to a close, proponents
of a nonprofit category for the Malcolm Baldrige National
Quality Award are pushing to amend the program before year’s
end. On Oct. 29, representatives Brad Miller and Melissa
Hart introduced H.R. 3389 to the U.S. House of Representatives,
which would establish a not-for-profit category for the
Similar language had been included in a Senate authorization
bill earlier this year and, with support from the American
Society for Quality and other Baldrige backers, passed the
Senate Commerce Committee in July. However, that bill has
been stalled by unrelated procedural issues, and its consideration
in the Senate is currently halted. Therefore, an alternative
strategy has been devised to help ensure that a bill could
still be advanced this year.
The Miller-Hart bill, H.R. 3389, represents the first
step in that strategy.
Using accelerated procedures, plans are now to bring the
bill directly to the House floor for an anticipated favorable
vote. Then, using similar methods for noncontroversial issues,
the House-passed bill would be brought straight to the Senate
floor for a vote.
Although this is a positive development, passage this
year is not certain, as there are several procedural hurdles
to cross and little time left in the congressional session
to do so.
The amendment would add the words “nonprofit organizations”
to Section 17(c)(1) of the Stevenson-Wylder Technology Innovation
act of 1980, which was originally established to create
the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
To learn more, visit baldrige.nist.gov
Thirteen Organizations Earn Baldrige Site
Teams of business, education
and health care experts have been busy conducting site visits
for 13 organizations vying for the award.
The group of 13 competing organizations includes three
manufacturers, three service companies, two small businesses,
two educational institutions and three health care organizations.
These companies are all that remain of a list pared down
from 68 original entrants. As of press time, the winners
had not been announced.
More on the Baldrige Award: Check the January 2004 issue
of Quality Digest for comprehensive coverage of
the Baldrige Award winners.
U.S. Production Adopting Pull-Based Manufacturing
A recent survey conducted by
DemandStream, a leading lean enterprise automation software
provider, indicates rapid adoption of lean manufacturing
principles among U.S. producers as a primary strategy to
ensure global success.
“American manufacturing is facing stiff global pressure,
particularly from China,” says Randy Tofteland, president
of DemandStream. “We’re seeing U.S. and world
producers embracing lean principles and software automation
to enhance their global competitive positions and streamline
their supply chains.”
A lean enterprise focuses on the elimination of waste
at every level of the organization. Lean manufacturing is
an approach in which manufacturers make a product only at
the time their customer buys or orders it, thus eliminating
unnecessary inventories. “This is a concept in which
a customer’s order effectively has a pull effect on
the production process,” Tofteland explains. “It
differs from traditional manufacturing where a factory builds
a product based on an estimated sales forecast and ‘pushes’
that product out the door. Unfortunately, in this traditional
method, the product or its component parts, more often than
not, are shipped to an expensive warehouse where they sit
until someone wants to buy it.”
Traditional “push”-oriented manufacturers
spend 20 to 30 cents of every sales dollar to maintain adequate
inventory levels. But with lean manufacturing, working capital
outlays can be as low as five cents of every sales dollar,
therefore freeing up cash to invest in more productive areas.
The company’s study involved approximately 280 manufacturers
and was conducted in July of this year. Forty percent of
U.S. manufacturers described lean manufacturing as their
primary business strategy. “U.S. manufacturers are
finding ways to improve and compete more effectively through
lean principles, which include kanban-based pull manufacturing
systems, continuous flow production and cellular production,”
Sixty percent of respondents cited their move toward kanban-based
pull-manufacturing systems vs. traditional push-based manufacturing
systems. Additionally, the survey indicates that 60 percent
of respondents have adopted or have taken steps to adopt
continuous flow production practices in their factories.
Continuous flow production is a form of lean manufacturing
in which machines and operators handle uninterrupted flow
of material at a given rate.
Finally, the company’s study found that 55 percent
of manufacturers have implemented “cellular manufacturing”
concepts, in which families of parts are produced within
a single production line of machines controlled by operators
who work only on that particular line.
“We believe U.S. manufacturing is a cornerstone
to our economy’s long-term health,” says Tofteland.
“Lean manufacturing is clearly a huge trend to ensure
not only manufacturing competitiveness but also U.S. economic
advantage around the world.”
To see more results, visit www.demandstream.net.
MBA students at the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School
of Business in Winter Park, Florida, now have the opportunity
to secure Six Sigma Green Belt certification as a result
of a new partnership with Breakthrough Management Group.
The Green Belt course will be offered as part of a three-course
concentration in process improvement and will utilize a
blended learning solution that combines BMG’s Six
Sigma eCourses with instructor-led Six Sigma training. The
training program alternates six days of intense classroom
training (48 hours) with 14 modules of Six Sigma eCourse
material (16 hours). To learn more, visit www.bmgi.com.
The Educational Society for Resource Management and the
APICS Educational and Research Foundation Inc. have collaborated
to develop two CD-ROM workshops: Inventory Control Series
and Lean Manufacturing Series.
The inventory control series includes four-hour sessions
on the basics of inventory management, cycle counting, distribution
inventory management, material requirements planning, bills
of material and physical inventory.
The lean manufacturing series is a seven-session workshop
beginning with an eight-hour introduction to lean manufacturing
and followed by six four-hour sessions on other topics.
Issues covered in the workshop include lean mapping, 5S,
process improvement and quality in lean manufacturing, lean
scheduling, scheduled work, lean teams, lean design and
accounting. For more information about the workshop series,
Minitab Inc. has released the 14th edition of its MINITAB
statistical software for Windows.
Extensive graphical enhancements mark the largest advancements
in the new MINITAB edition. The upgraded software also features
upgraded graph creation and editing capabilities, increased
graph flexibility and new quality tools like multivariate
control charts and process capability analysis.
New statistical features include partial least squares,
expanded design of experiments and additional reliability
analysis methods. Further facilitating ease of use are newly
customizable menus, toolbars and settings that can be used
to create sharable profiles. To download a free, functional
demo version of MINITAB statistical software, visit www.minitab.com.
PeopleSoft Inc. has acquired JCIT International’s
Demand Flow software in a move to help customers improve
agility, reduce inventory and eliminate organizational waste.
The Demand Flow technology at the heart of JCIT’s
corresponding software is a popular lean manufacturing methodology.
PeopleSoft has already made the product available in limited
release and anticipates general availability in 2004. Both
companies have planned to collaborate in marketing software,
training and consulting services. Details can be found at
Blue Mountain Quality Resources Inc. has released Calibration
Manager 4 for Oracle. The application manages global compliance
of calibration processes with a Windows interface linked
via ASP pages to a COM+-based middle-tier component, which
accesses an Oracle database. The application tracks mission-critical
calibration data, including Part 11-compliant electronic
signatures, audit trails, custom security and validation
The design of Calibration Manager 4 for Oracle allows
organizations to host the application centrally while retaining
worldwide access to all departments and facilities. Designed
and distributed by Blue Mountain Quality Resources Inc.,
the solution is intended to reduce costs in application
licensing, corporate IT resources, validation, training
and internal auditing. Learn more at www.coolblue.com.
The American Society for Quality has added online seminars
to its roster of quality learning options. The Webinars
are presented in conjunction with teleconferencing. As visual
information is communicated online, corresponding audio
is transmitted accordingly via telephone. Interaction with
presenters is possible both online and via telephone contact.
Archived Webinars are pre-recorded events.
Topics to be discussed at the ASQ Webinars include A Multidisciplinary
Field of Research and Practice, Decision Making in Knowledge-Intensive
Domains, Team-Based Approaches to Safety, Administrative
Control: The Role of Organization and Management in Frontline
Performance and Safety, ISO/TS 16949:2002, Lean Applications
in Product Development, and Project Management From A to
For a schedule and descriptions of upcoming offerings
and archives, visit www.asq.org
and click “Webinars” on the left sidebar.