First Word

by Scott Madison Paton

It's hard to believe that it's 1996. Our new year certainly started off with a bang. As I write this column in mid-December, we are recovering from one of the worst storms to hit Northern California in decades. We were hit with drenching rains and 85 mph winds, which blew off roofs, toppled trees and knocked out power to about 100,000 homes. This explains why if you tried to call our offices the week of December 11, you probably didn't get through. The storm also delayed production of this issue by a few days. I apologize if you received this issue later than normal.

The new year also brings new columns and departments to Quality Digest. First, Paul Scicchitano, senior editor of "Quality Systems Update," has joined our contributing editor roster and will be writing about the ever-changing and always-controversial world of international standards. Paul faced quite a challenge while covering a recent ISO 9000 meeting in Durban, South Africa, for QSU and Quality Digest recently. Read about his adventure on page 19. His perseverance is a testament to his journalistic integrity in bringing you the news you need to know.

A. Blanton Godfrey's first column appears in this issue on page 15. Blan's incredible knowledge of quality adds new depth to our quality coverage. As CEO of the Juran Institute, Blan works with industry leaders around the globe to develop world-class quality systems. His unique management-level experience is nearly unparalleled among today\rquote s quality leaders.

We're also proud to launch a new monthly department, "SPC Toolkit," written by Donald Wheeler of Statistical Process Controls Inc. Don's the author of numerous books on statistical process control and a much-sought-after consultant. He worked closely with W. Edwards Deming and has helped countless companies implement and improve SPC processes. "SPC Toolkit" will present different SPC processes in an easy-to-understand, easy-to-use format. It debuts on page 72.

As I mentioned in this column a few months ago, we\rquote ve also added a few new faces behind the scenes. In addition to Blan, Don and Paul, our new contributing editors include Caroline Hemenway (ISO 14000), Radley Smith (QS-9000), David Middleton (ISO 9000) and Gordon Sellers (software).

Perhaps our most ambitious undertaking for the new year is our series of monthly buyers guides. Each issue of Quality Digest will feature a different buyers guide. We kick off our series with our 1996 CMM Buyers Guide. It is, as far as we can ascertain,the first buyers guide to directly compare CMMs from different companies. It was, to say the least, quite an effort, particularly in the midst of Northern California's worst storm in decades! I want to take this opportunity to thank our fearless staff- Mark Calvo, Dirk Dusharme, Laurel Wayman and Marion Harmon- for braving the weather to get the job done.

Our people make the critical difference. They may not be able to control the weather-yet- but they deliver a great magazine.

Scott M. Paton
Editor in Chief

Copyright 1995 by QCI International. It is unlawful to reprint, retransmit, or otherwise reproduce this article, except for personal use, without the written permission of QCI International (whi ch gladly grants permission when asked). Call (800) 527-8875 or fax (916) 527-6983.
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