John Navarro’s picture

By John Navarro

 

Today’s competitive environment requires many businesses to register their quality management systems (QMS) to ISO 9001. Although debate on the overall effectiveness of registration continues, each year an increasing number of organizations seek it. So what’s significant about acquiring ISO 9001 registration? What makes the following case study about a nonprofit association achieving ISO 9001 registration particularly compelling?

What’s compelling is the “it can be done” spirit and the collective commitment of the management team and each employee to collaborate throughout the registration process. That was the path followed by this nonprofit, the Life Options, Vocational and Resource Center (LOVARC), which demonstrated a positive outlook, a truly compassionate effort, and a deep involvement in each stage of compliance to the standard. In fact, LOVARC embraces this work ethic every day supporting enlisted personnel at Vandenberg Air Force Base, located near Santa Barbara, in Lompoc, California. LOVARC manages a full food-service operation for the 30th Space Wing headquartered at Vandenberg, doing everything from receiving raw goods to preparing food and cleaning up.

Matthew Kopecky’s default image

By Matthew Kopecky

 

 

10 Steps to Creating a Culture of Quality

 

• Guarantee that processes are controlled across the entire supply chain.

• Create a risk-based system for gauging and ranking suppliers.

• Realize that quality problems always exist.

• Implement proper escalation procedures.

• Determine the root causes of issues in the supply chain.

• Apply effectiveness checks in a closed-loop system.

• Ensure companywide corrective and preventive action policies.

• Institute a proper process for customer complaint and inquiry management.

• Identify customer needs and resolve issues for continuous improvement.

• Eliminate the disconnect between C-level management and quality controllers.

 

D. Z. Sokol and Robert Morris’s default image

By D. Z. Sokol and Robert Morris

The current economic downturn may have reduced a company’s business, but it has not reduced the requirements associated with doing business. This is particularly true for the numerous activities associated with technical data interpretation and application. For example, although the quantity of parts to be produced may be significantly less than last year, everything associated with the technical data package must still be addressed. This includes reviewing the constituent documents to determine accuracy and completeness, setting up first article inspections, generating manufacturing process plans, and so on.

In this period of reduced resources, there is even less margin for error. This means that those companies that get it right the first time have a distinct competitive advantage over those that can’t. The former are more productive, more cost-efficient, better able to meet schedules, and more valuable to their customers who are being whipsawed by rapidly changing economic conditions.

Quality Digest’s picture

By Quality Digest

Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2008 ISO Standards Software Directory. The software that these companies create or distribute will help you to achieve or maintain registration to various quality standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The software products are designed to support the diverse needs of companies large and small, not only in compliance to standards, but in continuous improvement in areas of interest and industries such as: aerospace, analytical tools, benchmarking, consumer protection, corrective actions, customer satisfaction, data gathering, documentation management, energy, environmental issues, federal government agencies, going green, hazardous waste, health and safety, measurement process, process performance, return on investment, supply chains, value-adding methods, and more. If your needs concern any of these, take the time to contact these companies, and you may not need to look any further.

As with all of our directories, this guide is intended as a starting point to help readers choose the right solution for their needs. Quality Digest hasn’t evaluated, nor do we endorse, any of the products listed in this directory. Good luck finding the software solution to fit your needs.

S. Bala’s picture

By S. Bala

 

Enterprise resource planning (ERP), and the multimillion-dollar technology platforms that have become synonymous with it, are the stuff of which out-of-this-world management ambitions are born. The excitement generated from testing the technical boundaries of ERP is admirable, if only for what it implies about a company’s passion for innovation. Often, however, the excitement short-circuits rigorous analysis of whether such innovations may be appropriate targets.

My years as a process-reengineering consultant have revealed the danger in this impetuous overreaching. I’ve personally analyzed best-in-class ERP systems that have been online for more than a decade. Each instance--a half-dozen, all told--involved billion-dollar global enterprises, all of which were focused on very different industry sectors. In all those cases, heavy investment in ERP failed to deliver the initial liftoff in organizational transformation that was anticipated.

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By Robert Morris

Product integrity occurs when performance, schedule, and affordability converge throughout the product life cycle. The first critical stage in realizing product integrity happens early in the product life cycle during design and development; a second and no less critical stage occurs later, during the transition from development to production. Early in the process, the relationship between design intent and process capability must be established and understood. As the design matures and transitions to production, it must be manufactured in a repeatable and affordable way by an extended supply chain. Achieving these seemingly intuitive objectives continues to be elusive for much of the aerospace and defense industry.

Craig Cochran’s picture

By Craig Cochran

So you have a customer complaint. It’s not just any complaint, but a huge one from your biggest customer. The problem affects millions of dollars in business and threatens the survival of your company. Are you going to take action? Of course! You put together a team of top players and attack it head-on.

Team members investigate the problem and perform a detailed 5-Why analysis. They start with the problem statement and ask, “Why did that happen?” repeatedly, drilling down deeper with each iteration:

Problem: There were seven data errors in reports issued to our largest customer in the last month

Why? Because lab reports are getting in the wrong project folders.

Why? Because the project numbers are written illegibly on the folders.

Why? Because the customer service representatives are rushed when preparing folders.

Why? Because there are only two representatives taking calls for all divisions.

Quality Digest’s picture

By Quality Digest


This is how our readers define quality. (Note: these definitions are straight from our database and have not been edited.)

"Quality itself has been defined as fundamentally relational:  'Quality is the ongoing process of building and sustaining relationships by assessing, anticipating, and fulfilling stated and implied needs.'

"Even those quality definitions which are not expressly relational have an implicit relational character.  Why do we try to do the right thing right, on time, every time?  To build and sustain relationships.  Why do we seek zero defects and conformance to requirements (or their modern counterpart, six sigma)?  To build and sustain relationships.  Why do we seek to structure features or characteristics of a product or service that bear on their ability to satisfy stated and implied needs?  (ANSI/ASQC.)  To build and sustain relationships.  The focus of continuous improvement is, likewise, the building and sustaining of relationships.  It would be difficult to find a realistic definition of quality that did not have, implicit within the definition, a fundamental express or implied focus of building and sustaining relationships."

Robert Palumbo’s default image

By Robert Palumbo

Making sure that measuring instruments are properly calibrated is critical to quality manufacturing operations. A gauge that doesn't read accurately and repeatably can compromise the integrity of quality control and quality assurance documentation, and destroy confidence in measuring results. At their worst, inaccurate gauges can result in the production of nonconforming parts.

Gauge calibration represents an important, if not fully appreciated, manufacturing discipline. It should be viewed as an investment. Gauge calibration is the foundation upon which a quality program can be built.

More than simple adjustment

Gauge calibration determines the deviation from the true value of the indication supplied by a measuring instrument. The results of the calibration process can be used for gauge adjustment. Calibration goes beyond simple adjustment, however. A calibrated gauge can be traced back to a master source. Traceability provides the value added to the calibration process.

Gary Nesteby’s default image

By Gary Nesteby

Tough economic times are upon us. The leaders of the Big Three automakers have to stoop to driving their own cars, our nation’s leaders have to separate themselves into two parties, and the people affected by the layoffs have to go home and lead their families through troubled times. Which do you think is the toughest job and requires more leadership?

We all accept the role as leaders of our families, churches, the neighborhood association, or perhaps the local school board. Those roles are more important to us as individuals than the roles played by Congress or the car manufacturers’ officers. It is a choice that we make personally, and this decision requires us to question not only our time commitment, but also the alignment of our personal belief system with that of the organization.