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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.

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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.

 

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By Quality Digest

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Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2008 State Quality Awards directory. On the following pages you’ll find a state-by-state summary of available awards, contact information and award summaries, including who may apply and deadline dates. We’ve done our best to include only the information that we’ve personally confirmed, but we nevertheless recommend that you contact award administrators directly to verify important dates, requirements and other critical data.

We wish you the best of luck on your journey to quality award recognition.

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By George Pesansky

The challenge to increase productivity with fewer resources has lead to dozens of methodologies and toolkits to help organizations meet their objectives and become more profitable and effective.

One principle consistent with all those methodologies, and that makes enormous practical sense, is to leverage what you already know. This means harnessing the single greatest resource in any organization--the knowledge of its own people.

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By Quality Digest

 

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When it comes to quality software solutions, it often seems as though there’s something for everyone. Standards compliance, process simulation, and flowcharting
are just some of the solutions that exist for the intrepid explorer of higher quality. Software isn’t just being used in the boardroom, either. Increasingly, computerized systems are finding their way down to the shop floor, where real-time software programs can help ensure that processes remain controlled.

This section contains the ISO Standards Software buyers guide and the Flowcharting/Process Simulation buyers guide. These guides offer a plethora of solutions for your organization. Because there is such a wide variety of statistical process control software, we’ve given that subject its own section. Check behind the SPC Software tab for more information on providers of these solutions.

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By John Klustner

 

With multiple personal-technology devices morphing into a single product, the telecommunications industry is experiencing a quantum leap in technical evolution. The comparatively primitive cell phone of just a few years ago must now be a music-playing, video-recording, web-browsing, photo-taking, and e-mailing personal accessory that you can still use to make a phone call. Why is it, then, given all this innovation, that when you have a question about your bill it takes so long for customer service to answer?

The processes and technology found in many call centers define their customer service, and unfortunately they haven’t kept pace with the quickly changing industry and its customers’ expectations.

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By Blaine Clapper

The need for control over manufacturing processes has never been higher than in today's environment. As this need has increased, so too has the requirement for better management of the equipment used to measure and control manufacturing processes. Fundamental to managing this equipment properly is ensuring that it's correctly calibrated and maintained.

Unfortunately, while many managers are faced with managing a growing number of instruments and increased responsibility, their resources are being reduced. One popular method for minimizing the resources necessary is the implementation of commercial off-the-shelf calibration-management software (CMS).

Desirable CMS Features

 

Maintains and retrieves master equipment, calibration history and measurement data records

 

Automatically schedules future calibration due dates

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By Kevin Cacioppo

“The gulf between satisfied customers and completely satisfied customers can swallow a business.” —Harvard Business Review, November/December 1995

As markets shrink, companies are scrambling to boost customer satisfaction and keep their current customers rather than devoting additional resources to chase potential new customers. The claim that it costs five to eight times as much to get new customers than to hold on to old ones is key to understanding the drive toward benchmarking and tracking customer satisfaction.

Measuring customer satisfaction is a relatively new concept to many companies that have been focused exclusively on income statements and balance sheets. Companies now recognize that the new global economy has changed things forever. Increased competition, crowded markets with little product differentiation and years of continual sales growth followed by two decades of flattened sales curves have indicated to today's sharp competitors that their focus must change.

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By Lisa Renda

"You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” The sage who authored this axiom must have had call centers in mind.

Clearly, maintaining quality is critical in every aspect of a company’s operation, but in few areas is it more important than in the call center. The reason is simple: It is often the initial customer “touch point”--that is, one of the first areas of a business with which a customer makes contact. Accordingly, the call center carries the burden of providing a company’s first impression. Whether that impression is positive or negative can help advance the relationship with the customer or prospect--or end it before it ever really begins. Consequently, managing quality in the call center has to be considered a top priority.

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By Quality Digest

 

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Of all the quality control methodologies over the years, one practice that has endured is statistical process control. Its staying power has much to do with the fact that SPC is based on the permanence of mathematics. SPC is one of the most logical and practical ways to monitor, control, and improve your processes.

There’s only one directory in this section, but it’s an important one—the SPC Software buyers guide. In this guide, you’ll find a list of companies that provide SPC software to help with data gathering, statistical analysis, problem-solving, design of experiments, real-time charting, root cause analysis, Pareto charts, hypothesis testing, and more. Each company’s offerings differ in functions, ease-of-use, format and add-on applications, so it’s best to contact them directly for more information and demonstrations.