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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 2009 Gauges Buyers Guide, which features more than 140 manufacturers and distributors of gauges. Each listing contains the company’s address, telephone and fax numbers, and a web address (if provided). Many of these companies supplied a list of the types of gauges that they provide, selected from a predetermined list of 35 gauge types. Please refer to the abbreviations key for these types.

We encourage you to visit our online buyers guide database at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides  for detailed descriptions of the gauge manufacturers’ and distributors’ products, if this information has been provided to us.

The products listed in this guide have been neither evaluated nor endorsed by Quality Digest . Only those companies that responded to our requests for information are listed. We hope this resource will help you find the right gauge for your specific needs.

Bill Kalmar’s picture

By Bill Kalmar

For some, Labor Day signals the end of summer as preparations for autumn and the accompanying holidays begin. As is customary in some locales, warm weather clothes, including one’s white wardrobe and shoes, are returned to the closet until next spring. Children and students go back to school, much to the delight of their parents, and hopefully to the excitement of their teachers.

Chances are one of the kids’ first assignments will be to draft a report on the activities of their summer vacation. Not to be left out of this assignment, I thought it appropriate that I pen a few lines about one of our recent trips. There were no death-defying rides on some monster roller coaster, no surfing in shark-infested waters or aerial descents with a parachute from a plane, just a sensible trip to Chicago for my wife and me.

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By Quality Digest

 

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Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2008 SPC Software Directory featuring 93 companies that responded to our requests for information. These companies produce or distribute software applications assisting with ANOVA, capability analysis, control charting, data mining, DOE, FMEA, gauge R&R, regression analysis, reliability analysis, and similar functions. If provided, descriptions of their products can be found at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides .
As with all Quality Digest guides, the 2008 SPC Software Directory is in no way meant to endorse or exclude any specific organization. Rather, it should be used as the starting point in the data-gathering process. Readers are encouraged to contact these companies directly for more information.

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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 Dennis R. Arter

Three basic evaluation methods exist for any work activity: inspection, compliance auditing and management auditing. The first method, inspection, measures a process's output against certain characteristics. These characteristics, generally identified as form, fit and function, are specified, and the process output either possesses those characteristics or it doesn't. As a result, an inspection's outcome is always binary: pass or fail.

Hans Ericsson’s picture

By Hans Ericsson

We’re all aware of the importance of safety testing for medical products, both for implantable devices and external devices used to monitor or sustain us when we’re in the hospital. In the past, emphasis has been on the hardware-safety aspects of external medical equipment. Are they foolproof? Are there built-in safety mechanisms that prevent the device from causing harm through electrical shock or other forms of electrical or electronic malfunction?

Until a few years ago, little thought was given to the software that is an increasingly crucial part of these devices. Over time, however, the software that controls many electronic diagnostic and life-critical electronic equipment has grown in importance, to the point where a software failure could be just as catastrophic, and life threatening, as a hardware failure. A software crash on your laptop simply means a reboot. A software crash on a piece of equipment helping to keep a patient alive is another problem altogether.

Fortunately, the issue has not gone unnoticed. In 2006, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) published IEC 62304--“Medical device software--Software life-cycle processes.”

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By Quality Digest

 

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Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2008 Vision Systems Directory, featuring information for organizations that manufacture or distribute vision-/optical-based measurement equipment. This guide presents an alphabetical listing of 121 companies that responded to our requests for information, including the company’s contact information (address, phone number, fax number, and web address). Descriptions of their products can be found at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides .

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By Quality Digest

 

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Registering to the appropriate quality management stand­ard—and maintaining that registration—is probably the best way to ensure that your organization is serious about improvement. There are standards for practically every industry in the world, in manufacturing as well as service environments. The path to registration can be a long one; fortunately, there are professionals to make the journey a bit easier.

The following section contains two directories. The Registrar buyers guide will help you find the right company to register and audit your organization’s compliance to various standards. These organizations can ease your journey toward the successful implementation of standards for quality management, social accountability,
environmental management, FDA requirements, and others. This section also includes the ISO Standards Consultants buyers guide, which can help you find the right consultant to lead you through the often-complex registration process, particularly for ISO 9001, the world’s most recognized quality standard.