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.

 

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

The quality industry offers a number of terrific events during the course of the year, but none is more informative, entertaining, and intimate than the Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference. This year’s CMSC occurs in Charlotte, North Carolina, July 21 through July 25. As always, the event is packed with activity, including a bustling exhibition hall, unique off-site events (a tour of Richard Childress Racing is included this year), and white paper presentations demonstrating the latest advances in portable coordinate metrology.

Craig Cochran’s picture

By Craig Cochran

A few years ago, we had a mysterious scratching sound in our attic. My 5-year-old daughter was terrified, and everybody’s sleep was being interrupted on a nightly basis.

“We need to do something about the noise in our attic,” I told my daughter.

“No!” she cried. “Don’t go into the attic. It’s too scary.”

I talked to my daughter, and it was obvious that the vagueness and seeming enormity of the problem terrified her. She didn’t understand the problem; thus it was overwhelming. In my daughter’s mind, the sound in the attic could be bats, snakes, ghosts, vampires, or big hairy monsters. I took my daughter’s hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze.

“I’m a little scared, too,” I told her. “But if we can learn more about the problem, I bet we can solve it.”

My daughter seemed dubious, but she agreed to help me investigate the situation. We went into the attic with a flashlight, stabbing the beam of light into the dark and dusky corners. It didn’t take long for us to figure out the nature of our problem. We saw tiny eyes and furry little faces staring at us.

“They’re just squirrels,” my daughter giggled. “They snuck into the attic.”

Lorri Hunt, Denise Robitaille, and Craig Williams’s default image

By Lorri Hunt, Denise Robitaille, and Craig Williams

Editors note: The following is an excerpt of The Insiders’ Guide to ISO 9001:2008 , which was published November 1 by Paton Professional.

As users get their first glimpse of ISO 9001:2008, the question on everyone’s mind is, “What, if anything, will our organization need to do differently?” ISO 9001:2008 focuses on changes that organizations might make to better comply with the spirit of the standard without adding, deleting, or altering its requirements. It should not result in an extensive change to existing quality management systems (QMS). The changes are minor in nature and address such issues as the need for clarification, greater consistency, resolution of perceived ambiguities, and improved compatibility with ISO 14001, which relates to environmental management systems ( EMS).

What does this mean for users? Requirements in the standard are frequently referred to as “shalls.” For the purpose of this amendment, ISO 9001:2008 provides improvements for users without adding to or removing any of the “shalls.”

Quality Digest’s picture

By Quality Digest

 

Download directory

Quality improvement is a tough undertaking for even the savviest organization. There’s no need to go it alone, however. Quality system consultants and trainers can help keep you and your organization on the right path, and ensure that you’re current in your knowledge of best practices.

On the following pages, you’ll find our Consulting and Training buyers guide. This guide include hundreds of companies that employ experts in the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program, statistical process control, Six Sigma, leadership training, quality system development, and certification, among others.

These directories are not meant to endorse or exclude any particular organization. Rather, they should be used as the starting point in the data-gathering process. Readers are encouraged to contact the companies directly for more information and to ask for—and check—references. Further information, including company descriptions (if provided to us) can be found on our web site at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides.

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


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.

S. Bala’s default image

By S. Bala

In its optimum form, Six Sigma is anything but simple or practical. Given its considerable upfront cost and ongoing complexity, it’s best viewed as a results-driven expedition of Homeric scope, one where the final destination is 3.4 defects per million opportunities. It’s not a journey for the faint-hearted. You must be seriously committed to pursuing it for the long term, or you’ll never recoup your sizable upfront investment, let alone enjoy a net return.