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.

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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.

 

William H. Denney, Ph.D.’s default image

By William H. Denney, Ph.D.

“We are going to win, and the industrial West is going to lose: There’s nothing much you can do about it because the reasons for your failure are within yourselves.”

--Konosuke Matsushita  

They work tirelessly to change our world irreversibly. If they succeed at what they’re doing and aren’t challenged, our way of life as we know it will end. While we whine about our bosses, our organizations, and our government; while we do the minimum that our jobs require; while we flip-flop through the mall and watch Oprah they’re planning, learning, and executing. When we’re tucked away in our beds, tossing and turning in restless sleep, they’re even busier. They don’t seem to tire; their passion is relentless. To them, weekends and holidays are inconsequential in their desire to have what we have.

We’re at war, but we seem oblivious to it. Our children’s future, our families, even our liberties are at risk, but for now, apathy is our primary defense. Secure in our ignorance of what’s happening far away, we think that we’re safe. But we’re not.

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By Charles Wells

Most in the electronic manufacturing services industry are acutely aware of the growing problem of counterfeit and substandard electronic components within the supply chain, as well as the headaches that they cause.

Although industry and governments are working diligently in addressing counterfeit abatement, you may already have one of the most useful tools in combating phony parts in place right on your production floor.

Chris Eckert’s picture

By Chris Eckert

Manufacturers’ efforts to do more with less have resulted in purchasing departments sourcing cheaper products and parts, often from overseas. Such cost-cutting certainly makes purchasing look good to management. But the effect on quality professionals may be just the opposite: product or part defects, malfunctions or undesirable side effects, not to mention the challenge of producing high-quality end-products within narrow timelines and budgets. Many sleepless nights are a frequent outcome.

Because cost cutting and global sourcing are here to stay, how can quality professionals combat these monumental challenges? Root cause analysis (RCA), when fully utilized, can eliminate defects in your operations as well as defects that you inherit from suppliers, ultimately helping to maintain a satisfied and engaged customer base.

Terri D. Lind’s picture

By Terri D. Lind

Energy generation is a multifaceted industry comprising dozens of major discrete technologies and thousands of companies. For reasons that are at once political, economic, and environmental, the energy industry occupies a central place in modern human society, and it will for the foreseeable future.

Alternative energy resources, such as photovoltaic modules and wind turbines, represent a particularly fast-growing segment of the industry. This article will look at this sector from the perspective of quality assurance and safety testing, two extremely important concerns for producers, as well as consumers, of alternative energy.

Mark Ames’s picture

By Mark Ames

The last few years have provided ample evidence that control of food safety is critical. Recent media reports have clearly documented supply chain shortcomings that have threatened consumers’ health and safety. These ongoing problems and the need for consumer safety cry out for additional tools to dramatically reduce or eliminate risks.

Milestones in U.S. Food and Drug Law History

 

1883
Dr. Harvey W. Wiley becomes chief chemist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Campaigning for a federal law, Dr. Wiley is called the “Crusading Chemist” and “Father of the Pure Food and Drug Act.”

 

1906
The original Pure Food and Drug Act is passed by Congress on June 30 and signed by President Theodore Roosevelt. The Meat Inspection Act is passed the same day.

 

William A. Stimson, Ph.D.’s default image

By William A. Stimson, Ph.D.


One of the most important objectives of an internal quality audit is measuring the effectiveness of an organization's quality management system. For this to happen, executive management must first meet its overriding responsibility of establishing and maintaining a system regarding quality policy, goals, resources, processes and effective performance--including monitoring and measuring the system's effectiveness and efficiency.

ISO 9001:2000 delineates this responsibility into three distinct areas: 4.1 General requirements, 4.2 Documentation requirements and 4.3 Quality management principles. If an organization's executive management isn't active in these three areas, then they won't be addressed and the quality system will be ineffective. Let's look at them one at a time, first in terms of their meaning and then as auditable characteristics.

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By Rich Burnham

During the 1920s, a British statistician named Ronald Fisher put the finishing touches on a method for making breakthrough discoveries. Some 70 years later, Fisher's method, now known as design of experiments, has become a powerful software tool for engineers and researchers.

But why did it take engineers so long to begin using DOE for innovative problem solving? After all, they were ignoring a technique that would have produced successes similar to the following modern-day examples:

• John Deere Engine Works in Waterloo, Iowa, uses DOE software to improve the adhesion of its highly identifiable green paint onto aluminum. In the process, the company has discovered how to eliminate an expensive chromate-conversion procedure. Savings: $500,000 annually.

• Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York, learns via DOE software that it needs only to retool an existing machine instead of making a huge capital purchase for a new one. The solution means improved, light-sealing film-pack clips used by professional photographers. Savings: Setup time drops from eight hours to 20 minutes; scrap reduces by a factor of 10, repeatability increases to 100 percent and $200,000 is not spent on a new machine.

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By Nicolette Dalpino

 

What is quality? An academic definition of quality as it relates to business might be that quality is a product or service that consistently has zero defects, conforms to particular specifications, and is satisfactorily received by the customer. Another aspect of quality is that it is a thought process sought out by organizations to create an overall drive toward efficiency, the reduction of waste, and the continual creation of more streamlined management processes.

“Unlike twenty years ago, when the quality department was viewed as the creator of quality, now the whole concept is more ingrained into the culture of organizations,” says Ron Atkinson, past president of the American Society for Quality. “Quality is created by the people performing the function, whether it be assembling a Bluetooth device or filling out an intake form at a medical clinic. Therefore, a culture of quality is emerging in which the leadership of organizations is emphasizing that the functional areas are responsible for quality in the same way that they are responsible for manpower costs, etc.”