The NSS, which ANSI approved on Aug. 31, builds on the strengths of the U.S. system by proposing a set of strategic and tactical initiatives within that framework which can be used by all interests to meet national and individual organizational objectives. The initiatives are designed to reaffirm traditional strengths such as sectorally based (private vs. public) standards, consensus, openness and transparency while giving additional emphasis to speed, relevance and meeting the needs of public interest constituencies.
"The purpose of a national strategy is to succeed in a changing world while maintaining the strengths that have served us in the past," asserts Stephen P. Oksala, chairman of ANSI's National Issues Committee. "We face new challenges in health, safety, consumer issues and protection of the environment as well as in the explosion of world trade and rapid changes in technology and communications. Voluntary, private-sector standards are increasingly being used for both market and regulatory purposes. As other regions of the world promote their own technologies and practices, the United States must 'step it up' to be competitive."
ANSI Acting Chairman Oliver R. Smoot presented the NSS at a Sept. 13 hearing before the House of Representatives' Science Committee Subcommittee on Technology. "Implementation of the NSS will significantly enhance the competitiveness of the United States and will improve our nation's ability to provide for the safety, health and environmental protection of our citizens," he testified. Smoot called the development of the NSS "the single most important issue addressed by ANSI in the past two years."
"The United States has a proud tradition of developing and using voluntary stand-ards, created through an open process of consensus, to support the needs of our citizens and the competitiveness of U.S. industry," says Mark W. Hurwitz, president and CEO of ANSI. "We are proud that ANSI, as coordinator of the U.S. standards system, has brought together public and private sector interests to make this happen."
The NSS dates back to 1998, when the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) challenged the U.S. standards community to develop a national strategic approach to advance U.S. interests at the international level. That same year, ANSI and NIST co-hosted a standards summit, which more than 300 participants representing various industry sectors and public and private interests attended.
Since that September summit, a series of white papers and workshops have helped to define the shared principles, needs and goals. From those materials and events, a team of industry, trade and professional society members, consumers, and the federal government produced the NSS.
"This may seem like a long time, but standardization in the United States is
very different in different industry sectors," observes Oksala. "This is one of our greatest strengths--a sector-driven approach that does not rely on top-down direction and cookie-cutter structure--but it does take time to find common ground."
For more information, contact ANSI by calling (202) 293-8020 or faxing (202) 293-9287. Information is also available on the ANSI Web site at web.ansi.org/public/nss.html , along with a downloadable version of the NSS.
Not all experiments are created equal, so the authors of a new book have developed an easy-to-follow four-step set of directions to ensure that experiments are designed to run as well as possible.
"A good experiment provides the information to meet our needs with the most efficient use of resources," say Michael R. Beauregard, Raymond J. Mikulak and Barbara A. Olson in their new book Experimenting for Breakthrough Improvement. Enter design of experiments (DOE).
DOE is a vitally important family of statistical improvement tools. Unfortunately, DOE has often been synonymous with complicated statistics. The new workbook aims to end that. Included in the book are detailed explanations of the four steps of planning an experiment:
Clearly setting the objective of the experiment: What specifically do you want to prove, confirm or learn about?
Defining the process boundaries: What people, materials, methods, equipment and environments affect the objective?
Establishing what matters and how to measure it: How will the results of the series of tests be determined?
Planning the sequence of tests: What experimental strategy will be used to conduct tests?
Experimenting for Breakthrough Improvement's 16 chapters include explanations on screening experiments, full and fractional factorial experiments, response surface analysis, evolutionary operations and mixture experiments. Also included are worksheets and reference tables that aid in setting up and conducting DOEs.
For more information, call Resource Engineering at (800) 810-8326 or visit www.reseng.com .
I n response to the formidable popularity of Six Sigma quality systems, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is offering several new Six Sigma programs.
"SME is on the cutting edge with these programs," says John McEachran, director of SME's Continuing Education & Professional Development Division. "We know that quality is a major consideration of every manufacturer, and by offering these events, SME is encouraging companies to apply the Six Sigma principles to dramatically impact their bottom line."
"Applying Six Sigma Practices in Manufacturing," a five-step quality improvement business strategy series, will take place in Romulus, Michigan. It consists of the following courses:
Six Sigma Overview, Dec. 4
Measurement Systems Assessment, Dec. 5
Statistical Process Control, Dec. 6
Design of Experiments, Dec. 7
Applied Statistics, Dec. 8
SME also offers nine online Six Sigma courses: five in the "Green Belt" series and four in the "Black Belt" series. Information about these courses is available through the SME Continuing Education & Professional Development Division, (313) 271-1500, ext. 2115, or (e-mail) firstname.lastname@example.org .
SME last month launched its newest technical program, Six Sigma Manufacturing Challenge 2000, in Romulus. The two-day Oct. 11 quality improvement clinic was preceded by an introductory course held the previous day.
Speakers at the event included representatives of Ford Motor Co., Raytheon Missile Systems, Motorola University, Advanced Systems Consultants, Acadia Inc., GE Plastics, StatPoint LLC, AEC International Inc., Control Engineering magazine, The AIT Group and Juran Institute.
To contact SME, call (800) 733-4763, fax (313) 271-2861 or visit www.sme.org. Information about all SME seminars is available at www.theleadershipsource.org .
A number of events were recently held in Washington, D.C., to celebrate World Standards Day 2000 (Oct. 18). This year's theme, "Peace and Prosperity," was carried through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) annual banquet, the celebratory launch of the recently approved National Standards Strategy, and several other ceremonies, meetings and events.
World Standards Day began as a celebration of the birth of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which held its first meeting in London on Oct. 14, 1946. From an initial roster of 25 countries, including the U.S. representative, ANSI, ISO (based in Geneva, Switzerland) now has 123 member nations and has evolved into the global clearinghouse for all standards activities.
Today, World Standards Day is sponsored annually by ISO; the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which develops international standards for the electrical and electronics industries; and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an international organization responsible for the coordination, development, regulation and standardization of telecommunications standards.
The goal of World Standards Day is to raise awareness of the importance of global standardization to the world economy and to promote its role in helping meet the needs of business, industry, government and consumers worldwide. The international event pays tribute to the thousands of volunteers around the world who participate in standardization activities. Since its initial celebration in 1970, member countries commemorate World Standards Day by organizing special gatherings and events ranging from conferences, exhibitions and seminars to film shows, TV and radio interviews, and full "standards weeks" in mid-October.
More information is available from the ANSI Web site, www.ansi.org .
The Aviation/Space and Defense Division of the American Society for Quality recently announced programs for two upcoming conferences aimed at improving quality in the sky.
The 2001 Conference on Quality in Commercial Aviation (CQCA) will be held March 25-28 in Addison, Texas. On Feb. 26-27, the Conference on Quality in the Space & Defense Industries (CQSDI) will be held in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The two-day CQSDI conference will feature two keynote speakers, one from NASA and another from the Department of Defense. A NASA astronaut will also be present to discuss quality issues concerning the industry.
The four areas of interest to be discussed by speakers and panels include: lessons-learned implementation, software quality implementation, risk-management tools and implementation, and safety and quality or-ganizational issues.
An optional Tuesday afternoon workshop is planned to run for three hours and is targeted toward several of the latest stand-ards becoming dominant in both the defense and space industries. The workshop will cover ISO 9000:2000, AS9100 and CMM-1 from Carnegie Mellon.
Speaking at the March CQCA conference will be Thomas E. McSweeny, the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) associate administrator of regulation and certification; Clayton M. Jones, president of Rockwell Collins; and Stephen C. Gooddall, president and COO of J.D. Power and Associates, who will address J.D. Power's Airline Customer Satisfaction Study as it relates to quality and safety.
Planned panels will discuss "The Quality and Cost Balancing Act in the Aerospace Supply Base," "Quality Standards Within Alliances" and "Design Quality." An FAA panel will consider updates on organization designation authorization, shifting resources to safety critical programs, suspected unapproved parts, flight safety critical aircraft parts and cargo operations maintenance of containers.
A panel session on "Best Practices" will discuss the constantly advancing state of the art in material, process and integration technologies. The panel will include a number of experts who will explore the application of innovative techniques in the aerospace industries, such as progress in bar coding of aeronautical parts, part marking and regulations, using e-commerce, and applying lean manufacturing principles in aerospace.
How do best-practice companies get the most out of customer satisfaction? They let it drive the organizational decision-making processes, according to a new survey by the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC).
The survey, "Using What Customers Value to Guide Your Business," recognizes AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel Networks, WesTrac Equipment and Butler International Inc. as best-practice companies that have found innovative ways to effectively use customer value analysis and have made customer value a key factor in decision making throughout their organizations.
"Customer value analysis takes customer satisfaction and loyalty a step further," explains Ron Webb, APQC's director of collaborative learning. "It's really a ratio of the quality of a given product or service and the price it's offered at. What's factored into customer value that customer satisfaction and loyalty leave out is the competition; simple customer satisfaction won't sustain return sales if the competition offers something better for less."
Those companies recognized use the customer value analysis data to manipulate marketing messages, sale price and their product or service to increase customer value and thus expand their market share.
Best-practice companies view their customer value analysis systems as formal extensions of their customer satisfaction processes. "The true value of Butler's participation in this lies in the knowledge we gain for continuous process improvement, which leads to improved performance overall," says Edward Kopko, Butler chairman and CEO.
"Superior customer value is the best leading indicator of market share and competitiveness," says study adviser Bradley Gale, president of Customer Value Inc. "And market share and competitiveness, in turn, drive the achievement of long-term financial goals such as profitability, growth and shareholder value."
Results of this project are available for sale to members of APQC's International Benchmarking Clearinghouse. The report will be available to nonmembers Feb. 22, 2001. For more information, contact APQC at (800) 776-9676 or visit www.apqc.org .
During its recent 2000 International Conference and Exposition held in Dallas, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) presented its 1999 Champion of Workplace Learning and Performance Award to Robert W. Galvin, former CEO of Motorola Corp.
Galvin, now chairman of the company's executive committee, spearheaded Motor-ola's development of Six Sigma quality and mandated that 1.5 percent of payroll be devoted to training. Within two years, he raised that percentage to 2.4. "By the mid- to late 1980s, training came to have the greatest single impact on the quality and competitive performance of the corporation," explains Galvin. Motor-ola's commitment to training is ongoing; the corporation increased the payroll percentage devoted to training to 5 percent in 1999.
Galvin launched the Motorola Training and Education Center more than a decade ago and set his sights on achieving a tenfold increase in quality in just five years. Now expanded into Motorola University, it's the best-known and most widely benchmarked corporate university in the world, with sites in 21 countries on six continents.
"Bob Galvin is a true champion of employees being an integral part of the organizational success," says Tina Sung, president and CEO of ASTD. "He set the corporate standard for investing in education and has demonstrated that training and development pay off in productivity, performance and quality."
In addition to Galvin's recognition, Excellence in Practice Awards and Citations were presented for 27 outstanding workplace learning and performance programs implemented within 22 organizations worldwide. Programs in nine categories (career development, electronic learning technologies, managing change, organizational learning, performance improvement, technical training, training management, valuing differences, and workplace learning and development) were recognized.
Established in 1944, ASTD's membership includes more than 70,000 people in various positions related to workplace performance from more than 100 countries. More information about the organization and its award and products is available from the ASTD Web site at www.astd.org .
Theory of Constraints
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