Content By Quality Digest

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By: Quality Digest

Decisioneering Inc. recently released Crystal Ball 7, the latest version of its popular quality software solution.

Crystal Ball 7 gives users greater ability to transform spreadsheets into dynamic models that solve complicated Six Sigma problems involving uncertainty, variability and risk. It extends the previous ability of the software to provide scalable models for sharing information, statistical models, and reporting and analysis tools. The new features shorten the time required to set up models, increase ease of use and provide simple ways to interpret and communicate results.

“Crystal Ball is increasingly being used as the tool to communicate risk and variation throughout an organization’s Six Sigma and quality initiatives,” says Jim Franklin, Decisoneering Inc. CEO. “With the additional features incorporated into Crystal Ball 7, Decisioneering continues to pioneer the use of simulation and optimization in everyday business decisions.”

For more information, visit www.crystalball.com.

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By: Quality Digest

The American Society for Quality is seeking quality professionals to expand its faculty base.

Candidates should have at least five years of experience in the following areas:

  • Quality tools and problem solving
  • Statistical process control
  • Six Sigma/Master Black Belts
  • Failure mode and effects analysis
  • Human factors
  • ISO 9001
  • Lean
  • Patient safety plan development
  • Patient flow
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership development
  • Cultural change
  • Integrating technology and quality management systems

For more information, visit www.asq.org.

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By: Quality Digest

A successful peer evaluation by the International Auditor and Training Certification Association recently qualified the Registrar Accreditation Board for a new agreement to enhance worldwide recognition of auditor training courses to ISO 14001.

RAB is one of the first organizations to earn an initial four-year qualification for the EMS multilateral agreement. It’s a culmination of a series of evaluations that examined the procedures and operating practices of each participating certification body. RAB’s audit was performed by auditors from Australia and South Africa.

In addition to qualifying RAB for the new IATCA agreement, the auditors recommended a four-year extension of RAB’s qualification for IATCA’s quality management system.

For more information, visit www.rabnet.com.

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By: Denise Robitaille

I’ve long been frustrated, both as an auditor and as a consultant, by the unique exemption most organizations extend to distributors. It’s a common practice for purchasing personnel to excuse distributors from the vendor qualification requirements they apply to most of the other companies they do business with.

The defeatist notion that prevails is that distributors are impotent go-betweens, with no appreciable influence on the product. Many distributors perpetuate this view by implying, either deliberately or inadvertently, that if the manufacturers they represent are ISO 9001-registered, then the blessing somehow rubs off on them as well. Conversely, if there’s a problem with a product or the manner in which it is delivered, the fault lies not with the distributor but with the manufacturer. What ends up happening is a shell game in which no one is accountable.

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By: Praveen Gupta

Six Sigma is implemented to affect the bottom line. In a corporation, Six Sigma starts in operations then moves into design and finally supporting areas. Finance and accounting (F/A) functions are involved to monitor the financials, however, they aren’t involved in practicing Six Sigma. At Motorola, the F/A department was ones of the first to practice Six Sigma. Due to the nature of regulatory compliance, F/A departments have higher expectations for accuracy. However, improvement in F/A hasn’t been considered critical.

Six Sigma quickly brings a great deal of improvement. To improve from three-sigma to six-sigma performance levels requires more than 20,000—х improvement. Such improvement can’t happen without involving every department. In other words, Six Sigma means lots of changes and reengineering. As the pressure to improve profit margins grows, no department can afford to be excluded from Six Sigma implementation. Every department must assess its value contribution to the corporate performance. Recent studies report that businesses face the following changes or challenges in F/A departments:

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By: Quality Digest

The American Society for Quality will host its fifth Six Sigma conference in Palm Springs, California, next year.

The conference will be held Feb. 7-8 at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort and Spa. It’s designed for managers who are actively involved in the process of organizational change, development and group dynamics. ASQ reports that presenters will include representatives from Fortune 500 companies.

For more information, visit www.asq.org.

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By: Quality Digest

Planners for a January manufacturing, design and plastics exposition will feature the use of Six Sigma to enhance these industries.

It will be the first time planners of shows (the exposition is made up of five similar trade shows held simultaneously in the Anaheim Convention Center) will so thoroughly segment the conference sessions, in an effort to direct attendees to the topics most applicable to them. “New Technologies for Achieving Lean and Sigma Goals,” is one of 30 sessions that will be offered at the event.

The show will be held Jan. 10-12 and is produced and managed by Canon Communications LLC. For more information, visit www.canontradeshows.com.

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By: Quality Digest

Ixperion recently announced it’s planning to host Six Sigma conferences all over the world this fall and winter.

The conferences will examine the use of Six Sigma in different industries. The first will be Oct. 19-20 in London, and will focus on the use of Six Sigma in health care and the public sector. Speakers include representatives from the British National Health System, Royal Mail, Bedfordshire Magistrates’ Court and National Probation Service for West Yorkshire, and hospitals in Ireland and Illinois.

Ixperion’s Houston conference will focus on Six Sigma in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. It’s planned for Nov. 16-17, and will feature presentations from several major companies in the chemicals and pharmaceutical industries, including GE Advanced Materials, Alpharma Pharmacueticals, Praxair and Abbot Laboratories. It will be Ixperion’s third Six Sigma conference for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

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By: Quality Digest

The relationship between the quality of health care and patient illness is being examined in a new book.

Lean Six Sigma in Sickness and in Health, by Forrest Breyfogle and Arvind Salvekar, explores the use of lean and Six Sigma concepts in the effective delivery of health care. Through the story of Jorge Santos, a fictional hospital executive whose wife is seriously injured in a car accident, the book examines problems in an unprepared emergency room, with ineffective processes that make it difficult for his wife to receive proper care. While his wife is being treated, Santos reflects on how his own hospital avoided similar problems by implementing an enhanced lean Six Sigma improvement system.

The book isn’t intended to be an implementation guide. Rather, it uses Santos’ story to explain quality management philosophies in an easy-to-understand way.

For more information, visit www.smartersolutions.com.

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By: Quality Digest

Quality initiatives such as lean and Six Sigma save businesses upward of 10 percent of their annual revenues, according to a recently released study.

“Lean, Six Sigma & TQM Project Success: Recent Case Studies and Benchmarks,” performed by consulting firm Best Practices LLC, includes examinations of 15 case studies and input from 84 companies. Results and descriptions of lessons learned include: