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By: Quality Digest

The American National Standards Institute has announced it’s accepting nominations for its board of directors and voting membership on policy committees.

The nominations are for terms beginning Jan. 1. All qualified BOD candidates will be referred to the board nominating committee and will be placed on a ballot for a vote by ANSI members. Candidates must either be corporate officers or provide a letter stating that their company or organization will support the candidate’s participation. This requirement doesn’t apply to ANSI individual or government members. A biographical statement must also be provided.

Board member responsibilities include the approval of such fundamental issues as the strategic direction of the Institute and the annual budget, along with a variety of other duties. Voting membership of the Institute’s policy committee is limited to approximately 30 members.

All nominations must be received by Sept. 24. For more information or to learn more about the nomination process, visit www.ansi.org.

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By: Quality Digest

The National Quality Institute recently announced three gold trophy winners of the Canada Awards for Excellence.

The awards, which are the most prestigious quality awards in Canada, were given to the following companies:

  • DaimlerChrysler Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers—CAE Healthy Workplace Gold Trophy
  • Delta Hotels—CAE Healthy Workplace Gold Trophy
  • Polywheels Manufacturing Ltd.—CAE Quality Gold Trophy

“These organizations have demonstrated unparalleled excellence in their management practices,” says Cameron Hyde, NQI chairman and senior vice president North America agent operations for Xerox Corp. “Their investment in quality processes and healthy workplace practices have enabled them to turn in enviable performances in 2004.”

Canada Awards for Excellence have been presented annually since 1984 to private companies of all sizes displaying outstanding performance in quality and the promotion of a healthy workplace. To receive the awards, organizations must meet NQI criteria and document their overall achievements and results.

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By: Quality Digest

More than 150 American and Chinese government and private sector standards experts attended a workshop in Beijing Aug. 18 and 19.

The event was hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce and China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, and focused on encouraging greater cooperation in the development of international standards, enforcement and conformity assessment. The U.S. delegation included 70 representatives.

The workshop addressed industry concerns that standards can be used as technical barriers to trade. It was organized at the request of several private American companies and resulted from agreements reached at the 15th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce Trade meeting held in April by Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi.

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By: Quality Digest

A new partnership between Romer CimCore and Arc Second Inc. highlights the rapidly growing acceptance of indoor global positioning systems as the measurement technology of the future.

Taking coordinate measurement beyond traditional approaches, Romer CimCore, Metrologic Inc and New River Kinematics recently unveiled the new products and software at the 2004 Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference. The new products use Arc Second Inc.’s new Indoor GPS technology.

By providing a factorywide coordinate frame, the technology allows free movement to providers of robotic systems, measurement instruments, material handling equipment and other devices. With Indoor GPS, awkward and unwieldy approaches to leapfrogging are becoming things of the past.

“We are excited to see the momentum of Indoor GPS growing within the metrology customer base,” says Edward Barrientos, Arc Second Inc. president. “The growing interest of other metrology solution providers in incorporating Indoor GPS is also extremely exciting.”

For more information, visit www.arcsecond.com.

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By: Shellye Archambeau

"Quality is never an accident, it is always the result of an intelligent effort"
—John Ruskin (1819-1900)

A manufacturing company had annual sales of $250 million. Its quality department calculated the total cost of repair, rework, scrap, service calls, warranty claims and write-offs from obsolete finished goods. This aggregated cost, called cost of poor quality (COPQ) amounted to 20 percent of the annual sales. A 20 percent COPQ implied that during one day of each five-day workweek, the entire company spent time and effort making scrap, which represented a loss of approximately $200,000 per day.

Experts have estimated that COPQ typically amounts to 5-30 percent of gross sales for manufacturing and service companies. Independent studies reveal that COPQ is costing companies millions of dollars each year, and its reduction can transform marginally successful companies into profitable ones. Yet most executives believe their company's COPQ is less than 5 percent, or just don't know what it is. All levels of executives recognize that quality is an absolute necessity to survive and succeed in today's business environment. The figure below provides a framework for calculating COPQ as a percentage of sales.

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By: Quality Digest

National Technical Systems Corp. recently purchased a world-class telecommunications product testing laboratory in Calgary, Canada. It’s the company’s third testing facility abroad.

The 14,000 sq. ft. lab includes state-of-the-art chambers, test equipment and instrumentation, and is equipped for advanced radio testing and certification of wireless products, product safety and mechanics.

“Although this laboratory is presently small compared to other NTS operations, it represents a key milestone in our strategic global expansion plan to acquire additional international laboratories that allow us to market our services globally,” says Jack Lin, NTS chairman and CEO. “It also compliments our expanding services and technology in wireless product certification testing.”

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By: Quality Digest

The American Productivity & Quality Center and Fusion Productions recently announced a collaboration to strengthen organizations’ virtual communities and communities of practice (CoPs).

Through the joint offering, organizations and associations can enrich the value they provide their community members by using best practices and guidance from APQC, combined with Fusion’s community software. Specifically, participants will learn how to:

  • Build a business case for a CoP.
  • Design how a community should be managed.
  • Train leaders and employees on how to run CoPs successfully.
  • Develop metrics for measuring the return on investment.
  • Deploy the market’s most popular and easy to use community software.

“Many groups have launched virtual communities that have fallen short because the groups have not appropriately addressed the people and prospects aspects,” says Wesley Vestal, APQC senior knowledge management consultant. “By working with Fusion, APQC can help communities to develop a community strategy and sustain communities by using best practices to enhance the community member experience.”

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By: Quality Digest

Original equipment manufacturers and end users think similarly about how to improve their relationships, according to a new study conducted by Rockwell Automation and Penton Media Inc.

The study, based on interviews with 582 OEMs and end users, compared the two groups’ views on important relationships issues like design cycle responsibilities, buying behaviors and communication channels. It revealed that the groups have similar views in several areas. For example, 85.3 percent of end users and 86.3 percent of OEMs believe OEMs are a primary source of good industry trend advice.

The most divergent responses pertained to questions about procurement costs. Almost 95 percent of OEM respondents believe end users tend to choose machines and components based on lowest cost, while only 78 percent of end users agree with this statement.

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By: Quality Digest

The American Society for Quality has announced it’s seeking applicants to serve on its board of directors for 2005-06.

The ASQ nominating committee will accept applications from senior, fellow and honorary members for the following positions: president, vice president, treasurer and national director. There are two openings for the national director position. Applications are due Oct. 15, and the terms begin July 1, 2005.

Interested parties are encouraged to review the application process at www.asq.org.

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By: Quality Digest

In an effort to strengthen the automotive supply chain, the Automotive Industry Action Group will offer crisis management and business recovery training.

The emergency response training is the first of its kind in the automotive industry, says Andrew J. Cummins, executive director and CEO of AIAG. It became available on Aug. 3.

“As recent crises suggest, the supply chain is vulnerable,” Cummins says. “A domino effect in the supply chain may be created when disruptions occur at any single point.”

The crisis management process was developed by DaimlerChrysler Corp., Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. in cooperation with suppliers to help the industry save millions of dollars a year. The group urges suppliers to develop plans for crisis management, citing that many organizations now require suppliers to have them.

A recent study by Michigan State University, “Effective Practices for Business Continuity Planning in Purchasing and Supply Management,” found that companies are courting disaster if their business continuity plans fail to ensure supply chain continuity. Furthermore, the findings suggest that supply chains are increasingly fragile.