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WCBF will hold a Six Sigma conference in Las Vegas this October, the company recently announced.

“Successfully Implementing Six Sigma in Service and Transactional Environments” will be held Oct. 19-21 at the Venetian. It is being billed as the premier conference for expert advice supported by practical case studies on Six Sigma deployment for the service and transactional fields.

WCBF estimates that upward of 200 senior executives will attend the conference. It will feature a keynote address from John Maar, director of Six Sigma services at Motorola University, along with presentations and workshops by dozens of Black Belts, Master Black Belts, CEOs and quality consultants. Topics to be covered include the integration of lean principles into a Six Sigma methodology, sustaining ongoing improvement efforts and establishing a corporate culture that nurtures the Six Sigma approach.

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A book published this month details how organizations can use lean management tools to improve productivity by 400 percent.

In The Complete Lean Enterprise: Value Stream Mapping for Administrative and Office Processes (Productivity Press, 2004), authors Beau Keyte and Drew Locher contend that much of the untapped potential for improvement in an enterprise’s productivity lies in its nonproduction areas. Most companies that use lean principles, they say, do so only in their manufacturing sectors, resulting in productivity increases of up 35 to 40 percent over several years. However, the authors say that 90 percent of waste-eliminating opportunities are outside of the shop floor. When lean management is applied enterprisewide, Keyte and Locher say, lean goals can be expanded to a 400 percent improvement in 10 years.

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A new partnership between NCQA and the GeoAccess division of Ingenix will provide consumers with a comprehensive listing of quality health care.

A searchable database, available on NCQA’s Web site, allows visitors to search for a physician by area of expertise, location and other criteria. Physicians with dual areas of expertise—diabetes and cardiology training, for example—are clearly identified, along with a practice history, education, office hours and other important information. To earn recognition on the site, physicians must meet rigorous quality and performance standards.

“For the past 100 years, people have chosen their doctor based on reputation, location, word-of-mouth, even last name—everything except objective data on the quality,” says Margaret E. O’Kane, NCQA president. “That era is coming to a close. NCQA physician recognition data are rapidly being incorporated into the physician directories and Web sites people use to select their doctors. As a result, you’re going to see people making better choices and gravitating toward recognized doctors.”

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Fluke Corp. is teaming up with educators to bring the latest test and measurement expertise into the classroom.

The new Fluke Education Partnership Program includes colorful graphics and a step-by-step orientation to solving real-world problems for students. The tools are combined with a theoretical curriculum, labs, demonstrations and hands-on experiments, and are available in two- to four-year educational settings and apprenticeship programs.

The curriculum is available in several modules for easy access for educators. Modules include an overview planning aid, ready-to-use classroom PowerPoint presentations, lesson materials for students and visual aids to enhance student learning.

The program is accessable on the Internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Enrolled educators receive a 25 percent discount on Fluke’s tools for use in the classroom.

For more information, visit http://support.fluke.com/educators.

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The International Federation of Standards Users will meet in Amsterdam this fall to discuss managing international standards and related topics.

Now in its 11th year, the IFAN conference will focus on boosting awareness of and compliance to international standards. More than 300 participants from around the world are expected to attend the event to exchange knowledge and share their experiences in the field of competition and standardization in a global context.

Speakers at the conference include representatives from Shell, Paccar, the World Trade Organization, the European Commission and the International Organization for Standardization. The official conference language is English.

The Netherlands Standardization Institute is hosting the event, which will be held Nov. 11-12. For more information, visit www.ifan2004.com.

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TÜV America Inc. recently announced a new subsidiary, TÜV Canada SÜD Group Inc., which will expand the global company into Canada.

TÜV Canada SÜD Group Inc. will offer Canadian companies registration services to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 13485, TS 16949, AS9100 and OHSAS 18001. The new company will also provide product inspection and testing services, product marking and certification through its parent company, mechanical and electrical product safety/registration services, and European CE marking assistance.

“The expansion of TÜV in Canada will allow our team to better serve the North American market,” says Calin Moldovean, TÜV America product director. “Combined with our ‘insight auditing’ approach to management systems registration, the bar has just been raised for registrars throughout North America.”

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Excel Partnership recently announced that it’s the first and only organization to have all three AS9100 courses for the aerospace industry accredited by the Registrar Accreditation Board.

The company’s accredited offerings will make it easier for industry employees to receive and maintain the registration that many are required to have, reports Ben Tuley, senior AS9100 instructor and Excel Partnership consultant. “Many workers and managers in the aerospace arena struggle to differentiate between an AS9100 auditor, an Aerospace Experience Auditor and an Aerospace Industry Experience Auditor and to understand the full implications of related documents such as AIR5359 and AIR5493. All our AS9100 courses address these questions, eliminating confusion and bringing clarity to our customers.”

Excel Partnership’s three RAB-accredited courses are:

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The American Association for Quality will host an exclusive two-day briefing for top Six Sigma practitioners in September.

The roundtable is limited to 150 participants to give each person greater one-on-one time with attendees and presenters, more in-depth learning and more networking opportunities. It will feature 10 presentations from Six Sigma professionals on a variety of topics, along with an on-site ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt certification exam.

The conference will be held Sept. 16-17 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Black Belt exam will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 15. A downloadable exam application is available online.

For more information, visit www.asq.org.

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Several well-known Six Sigma practitioners will speak at a September Six Sigma conference in Chicago.

Gayle J. Gibson, a Six Sigma champion at DuPont Electric and Communication Technologies, will open the Worldwide Conventions and Business Forums-sponsored conference with a keynote presentation entitled “Increasing and Sustaining Growth Through Successfully Deploying Six Sigma Within Sales and Marketing Functions.” She has extensive experience in Six Sigma’s deployment in market development and sales effectiveness. She will discuss the following:

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Rath & Strong recently introduced its Lean Booster course, a system designed to supercharge existing Six Sigma programs.

The company reports that organizations will see results from the course teachings within two weeks—without starting over from scratch. Lean Booster is designed to teach students how to ferret out hidden waste and nonvalue-adding activities, generating a continuous flow throughout the entire value stream system. It’s getting rave reviews from clients, according to Rath & Strong.

Offered as either a one-week course for awareness or a two-week course for application, Lean Booster is structured to: