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By: APQC

In an effort to revolutionize the way worldwide organizations measure and improve organizational performance, the American Productivity & Quality Center recently announced a new alliance with industry leaders.

The Open Standards Benchmarking Collaborative seeks to establish, lead and promote an open, universal process framework with related performance measures and benchmark data, all created by industry and for industry. The initiative also includes the formation of an advisory council to ensure the relevancy of the group’s work. Advisory council members include representatives from the following companies: Alvarez & Marsal, Boehringer Ingelheim, Booz Allen Hamilton, CEMEX, Fuji Xerox, Gartner Consulting, IBM, PeopleSoft, Procter & Gamble, Raytheon, Shell Oil Co., the University of Texas, the U.S. Navy and the World Bank.

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By: Quality Digest

Hitachi Computer Products’ American division will replace its quality management processes with MetricStream software, the company announced recently.

The solution is currently being implemented at Hitachi’s Oklahoma manufacturing division, where it manufactures large disk storage systems.

“Our Lotus Notes-based system needed to be upgraded to support our vision for world class quality management processes and for meeting updated ISO 9000 standards,” says Gary Riggs, vice president of IT and HR at Hitachi Computer Products Inc. “Using MetricStream, we were able to implement an integrated quality management system with CAPA and training management in about three months.”

He adds the company plans to implement three additional MetricStream modules over the next few months—document management, equipment management and supplier management.

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By: Quality Digest

The International Organization for Standardization will develop a standard for social responsibility, although it will not be intended for formal certification.

The decision was made at a senior ISO management meeting this June in Stockholm, following an international conference in the Swedish capital. The conference provided a platform for stakeholders to give their views on whether ISO should address the social responsibility of organizations, and, if so, what form that assessment would take.

Stakeholder feedback was overwhelmingly positive for ISO to develop social responsibility guidelines. Because the feedback was so supportive, ISO decided a further feasibility study was unnecessary and the work should be undertaken immediately.

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By: Quality Digest

President George W. Bush recently signed into law the Standards Developing Organizations Advancement Act of 2004 (H.R. 1086), providing new shelter for standards developers from treble damage liability in current antitrust laws.

The approval amends the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, which addressed the antitrust treatment of certain joint ventures, such as standards development organizations. The new bill recognizes the assistance that SDOs provide to government agencies in developing standards for regulatory and procurement functions and allows SDOs the opportunity to submit a notice describing the scope of their work with the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission. That filing may avoid unnecessary and costly litigation against organizations that have no commercial interest with regard to the technical specifications contained in the standards. The act provides that the federal antitrust “rule of reason” apply to SDOs while they are developing standards, and limits attorney’s fees in any antitrust case challenging an SDO’s work.

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By: Quality Digest

The International Organization for Standardization recently announced a new standard to help organizations satisfy dissatisfied customers.

ISO 10002 is a standardized complaints-handling process that can be easily integrated into established quality management systems—especially ISO 9001:2000, which requires top management to focus on customer satisfaction and continual improvement. It provides instructions on the delivery of a complaints-handling process that provides responsive treatment to unhappy customers, and focuses on problem areas for improvements and cost savings for organizations.

“At the same time, the standard is complete enough for stand-alone implementation, or in support of other quality management and customer satisfaction tools,” says Bill Dee, a member of the working group that developed ISO 10002. “The standard gives complete guidance—including principles, issues for consideration and structural aspects—for the management of the overall complaints-handling process, with numerous checklists, sample forms and practical examples.”

For more information, visit www.iso.org.

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By: Quality Digest


The Registrar Accreditation Board and the Quality Society of Australasia Ltd. have agreed to form a new global personnel certification body by the end of this year.

The new organization will combine the auditor certification and training course accreditation of RAB with QSA’s auditor and specialized personnel certification and training provider programs.

“The new organization will capitalize of the strengths of both organizations,” reports Michael K. Carmody, QSA director and CEO. “In addition, it will facilitate expansion into new markets and the development of a broader international service profile.”

RAB President and CEO Robert H. King Jr. is equally optimistic about the new venture. “Combining QSA’s and RAB’s capabilities represents the joining of forces of two organizations very similar in mission, size and financial resources that are focused on serving the global marketplace,” King says.

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By: Quality Digest

An online database of standards related to homeland security is another step the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is taking to improve defense procedures.

The American National Standards Institute is combining forces with the DHS to provide a reliable resource to enable federal, state and local officials to identify, share and gather information they need to properly defend the homeland in case of newly detected or upcoming threats. “By working together, we will deliver an important and timely resource to meet the urgent needs of our nation,” said ANSI President and CEO Mark W. Hurwitz.

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By: Quality Digest

The Civil Aviation Safety Symposium has been approved for Federal Aviation Administration training credits and RUs from the American Society for Quality.

Attendance at the CASS is now FAA-approved for 16 hours under 14 CFR 65.93(a)(4) and AC 65-25BU, and meets Board of Certified Safety Professionals requirements for one COC point. Also included in the schedule of events is a three-hour FAA-approved training course. Attendees will also be eligible for 1.8 RUs, which apply to ASQ recertification requirements.

The symposium, formally the Conference on Quality in Commercial Aviation, will be held at the Westin Hotel-Galleria in Dallas Sept. 7-9. It’s sponsored by the FAA and the Aviation/Space and Defense division of the ASQ. Highlights will include:

  • What you need to know about FAR Part 145 revisions involving repair stations

  • Tools to improve cost effectiveness of service operations without compromising reliability and safety performance of aviation products

  • The transition from JAA to EASA and its effects on you

  • How to be cost-effective and productive while employing lean and CMMI principles, and the use of outsourcing

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By: Quality Digest

Relex Software Corp. recently announced that its Relex FRACAS Management System 2.2 is now available to the public.

FRACAS is an acronym for Failure Reporting Analysis and Corrective Action System. Relex 2.2 gathers and tracks failure data in a centralized database, allowing underlying failure causes to be quickly identified and corrected. By supporting three different platforms (enterprise, corporate and team), it supplies organizations of all sizes with the capability to deliver an efficient FRACAS. According to Relex Software CEO Kevin Van Fleet, highlights found in the newly released version include two new modules, a redesigned report designer, streamlined import and export wizards, interface enhancements, and performance improvements in navigation, graphing, calculations, importing/exporting and transferring data.

The two new modules introduced in this latest version are Relex Dashboard and Relex Human Factors Analysis. The former is a Web-based application designed to allow the user to see the “big picture” of a system.

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By: Quality Digest

FARO Technologies is putting its proverbial show on the road with a summer concert tour.

FARO Gage’s Screaming For Accuracy tour will visit 15 U.S. and Canadian cities this summer, along with eight cities in Europe and seven cities in Asia. Members of the media, machinists and quality control managers who attend an event will receive Gage-themed T-shirts, demo DVDs, a chance to win a $100 credit on Ticketmaster for the concert of their choice and more. Attendees can bring parts from their facilities with them to measure with a FARO Gage and then e-mail the reports back to work. Classic rock radio stations will hold live broadcasts at some of the events.

The events are all part of FARO’s effort to showcase its products and show manufacturing facilities the immediate and lasting effects its gage can have on productivity and profitability -- especially when compared to some handheld devices.