Content By Quality Digest

Jay Arthur—The KnowWare Man’s picture

By: Jay Arthur—The KnowWare Man

Story update 5/6/2020: The charts and some data have been updated to reflect the data available on the date this article was published.

During the Covid-19 stay-at-home order in Colorado, I've become increasingly frustrated by Covid-19 charts. Most of what I see are cumulative column charts, which don't give any real insight into what's going on. Are we really flattening the curve?

So I decided to use the state's Covid-19 statistics for Colorado and Denver county, and see what I could learn using control charts. Control charts have been around for almost 100 years. They use formulas to calculate control limits that encompass 99.7 percent of the data points. This makes it easy to monitor any process and detect process shifts and "out of control" conditions.

Source: Click image for larger view.

Michael Dehoyos’s picture

By: Michael Dehoyos

The amount of risk that one is exposed to when running a business is vast. Some risks may result in severe legal or financial trouble or cause the business to shut down. Mitigating these risks is a major aspect of successfully running a business.

Every aspect of a business has certain risk factors attached to it. Those who are in leadership roles within a company or organization must take the lead in risk identification and management. This article will summarize eight basic considerations for those who are responsible for risk management within their organization.

Senior employees must lead by example

The way culture is created within an organization has much to do with what those in senior positions will tolerate and what they will not. This can apply to any type of risk, whether it be personal safety, credit risk, liquidity risk, or operational risk. The leaders within a workplace set the standard for the rest to follow. Failure to set an appropriate standard will ultimately have undesirable consequences.

Leaders should be closely involved in the development, training, and implementation of risk management programs and protocols.

H. James Harrington’s picture

By: H. James Harrington

(Harrington Management Systems: Los Gatos, CA) -- H. James Harrington and William S. Ruggles have released their book Project Management for Performance Improvement Teams.

“We believe this book can be very valuable to you and your organization,” say the authors. “One of the highest failure rates and the most costly are projects that are averaging failure rates up to 75 percent in some environments. We encourage you to carefully read this book, pulling out the golden nuggets that apply to your organization.”

This book is in keeping with the latest revisions to Project Management Institute’s PMBOK and European Prince Standards. It details what continual improvement, change, and innovation are, why they are so important and how they apply to performance improvement—both incremental and transformative.

Julius DeSilva’s picture

By: Julius DeSilva

ISO 9001 certifications have seen a decline during the past two years, per data from ISO. Some say the standard has gotten too complicated with the introduction of organizational context, risk-based thinking, and the removal of mandatory documented procedures. Even a few of QMII’s clients have considered letting their certification lapse because conformity to the new standard was perceived as too complex.

To certify or not

Let’s begin by looking at the purpose of ISO 9001. The standard provides a framework for organizations looking to put in place a system that will enable them to consistently deliver products or services that meet their customers’ requirements and enhance their satisfaction. ISO 9001 certification is external validation that the system meets the requirements of ISO 9001. However, ISO 9001 allows organizations to use the standard and self-declare conformity without incurring the cost of certification. Many argue that there is no value in doing this. This is probably correct if you are implementing a system to meet a contractual or customer requirement. In these cases, certification is a requirement.

Del Williams’s picture

By: Del Williams

We are all familiar with flash memory storage devices, the inexpensive “thumb” drives that you stick into your laptop to store and transfer data. However, there are much more rugged industrial flash drives that perform mission-critical storage functions built into systems that you rely on almost every day. You can find these in healthcare imaging, diagnostic, and therapeutic equipment; in aerospace for jet mission data collection, unmanned aircraft base stations, in-flight wi-fi services, and flight recorders; and in transportation for controlling a locomotive subsystem, recording event data, and launching the operating system for a commercial vehicle tracking system.

Olympus’s picture

By: Olympus

(Olympus: Waltham, MA) -- With similar functionality as a standard videoscope insertion tube, the IPLEX NX working channel scope is a useful backup while offering the versatility to detect and remove foreign object debris (FOD).

A versatile tool for foreign object debris (FOD) and visual inspection

When an aircraft is on the ground due to FOD, speed and efficiency are critical for completing inspections promptly to get the asset back in service. The IPLEX NX working channel scope features six retrieval tools so that inspectors can locate FOD and remove it quickly. While some working channel scopes have limited functionality, the IPLEX NX working channel scope has similar capabilities to a standard scope insertion tube, making it an effective backup solution.

Remain comfortable during FOD removal

Using a working channel scope requires dexterity, which can be easier if an inspector has a modular, lightweight videoscope. The IPLEX NX working channel solution offers comfort and ergonomics, so inspectors can focus on their work.

ETQ LLC’s picture


(ETQ: Boston) -- ETQ, a leading provider of quality management solutions, released findings from a first-of-its-kind research study–“The State of Quality Management: 2020.” According to the survey, companies are investing more in quality as a strategic business growth initiative that brings a significant return on investment (an average 23 percent). The report also finds that poor quality is costing organizations $49 million per year on average.

ETQ commissioned the comprehensive study to uncover key trends and insights about quality management today and how it may evolve in the near future. Based on a survey of senior-level quality stakeholders in life science, food and beverage, and manufacturing firms, the study found that good quality is adding an average of $156 million, or 11 percent to bottom-line revenues (based on average surveyed company revenue of $25 million to $1 billion-plus). On the other hand, the high cost of poor quality is attributed to sweeping product recalls, with 96 percent of respondents experiencing a recall in the last five years. Results of the survey were discussed during a live webinar on April 14, 2020.

ERP Solutions’s picture

By: ERP Solutions

(ERP Solutions: Chanhassen, MN) -- ERP Solutions Inc., a world leader in advanced quality management solutions (QMS) for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, announces v. 3.0 of its QMS solution, Total Quality Control Management (TQCM). The new release incorporates additional functionality and continuing improvements to the product’s existing rich features. TQCM has been the leading quality management solution for Dynamics since it was first introduced in 2004.

TQCM has been expanded with additional languages and now includes translations for quality control plans. Integration is improved to standard D365 Human Resources for personnel certificates qualification and tracking. Quality Requirements Planning has been improved with single run frequencies that permit it to quickly apply quality scheduling against single processes for purchasing, production, and sales. Other areas include improvements to quality processes including CAPA, NCR, and customer complaints.

William A. Levinson’s picture

By: William A. Levinson

The phrase “flatten the curve” means to slow the transmission of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in order to spread the total number of cases out over a longer period of time. This will avoid overwhelming the healthcare system.1 The model is accurate as presented throughout the internet, but it also overlooks terrible dangers and enormous opportunities.

The Un-Comfort Zone With Robert Wilson’s picture

By: The Un-Comfort Zone With Robert Wilson

I was shocked to see that I had to walk through a maze of stacked pallets in order to enter the store. Then I saw a man spraying the shopping carts with some chemical, and I felt a chill run down my spine. Once I got inside, I noticed that almost everyone was wearing surgical masks and rubber gloves. It was really creepy; I felt like I was naked.

Some of the people wore pins that read: “Stay Back Six Feet, Thank you.” I saw others that read: “Keep Away from Me by 6 Feet.” I noticed that people were avoiding eye contact and some even averted their faces when I looked toward them. I wondered if it was because I wasn’t wearing mask and gloves. At one point, I cleared my throat and a woman near me jumped away.