Content By Thomas R. Cutler

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Supply chain organizations face significant pressures resulting from global competition, shorter product life cycles, and lean economic conditions. The escalating requirements of large customers create painful challenges for those companies still tied to conventional supply-chain processes. 

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Innovative vehicle-mounted, hand-held, and wearable mobile computers must be dependable, tough, and reliable. Wireless computers extend corporate networks to mobile workers in demanding conditions and only rugged mobile computers drive down costs and improve customer satisfaction. These are quality-centric concepts.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Story update 6/03/2011: The first two paragraphs following the subhead "ISO 22000 users" were changed.  

Regulatory and standards compliance is a requirement that meets with regular resistance from CFOs and CEOs who must justify the expense. Brand protection from recalls and costly litigation is essential; ultimately avoiding catastrophic business outcomes proves less of a driver for actionable traceability than seeking enhanced profitability.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Story update 6/03/2011: The first two paragraphs following the subhead "ISO 22000 users" were changed.  

Regulatory and standards compliance is a requirement that meets with regular resistance from CFOs and CEOs who must justify the expense. Brand protection from recalls and costly litigation is essential; ultimately avoiding catastrophic business outcomes proves less of a driver for actionable traceability than seeking enhanced profitability.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is an iterative four-step problem-solving process typically used in business process improvement. It’s also known as the Deming Cycle. When W. Edwards Deming postulated this process, there was no such system as e-commerce.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Respecting a quality manager’s opinion is meaningless unless there’s enterprisewide buy-in to ideas and quality initiatives. Rarely do the individuals serving on a lean initiative, continued process-improvement team learn the scientifically proven communication techniques that will persuade others to change their perceptions about quality.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

When every product manufactured is unique, clients often accept quality risks in order to deliver the project on time. Testing time is limited by the project nature of a manufacturing process and the metrics of quality change when compared to repetitive manufacturing. “Fixed delivery times, prototype manufacturing, and small enterprises lack the staff depth to monitor quality identically,” says Dennis Parass of Burlington, Ontario-based Questica, an engineer-to-order (ETO) technology firm.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Lean theory suggests that the possibilities for quality improvement exist everywhere. Rarely does that concept translate to a damaged corrugated box in a warehouse—but it should. The cost of damaged packaging, particularly cardboard containers, is very significant in bottom-line costs (damaged merchandise, replacement, and reshipping costs) as well as negative customer satisfaction costs.