We've been hearing about the wonders of the World Wide Web for some time now. Soothsayers have long predicted that the Internet will revolutionize the way we conduct our business and personal lives. Until recently, most of these predictions proved somewhat hollow. However, the Web's increased speed, reliability and functionality finally have made it a useful tool, not just a fun toy.
For example, I now pay my bills online at my bank's Web site. Gone are the days of writing checks, addressing envelopes and licking stamps. I also use the Web to make my travel arrangements; I can check multiple itineraries, find the lowest fares and receive e-mail when fares drop. My wife uses e-mail to correspond with her sister in Germany, and I use it to keep in touch with my sister in Ecuador. When I launch my Web browser, my home page delivers the local weather, news tailored to my interests, new video releases, e-mail and even a decent crossword puzzle (www.excite.com).
How does all of this affect you, the quality professional? Aside from the growth in personal uses for the Web, a huge amount of practical, quality-related information is now available on the Web.
For example, our Web site, www.qualitydigest.com , offers the complete text of this magazine for the past three years; daily news stories; online columns by Philip Crosby, John Guaspari, and Pat Townsend and Joan Gebhardt; and our free, searchable database of more than 27,000 ISO 9000 and QS-9000 registered companies in North America.
If you're not using the Web, you're missing out on a lot of useful information and resources. My recommended quality links include:
American Management Association -- www.amanet.org
American Productivity & Quality Center -- www.apqc.org
American Productivity and Inventory Control Society -- www.apics.org
American Society for Quality -- www.asq.org
American Society for Training and Development -- www.astd.org
Association for Quality and Participation -- www.aqp.org
International Organization for Standardization -- www.iso.ch
Juran Institute -- www.juran.com
National Institute for Standards and Technology -- www.nist.gov
Quality Digest -- www.qualitydigest.com
Society of Automotive Engineers -- www.sae.org
Society of Manufacturing Engineers -- www.sme.org
In addition to a wealth of news, information, software and services, training via the Web will soon be available. The Juran Institute, for example, is developing a Web-based quality training package that will allow anyone with Web access anywhere in the world to receive the institute's quality training.
I'm curious to know how you use the Web in your quality efforts. E-mail me your favorite Web links and Web uses at firstname.lastname@example.org . I'll share as many of your Web links and stories as possible.