Alexander Mirza’s picture

By: Alexander Mirza

As a double immigrant who worked his way through high school and university, I’m a big believer in the lifelong benefits of working on the front line of a service business early in life.

One of my first front-line jobs was in the retail sector working at one of the biggest sports stores in Toronto. This job taught me how to work with diverse colleagues and adjust to the grueling demands of store managers trying to hit their numbers while handling dissatisfied customers wanting a better deal.

After an initial test period, the store manager, a tough but fair French Canadian who loved the sports retail business, allocated his staff according to their talents, moving us around to the departments where we performed best. He also had an eye for talent. He was particularly interested in quick learners who could conquer a complex department like ski equipment or hockey skates and outsell others. Looking back, he managed an informal talent marketplace in one of the world’s most diverse cities extremely well. It was an incredibly diverse meritocracy: Jamaican kids rose from selling track shoes to managing winter sports, and women moved from apparel to assistant manager roles overseeing budgets and purchasing.

Abdul Salam’s picture

By: Abdul Salam

Water is the most essential resource for life, for both humans and the crops we consume. Around the world, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of all freshwater use.

I study computers and information technology in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, and direct Purdue’s Environmental Networking Technology (ENT) Laboratory, where we tackle sustainability and environmental challenges with interdisciplinary research into the agricultural internet of things, or Ag-IoT.

The internet of things is a network of objects equipped with sensors so they can receive and transmit data via the internet. Examples include wearable fitness devices, smart home thermostats, and self-driving cars.

Corey Binns’s picture

By: Corey Binns

You don’t need to fly all the way to Hawaii to find your happy place. You might not need to go any farther than your desk chair.

If employees see opportunity for change in both themselves and their jobs, and they put in the time and effort, happiness awaits, according to new research by Justin Berg, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Berg counts himself a big fan of Stanford professor of psychology Carol Dweck and her foundational work exploring the benefits of adopting a growth mindset. Her findings are simple yet empowering: When we believe that we can develop our abilities and traits to produce our desired results, success tends to follow. But all too often, people underestimate how much they can grow, stifling their potential. Dweck and her colleagues have amassed a body of work that has found that, under certain conditions, a growth mindset can change one’s life for the better.

Megan Wallin-Kerth’s picture

By: Megan Wallin-Kerth

Leadership is a topic that garners interest from many but is rarely outlined in both tangible and personal terms. For instance, while one person may lay out the metrics of success within their company, the next prefers to talk about the interpersonal dynamics of instilling trust in a team. Jessica Gomez, founder and CEO of the chip-manufacturing company Rogue Valley Microdevices, touches on both.

In an exclusive interview with Quality Digest, Gomez shares her thoughts on what makes an effective leader in her industry. Her rare combination of life experience, personable candor, and razor-sharp practicality makes her a formidable presence in the manufacturing industry.

“There’s a lot involved,” she says of good leadership. “I mean, having good judgment is really important, and then also being able to put aside your personal beliefs—or your personal relationships, in some cases—to do what is best for your team. That’s not easy sometimes.”

Michaela Jarvis’s picture

By: Michaela Jarvis

The debate over what is lost when remote work replaces an in-person workplace just got an infusion of much-needed data. According to a study conducted at MIT, when workers go remote, the types of work relationships that encourage innovation tend to be hit hard.

Two and a half years after Covid-19 shut down offices and research labs around the world, “we can finally use data to address a critical question: How did the pandemic-induced adoption of remote working affect our creativity and innovation on the job?” says Carlo Ratti, professor of the practice of urban technology and planning, and director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab. “Until now, we could only guess. Today we can finally start to put real data behind those hypotheses.”

The MIT researchers, with colleagues at Texas A&M University, Italian National Research Council, Technical University of Denmark, and Oxford University, analyzed aspects of a de-identified email network comprising 2,834 MIT research staff, faculty, and postdoctoral researchers, for 18 months starting in December 2019. All of the emails were anonymized and examined to analyze the network structure of their origins and destinations, not their content.

Gene Kaschak’s picture

By: Gene Kaschak

Many manufacturers that adopted lean principles by applying a “just-in-time” (JIT) mindset to inventory of materials and parts have been burned, sometimes badly, by cascading supply chain disruptions. Broken links in the supply chain have created havoc, especially for smaller manufacturers.

Some have scrambled to build “safety stock” of hard-to-find supplies. Others have sought out redundant sourcing. The reality is that everything is connected in your supply chain, and those connections can be fragile when they are’nt well supported.

No, lean supply chains aren’t dead. It’s quite the opposite. When your supply chain breaks down, lean systems for the rest of your value stream system will help you deal with the issue. Solutions revolve around agility and controls, not masking inefficiencies.

Busting the myth of lean supply: It’s not just about size of inventory

Being lean doesn’t mean having little inventory; that has always been a higher-risk strategy. “Lean supply” means having a defined value of what your inventory levels should be and what risk you are willing to take on. JIT is a lean methodology that includes developing standard inventory buffers in your value stream. It requires strong relationships with suppliers so you can work with them through shortages and price increases.

Dwayne Duncum’s picture

By: Dwayne Duncum

The workplace has changed forever, having gone through a revolution similar to the Industrial Revolution. Our workplaces are diverse, complex, and frequently changing. If we take any lesson from the Covid pandemic, it’s that the way we work, where we work, and how we work have fundamentally shifted.

Likewise, we’re altering the way we manage workplace hazards. How we assess hazards, manage risks, and communicate about them and their control measures have changed. This revolution is enabled by technology, specifically mobile technology.

Why managing workplace hazards is important

Understanding workplace hazards and having effective controls for them is a basic right for all employees and the responsibility of every employer. Here are a few tips that have helped me manage workplace hazards. The goal is simple: Workplaces should be safe, healthy environments where human ingenuity and creativity can flourish.

Tip 1: Identify workplace hazards

Simplicity is the secret weapon when identifying workplace hazards. Documenting hazards is an ongoing activity, and incorporating hazard identification feedback loops into your daily activities is important.

Etienne Nichols’s picture

By: Etienne Nichols

I know what you’re thinking. You’ve got a medical device prototype that the FDA has categorized as Class I. You’re ready to push forward to manufacturing or marketing the device, since there are no formal requirements for design controls. “So why would I waste time on design controls?”

The fact is that, regardless of regulatory requirements, design controls are massively important to developing safer devices that fulfill user needs and improve the quality of life.

Don’t believe me? Here are three reasons you still should perform design controls, even if they aren’t required for compliance.

Factoring in exceptions to FDA design-control exemptions

The FDA mandates design controls in its quality system regulation (QSR) 21 CFR Part 820.30 as part of its current good manufacturing processes (cGMP). The regulation also states that design controls are required for all Class II and Class III devices, and requires manufacturers to establish, maintain, and document procedures for design controls.

Multiple Authors
By: Sam Hunter, Gina Ligon

There’s a well-known aphorism that generals are always fighting the last war. It’s a natural human tendency to focus on the kinds of threats you’re used to while playing down the likelihood or importance of some new sort of attack.

Diana Blazaitiene’s picture

By: Diana Blazaitiene

Pandemic fatigue, tense geopolitical situations, and increasing professional burnout might all lead to employees ghosting—or completely cutting off all communication without any explanation—their employers.

Syndicate content