New Industry Specific Quality Certification

Article

Maness, Thomas C.; Kozak, Robert A.   (2002, ASQ)   University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Quality Progress    Vol. 35    No. 6
QICID: 18055    June 2002    pp. 65-71
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Article Abstract

The Canadian secondary wood products manufacturing industry is made up largely of small enterprises with little access to capital, a history of low-paying jobs, and a poorly educated workforce. Global competition in the sector is fierce, and quality costs are often very high. Waste and rework are common problems. Quality problems have created a strong industry awareness of the need to develop internal quality programs. The WoodMark Quality System (WQS) creates a framework for companies to continually produce high quality and consistent products and the right to display an industry-specific logo on their products as a means of promotion. Unlike quality systems featuring ISO 9000, which is too big and costly for small companies to implement, WQS is a simple and workable system that can be fully implemented in six months or less. WQS starts with a strong acceptance at the senior management level and appointment of a senior manager to oversee the program. The program is geared to building a working system that involves all employees and continually identifies critical areas in need of improvement. Customer research is critical to success. Customer feedback provides information required in determining which processes in a plant contribute most to quality costs. The constant definition, evaluation, and re-evaluation of the critical processes in the plant are vital to the WQS. Creative brainstorming is a key tool used to get everyone involved and to create an atmosphere of mutual respect. To date, two small companies have been certified by the WQS. While it is too early to see the bottom-line results, each company has effectively created a quality culture that did not exist before certification. A sidebar article provides a brief history of the WoodMark Quality System.

Keywords

Quality assurance (QA),Quality system,Small business,Brainstorming,Manufacturing,Continuous improvement (CI),Customer and market focus,Feedback,Globalization,Commitment


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