ISO 9001/9002 and 9004:2000 Advance To Final Draft Status

At a July 7 meeting in Kyoto, Japan, Subcommittee 2 (quality systems) of ISO Technical Committee 176 (quality management and quality assurance), voted to elevate the drafts of ISO 9000:2000, Quality Management Systems--Fundamentals and Vocabulary; ISO 9001:2000, Quality Management Systems--Requirements; and ISO 9004:2000, Quality Management Systems--Guidelines for Performance Improvements, to the final draft international standard (FDIS) stage.

Japan was the only participating member body (P-member) to vote negative on ISO 9001, while France cast the only "no" vote on ISO 9004. This happened despite nine votes of disapproval on each draft in balloting that concluded in April and reflects extensive work during the past several weeks to address comments provided with those votes.

The three FDISs will be edited over the next few weeks by subcommittees in cooperation with the ISO Central Secretariat and are expected to be available for ballot by the P-members in early September. The target date for issuance of the revised standards remains mid-November.

Proposed Agreement Aims To Simplify Lab Accreditation

A partnership to achieve a broadly recognized laboratory accreditation system in the United States is being proposed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Cooperation for Laboratory Accreditation (NACLA).

The goal is to simplify the processes for demonstrating that products comply with domestic and foreign requirements.

NIST says the United States has 50,000 testing laboratories and more than 100 laboratory accreditation programs. Many testing labs must undergo multiple accreditation audits to satisfy various government and industrial programs. Trade agreements create another variable.

A copy of the memorandum of understanding is posted at www.ts.nist.gov, and written comments should be sent to NACLA Comments, Office of the Director, Technology Services, NIST, 100 Bureau Dr., Stop 2000, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-2000.

DaimlerChrysler Corp. Invests In Quality Planning Software Firm

DaimlerChrysler Corp. is taking an equity stake in Powerway Inc., an Indianapolis based software company specializing in Web enabled quality planning software technology.

The automaker says it will work closely with Powerway and other suppliers to create software for automating and integrating a Web enabled advanced product quality planning (APQP) process while streamlining the production part approval process (PPAP) online.

Both APQP and PPAP are part of overall auto industry standards. Expected outcomes of the corporation's investment include creating two-way supply chain information flow in real time and enhancing communication and extended reporting capabilities among suppliers.

GE Puts Six Sigma to Work On Web Based Delivery System

The New York Times featured a major article on GE and its use of Six Sigma in its June 12 edition. The article, by Claudia H. Deutsch, discussed a Web based order and delivery system using Six Sigma methodologies, which was developed for people who buy GE products at Home Depot.

Intuition might have told developers that next-day delivery would be high on a list of lures for customers, according to Deutsch. Instead, Six Sigma methodologies, using focus groups and what-if scenarios, told them that customers placed little value on quick delivery. They cared most about softer, less measurable skills, such as a professional demeanor on the part of delivery people.

In early 1999, Jack Welch, GE chair, said he expected every GE business to have an e-commerce strategy by spring of 1999. Using Six Sigma, all GE businesses met the deadline, according to Deutsch.

Other Six Sigma studies indicated that with enough information, customers would willingly handle a lot of repair work themselves and would configure their own products without a sales representative if they had enough information.

Other analysis determined how many mouse clicks customers would be willing to make to get information, how much time they were willing to wait for illustration to download and how to set up Web based and telephone help desks.

Quebec Society Launches English Version of Quality Tools

The Quebec Society for Quality, in partnership with the province's Ministry of Industry and Commerce, has released an English version of its "Quality Management Tools" binder.

The 80 quality management tools are designed to help companies identify the best solutions for the success of continuous improvement efforts. The tools have been tested in actual company settings and are classified according to the seven management categories of an organization: leadership, information and analysis, strategic planning, human resource development and management, process management, business results, and customer focus and satisfaction.

The binder classifies the tools by level of difficulty. Methods and techniques include process analysis, management scorecard, change planning, self-directed teams, ISO 9000 standards, Six Sigma approach and customer surveys.

Conference on Bat'a System Slated for May 2001

A conference on the Bat'a System of Management and its impacts on management and entrepreneurship will be held May 16-18 in Zlin, Czech Republic.

The conference is intended to highlight the contributions to quality in business and government made by Tomas Bat'a from 1885 to 1932. Many of his quality management practices have been rediscovered during the last two decades.

Speakers already lined up include Yoshio Kondo, Homer Sarasohn, Myron Tribus and Milan Zeleny. Conference sponsors are the new Tomas Bat'a University, VUT Brno, the Czech Committee for Scientific Management and GiTy Corp.

Those who wish to present a paper or participate should fax a one-page abstract (in English) to Milan Zeleny at 212-765-5573 or e-mail it to zeleny@maryfordham.edu. Or fax it to Myron Tribus at 510-656-9875 or e-mail it to mtribus@home.com

A committee will assess all papers, and there will be a $1,000 award for the best presented paper.

Merger Creates One Large
Manufacturing Software Provider Called MWARE

The recent merger of CIMNET, Applied Statistics Inc., Advanced Systems & Designs Inc. and Realtime has led to the creation of MWARE, a manufacturing software provider.

MWARE says it is redeveloping its technology to be Web enabled and to create manufacturing tracking systems to support expanding business to business efforts.

Offerings will include Applied Stats for SPC (statistical process control), Folders and Infolink for MES (manufacturing execution system) and DNC (distributed numerical control) for machine shops.

These database products are being reworked to exchange data, permitting sharing of product and order information from enterprise resource planning (ERP) into the MES, where it can be shared with the SPC as part of each product testing plan.

Similarly, MWARE says test results can be collated with the lot records and integrated into the ERP and business to business exchanges for customers to review. 

Zumbo 0800Web Site Appearance Important
To Graduating Job Searchers

With college students now using the Internet as their primary method to conduct job searches, employers must focus on creating compelling, user friendly Web sites, according to JOBTRAK, an online job listing service for students and alumni.

More than 1,000 college students and recent graduates were asked, "How important is the quality of an employer's Web site in your decision whether or not to apply for a job with them." Following are the findings:

* Very important 44%
* Somewhat important 35%
* Not important 31%

"The results of this poll illustrate what students have been telling us on campus," said Jim Case, director, Career Planning and Placement Center, California State University, Fullerton. "Web sites have become the first step in evaluating career opportunities and potential employers for most students."

The JOBTRAK survey was posted on its home page at www.jobtrack.com. The firm says the majority of the site's traffic comes from the .edu domain or university computers.


Integral Solutions Inc., a Royal Oak, MI, provider of quality control and document software, is teaming with Management Solution Group of Grand Rapids, MI, to provide quality methodology training for manufacturers and suppliers. The hands-on training is designed to assist in the management of QS-9000 requirements, including control plans, failure mode effects analysis, production part approval process and all other advanced product quality planning functions.


Reg Blake, director and vice president, corporate development, for BSI Inc., is the newest member of the ANSI-RAB (American National Standards Institute-Registrar Accreditation Board) National Accreditation Program's Quality Management Systems Council. The council is comprised of a mix of industry professionals, registrars and users of accreditation services.


Ko Nishimura, chair, president and CEO of Solectron Corp., a Silicon Valley electronics manufacturing services company, recently received the Community Service Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice. Solectron, which offers supply chain software, had already received two Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards and more than 210 quality and service awards from customers.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards have signed a memorandum of understanding, which will pave the way for closer technical cooperation in three areas: documentary standards, conformity assessment and measurement. Planned activities are joint or cooperative programs, mutual cooperation, freer exchange of technical data and information, organization of meetings, and operation of joint training and education programs.


A new NIST guide to European Union directives, standards and procedures is available for downloading from http://ts.nist.gov/ts/htdocs/210/217/osc.htm. Called A Guide to EU Standardization and Conformity Assessment, it is numbered as special publication no. 951.


In the 2000 O'Connor Call Center Quality Assurance Benchmark Report, banking call centers again outperformed retail call centers. The O'Connor Report is a biannual survey of the financial industry's call center service quality performance. The benchmark consists of 15 of the United States' largest banks, which were each evaluated 100 times during a one-month period. The retail businesses benchmarked were Dell Computer, Merrill Lynch, L.L. Bean, Amazon.com and Lands End. The results show that both banking and retail call centers scored lower than in last year's report.

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