An Introduction to the Design Of Experiments: A Simplified Approach

Larry B. Barrentine, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 1999, 114 pp., member $21.50, list $26.50. (book)

Identifying sources of process variation as a basis for variation reduction and process improvement continues to be a critical management activity. Design of experiments (DOE) theory and practice lie at the heart of this activity. An Introduction to the Design of Experiments is like a workbook in that it provides a service by reviewing DOE procedure via a number of engaging examples.

Be aware that the author spends little time approaching DOE from a statistical theory point of view. Barrentine also doesn't include a lot of front end material trying to whip up enthusiasm for DOE. Instead, he jumps right into examples that illuminate the process and lead to conclusions about DOE. The book emphasizes practical application of the most widely used designs, such as 22, 23 and screening. I see this as a strength.

The numerous examples and tables of results help clarify what the output of DOE studies looks like. At times the kernels of wisdom regarding DOE can get lost among the details, but there are many suggestions and a lot of advice that go well beyond the specific cases.

Readers should have some DOE background before they can best use the book. Its format, content and style make it useful as a supplement to classroom training or as a practical reminder of DOE techniques and issues.

Todd A. Schultz
Augusta State University
Augusta, GA

Integrating QS-9000 With Your Automotive Quality System, Third Edition

D.H. Stamatis, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 1999, 525 pp., member $49.50, list $60. (book)

Stamatis' book helps the reader understand the myriad of requirement details embodied in the QS-9000 standard.

He pays a lot of attention to the methods and practices employed in third-party assessments in the United States and other countries. The book includes a lengthy discussion about documentation and auditing, especially the attributes required of auditors.

Stamatis discusses the basic manuals, the so-called "seven-pack," needed to structure a QS-9000 based quality management system. He also recommends an implementation strategy and project management approach, and he details 12 steps to take in implementing an ISO/QS-9000 system.

The author also speculates on the future of QS-9000 relative to the pending changes of the ISO 9000 series and the growth of the VDA 6.1 automotive standard rooted in Germany. He believes that as more standards are introduced and revised, more emphasis will be placed on management and business practices, including corporate strategy and the financial considerations of quality systems.

The book's appendixes contain an example of a 53-page quality manual, a checklist of auditing expectations by elements of the standard, a training curriculum and a list of pertinent organizations and publications.

I think the book is a must have handbook for anyone contemplating QS-9000 implementation.

Russ Westcott
R.T. Westcott & Associates
Old Saybrook, CT

Harnessing Value in the Supply Chain: Strategic Sourcing in Action

Emiko Banfield, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158-0012, 1999, 368 pp., $59.95. (book)

Harnessing Value in the Supply Chain can serve as a case study for businesses that are looking for tools to evaluate strategic options and want to understand and take advantage of opportunities in the area of supply chain management. The author is knowledgeable and provides lessons and insights along with information about strategic sourcing.

The first part of the book reveals critical success factors for a business and its strategic sourcing partners. The second part of the book acts as an actions guide that reveals how to implement strategic sourcing.

The book reflects the journey of one best in class business into strategic sourcing. The author provides excellent tips, purposes, deliverables and training workshops. Readers interested in making supply chain management work in their businesses can derive great insight from this case and determine their businesses' levels of competitive maturity.

The book acts as a useful reference that provides guidance on designing, launching and maintaining sourcing projects. It represents a cultural shift from the traditional approach. Readers may have a difficult time implementing the program in their businesses if they lack the proper knowledge, leadership, vision or supply partners. Senior executives and purchasing, materials, operations and quality leaders, however, can get a great insight into whether or not their businesses are ready for a supply chain initiative by reading the book and using its content to assess their probability for success.

John J. Lanczycki
Creative Planners
Danbury, CT


ProcessModel, Inc., 32 W. Center St., PO Box M, Provo, UT 84603, 1999, standard edition $1,695 (single user), professional edition $2,395 (single user). (software)

Simulation software has been around for a long time; however, using such software to simulate a real world process generally requires programming and statistical users to have a lot of dexterity. ProcessModel, on the other hand, is an easy and useful tool that helps users analyze an existing process and experiment and simulate the effects of process changes without getting into the nitty-gritty of actually making the changes.

ProcessModel will force users to re-examine certain processes and to recast those processes in flowchart form before any beneficial information can be obtained. The software has an excellent, user friendly flowcharting tool called "Micrografx."

The advantages of simulation software are obvious. It allows planners and decision makers to play out the effects of some "what if" questions. The "what if" questions are answered by using different parameter settings and process flow routings. It can become tedious if the user doesn't know where the optimum region for the parameter setting is. The professional version of the software comes with optimization capability, but the standard version (the version being reviewed) does not.

ProcessModel can be used for production planning and as a process improvement tool. But before this software can be used effectively, users should have a basic knowledge of simulation software.

Shin Ta Liu
Lynx Systems
San Diego, CA

The Next Common Sense: Mastering Corporate Complexity Through Coherence

Michael Lissack and Johan Roos, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 17470 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma, CA 95476, 1999, 256 pp., $25. (book)

The world we live and operate in is growing more complex and interconnected each day. In most situations, change requires adjustment, and a new common sense is needed to successfully operate in the evolving spheres. "The old common sense was an understanding of cause and effect in the complicated world of discrete events," state the authors. "The new common sense is a description of cause and effect in a world of interweavings."

Even though the authors' proposals for improving coherence are well-defined and their implementation plan is straightforward, the authors continually point out that achieving coherence is not easy. They cite failure to achieve coherence as much as they cite success.

Concepts such as the effect of the new common sense as contrasted to the previous status quo are illustrated with simple stories. The authors' intent is to stimulate thought and achieve a truer vision of what is evolving. This allows the reader to decide which goals he or she wishes to achieve and what role he or she wishes to play in the achievement.

The book will be useful to anyone responsible for leading an organization. It forces the reader to think about the concepts and come to his or her own conclusions, implementation plans and actions. After you read the book, coherence won't be any easier to achieve; it will just be easier to recognize.

Marc A. Feldman
Solvay Interox
Houston, TX

The Secret of a Winning Culture: Building High-Performance Teams

Larry E. Senn and John R. Childress, The Leadership Press, Los Angeles and New York, 1999, 192 pp., $25. (book)

The Secret of a Winning Culture is predominantly a leadership book. It approaches the problem of reorganizing corporations and changing their existing cultures by conceptualizing plans for accomplishing this objective. The leitmotifs of the plans are leadership and building high performance teams.

The authors develop their plans by applying proven strategies to reorganization. They cite highly successful reorganizations of high profile companies such as Bell Atlantic Corporation and Johnson & Johnson to substantiate the value of the approach.

Corporate managers who are considering a reorganization that includes a radical change in corporate culture can benefit by reading this book. It is not a cookbook; rather it is a guide to formulating a broad corporate plan and applying the plan to new manufacturing or marketing initiatives. The authors provide an excellent road map for what they call a "culture audit."

It's true that a large number of how-to books are available in this area. However, this book is concise, lucid and loaded with good advice, flow diagrams and charts. The authors present a convincing argument for using their approach and have an impressive track record.

William Foster
Vienna, VA

Total Quality Essentials

Sarv Singh Soin, McGraw-Hill, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, 1999, 362 pp., $50. (book)

The first thing I checked upon opening the book was Soin's inclusion of Deming. Then I searched for Juran, Feigenbaum and Crosby. While he mentions each of these gurus, Soin doesn't go into detail. For example, he neglects to include Deming's 14 points.

Then I looked at the chapter headings to determine what concepts and approaches Soin provides. He begins with the quality revolution, but rarely references Deming. In the chapter about customer obsession, he deals with complaints and satisfaction, but overlooks bottom-line profit.

Four chapters deal with the role of management, including that of the chief executive officer. Somehow as I went through the section regarding process management, I found nothing dealing with statistical process control techniques, Cpk and other key, yet basic, statistical methodologies. One of the most advanced tools I found was the basic Pareto chart.

I didn't find anything on teams or other key topics that I think are needed for today's involved quality professionals.

Ron Anjard
Anjard International Consultants
San Diego, CA


The Customer Century: Lessons from World-Class Companies in Integrated Marketing and Communications, Anders Gronstedt, Routledge, 29 W. 35th St., New York, NY 10001, 2000, 238 pp., $29.25. (book)

HALT, HASS & HASA Explained: Accelerated Reliability Techniques, Harry W. McLean, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 2000, 152 pp., member $48, list $60. (book)

Internal Quality Auditing, Denis Pronovost, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 2000, 140 pp., member $30, list $38. (book)

Practical CM: Best Configuration Management Practices, David D. Lyon, Butterworth Heinemann, 225 Wildwood Ave., Woburn, MA 01801-2041, 2000, 163 pp., $59.95. (book)

Quality and Productivity: For the Twenty-First Century, edited by William F. Fenner, Consensus Books, PO Box 1055, Strathfield, NSW 2135, Australia, 2000, 588 pp., $34.20. (book)

ISO 9001: 2000 -- An Audio Workshop and Master Slide Presentation, John (Jack) E. West and Charles A. Cianfrani, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 2000, member $120, list $150. (CD-ROM)

Average Rating


Out of 0 Ratings
Rate this article

Add Comments

View comments
Comments FAQ

Featured advertisers