Quality Tools Absent At 'Quality Progress'?
The article by Miles Maguire, "Quality Tools Largely Absent From Nation's Newsrooms," in the April 2001 edition of Quality Progress (p. 35) contained a rather ironic inconsistency. The caption next to the picture on p. 37 states, "President Truman holds up a copy of The Chicago Daily Tribune with the famous gaffe 'Dewey Defeats Truman.'" On page 42, it states, "The Chicago Tribune, which in 1948 declared 'Dewey Beats Truman.'"
I believe the correct newspaper headline contained "defeats," unless there is a difference between The Chicago Daily Tribune and The Chicago Tribune. A rather interesting inconsistency considering the subject of the article.
Many others may have noticed, but I thought I would chime in with a friendly jab.
'QP' Failed To Use Proper Quality Tools
I scarcely believed my eyes when I read of the 20% drop in use of quality words on p. 38-39 of the April 2001 issue of Quality Progress (Miles Maguire, "Quality Tools Largely Absent From Nations' Newsrooms," p. 35). Was my disbelief due to the change in usage? No, it was due to your inability to use even the most rudimentary quality based tools to analyze the numbers.
Rather than cherry picking two data points, you should have plotted the numbers on an individuals-moving range chart. It would have revealed that all data points are within the span of common cause variation.
This lapse suggests Quality Progress should bemoan failure to use quality methods in the media--starting with the motes in your own eyes!
JONATHON L. ANDELL
"State of Quality Auditing" Article Was Enjoyable
I enjoyed reading the March 2001 article "The State of Quality Auditing," by Greg Hutchins (p. 25). He presents some solid trends occurring within the nonfinancial auditing profession.
I recently had the pleasure of contributing to the revisions of the Standards for the Practice of Internal Auditing, just published by the Institute of Internal Auditors. It is amazing how close those revised standards are to our own ASQ certified quality auditor body of knowledge.
My disappointment lies with the international effort to combine quality and environmental management systems auditing into a new (ISO 19011) standard. As Hutchins points out, standards just can't seem to break loose from the conformity assessment model.
DENNIS R. ARTER
Requirement Convergence Already Taking Place
The article "The State of Quality Auditing" by Greg Hutchins (March 2001, p. 25) described the convergence of auditing, quality, environmental, safety and other assurance functions.
Greg Hutchins is absolutely correct. However, this convergence is already taking place in small businesses because of necessity. The tight resources in many small businesses are causing them to be more efficient.
Some organizations are combining environmental, health and safety (EHS) audits with quality and risk management audits. For many years, the medical device industry has been performing internal audits that meet both FDA quality system requirements (QSR) and ISO 9000 requirements.
It has been hinted that future versions of ISO 9000 may merge with ISO 14000.
This would combine environmental management systems with quality management systems to form one overriding management system that makes sense for business.
The requirements often overlap in areas such as written procedures, version control, record keeping, management responsibility and training.
In my opinion, the convergence of the various requirements for auditors makes good business sense, because it ensures consistency, efficiency and continual improvement.
I believe this will be a necessity in the future, and the future is now.
Azary Technologies LLC
Quality Tools Cannot Determine True Will
While I firmly believe quality concepts and tools can go a long way toward fixing the election process (Howard R. Schussler, "Can Quality Concepts and Tools Fix the U.S. Election Process?," April 2001, p. 46), I do not believe quality concepts and tools can assist in determining the true will of the voter. The bottom line is that the only ways to determine the true will of the voter are either to question the voter who cast the ballot (not possible with our ballots cast in secret) or to hire a psychic trained in quality.
No matter what the training, I am uneasy with anyone trying to determine my true will.
One other point: Everyone with whom I have spoken who states they believe the election boards should have the power to determine the true will of the voter seems to have the following things in common:
1. They say, "Every vote should be counted."
2. When questioned, they admit they did not vote in the election.
Formula 1 Sales Associates
Wrong King Louis Cited In Royal Analogy
The April 2001 "Is the Customer Still King?" column written by Gregory H. Watson (p. 16) contains an inaccurate historical reference (or inference). I liked the analogy of the royals and their court as customer and supplier. But it is not correct that Louis XIV (also referred to as the French "Sun King") experienced a revolution.
The revolution came under the rule of his grandson, Louis XVI, and Queen Marie Antoinette. Louis XIV did not have any of the problems of his grandson. I visited the Palais de Versailles last summer, which Louis XIV built.
GREGORY A. BUSCH
Heritage Environmental Services LLC
Get To Know Your Customers' Needs, Desires
I just finished reading Gregory H. Watson's article "Is the Customer Still King?" in the April 2001 issue. I want to correct history and offer another point of view regarding the Golden Rule.
First, the history. Perhaps it was a transpositional typo, but Louis XVI was king of France at the time of the French Revolution, not Louis XIV.
Regarding the Golden Rule, who are we to assume that any customer wants to be treated as we ourselves want to be treated?
Perhaps a better approach is to treat customers the way they want to be treated. This would involve actually getting to know our customers and understanding their needs and desires, which may not align with our own personal needs and desires. Place the focus on the customer, not on yourself.
ROGER D. MAKI
Airpax Corporation LLC