Contamination-Free Manufacturing for Semiconductors And Other Precision Products

Robert P. Donovan, ed., Marcel Dekker, 270 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, 2001, 448 pp., $165 (book).

This book is a contemporary snapshot of the current understanding and practices of contamination control in manufactured products. The chapters are authored by experts in the field.

The book covers contamination problems and target control levels, detection and measurement of contamination, transport, removal and deposition of contamination, and sources and prevention of contamination. The chapters are detailed, well-written and documented with references. This format makes further review and research of any subject matter much easier for the reader. The book also provides a comprehensive index for readers interested in a particular subject or technology related to contamination.

While the research and technology referenced are from the semiconductor industry, application to other industries is possible. Engineering, process and production professionals in the semiconductor industry and professionals in other industries concerned with contamination control will find this book a valuable resource.

Bryan Ruggles
Sanden International
Allen, TX

Customer-Centered Products: Creating Successful Products Through Smart Requirements Management

Ivy F. Hooks and Kristin A. Farry, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2001, 272 pp., $35 (book).

Quality has been defined as compliance with requirements. But where do the requirements come from, and how should they be written?

Ivy Hooks and Kristin Farry have prepared a well-written description of a requirements management process that would be useful to anyone who writes or manages requirements. The focus, however, is on managers since they must drive the use of the process.

The authors describe a systematic, nine-step approach to requirements management. They address each step from defining the scope of the product to baselining requirements. They also provide a discussion of each step's importance and management's role in its successful completion. The process described can be used to evaluate an organization's current requirements management process. If none currently exists, the process described in the book could be fully adopted.

Although the authors describe the development of requirements through the consideration of operational concepts and interfaces, there is no discussion of how this can be facilitated through the use of a systematic approach such as that provided by quality function deployment matrices.

Rich Anderson
Tucson, AZ

Everest Software

Link Software, PO Box 5498, Scottsdale, AZ 85261, 2000, $3,500-$60,000 depending on license (software).

Everest software for customer relationship management (CRM) is easy to use and implement. The software tracks customers, sales, complaints, corrective actions and content information in a variety of flexible reporting and database tools.

Data can be imported into the program or entered directly. The user is prompted for all the information that characterizes a customer, sales transaction, or complaint, and these identifiers can be attached to the imported data file.

Full complements of charts are available, including trends over time and bar charts of complaints. The charts are related to control charts in the information they provide but are designed for audiences without statistical quality control backgrounds. Similar to Pareto charts, the charts provide an easy way to identify product defect and defect cause analyses.

The software is designed so it works well in single and multiple user environments and as a standalone application or full site and Web enabled one.

The flexibility and ease of use of this program are impressive. For a company just implementing CRM, Everest would be an ideal choice. However, as the database grows and a company needs more statistical summaries of the information, either the incorporation of data mining tools or the ability to export the database to another type of software is desirable.

I. Elaine Allen
Babson College
Wellesley, MA

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, Second Edition

Gary K. Griffith, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458, 2002, 350 pp., $104.50 (book).

This volume describes how to inspect parts that have been specified in accordance with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Y14.5M standard.

Many aspects of product are designed and described by this standard, which has been followed closely by many organizations. To determine whether the product meets the requirements of the designer requires a variety of gages and equipment that are necessary to determine such characteristics as size, flatness, straightness, circularity, cylindricity, parallelism, perpendicularity, angularity, various forms of runout and profile.

This should be a helpful book to those involved in checking the accuracy and usefulness of components made for precision products.

Everyone involved in producing and gaging precision components should consult Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, along with a copy of the ASME Y14.5M standard, as a reference to make sure components are properly surveyed.

August B. Mundel
White Plains, NY

Management Decision Making: Spreadsheet Modeling, Analysis and Applications

George E. Monahan, Cambridge University Press, 40 W. 20th St., New York, NY 10011-4211, 2000, 714 pp., $69.95 (book).

This book is a spreadsheet based introduction to the tools and techniques of modern managerial decision making. It covers both the deterministic and probabilistic models for decision making under uncertainty. Simple and advanced linear programming techniques are also addressed.

This comprehensive book covers a wide range of managerial decision making tools based on Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet program. It includes a CD-ROM of the Excel workbooks referenced in the book and has a 25-page primer for those whose Excel skills may be rusty.

The author presents the tools in a business context and discusses the problems a business manager might run into, including scheduling staff members, inventory control and cash management. While it may be possible to use this book in a self-taught mode, it is intended as a college textbook. So if the self-learner gets stuck and does not understand a concept, the concept may be lost.

The book is intended for undergraduate and graduate business, economics and engineering students. Business managers who would like to learn about spreadsheet modeling may also find it useful.

A basic understanding of algebra and probability is needed to understand many of the models presented.

Roger E. Olson
Systems Quality Consulting
Alta Loma, CA

Power of Performance Management: How Leading Companies Create Sustained Value

Andre A. De Waal, John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158, 2001, 335 pp., $49.95 (book).

The message of this book is if performance is managed, the bottom line will improve. It covers techniques forward thinking companies can use to deal with new business models and processes required to remain successful. The author examines different areas of operation and suggests new ways of organizing for improved performance that emphasize the use of nontraditional critical success factors and key performance indicators in a balanced scorecard measurement and management system.

The first chapter gives a summary of the various challenges businesses may face. Additional sections examine successful ways to conquer these specific challenges. Although the book covers many business models and strategies, the details begin to blur in succeeding chapters. The book does not provide enough information on implementing the chosen strategies. The case studies are mainly from the author's firm and cover the rudimentary steps clients used to change their businesses for the better, but there is little analysis explaining why those steps were effective.

While company culture is cited as being an important element in changing business plans, little space is devoted to assessing the company culture. The author does provide meaningful tables and diagrams to illustrate the topics and potential barriers. The analytical matrices provide insight into the causal factors for decision making.

Upper level managers who are knowledgeable about using nonfinancial measures and advanced balanced scorecard techniques will find this book useful.

Marc A. Feldman
Solvay Interox

Seven Power Strategies for Building Customer Loyalty

Paul R. Timm, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2001, 224 pp., $24.95 (book).

At first glance, the book's title and its familiar words might appear fluffy. Not so. Seven Power Strategies is a substantive book that pulls you right up to the mirror for a good look at everything you think or say you are doing to satisfy and retain customers--a look that enables you to see where you may be doing a lousy job.

Seven Power Strategies is a manual for building, sustaining and improving customer satisfaction and the conditions for customer motivation--to achieve customer loyalty.

The strategies include: identifying what turns customers off, recovering dissatisfied customers, creating a positive imbalance, giving A-plus value, providing A-plus information, showing an A-plus personality and giving customers A-plus convenience.

Two of the most interesting strategies are numbers three and six. Strategy three doesn't mean throwing your customers off balance. The objective is to move beyond satisfaction to motivating the customer to buy from your organization. The focus is on using what customers anticipate in order to build loyalty.

Strategy six deals with building into your organization what the author calls an A-plus personality, which is more than getting everyone to smile at the customers and call them by name. It's about what and how you communicate. This ranges all the way from what your organization's culture communicates and how friendly your processes and systems are to how your employees look and behave.

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


Baldrige Award Winning Quality: How To Interpret the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, Eleventh Edition, Mark Graham Brown, Productivity Press, 541 NE 20th Ave., Suite 108, Portland, OR 97232, 2001, 417 pp., $39.95 (book).

BPR (Business Process Reengineering) Wizdom: A Practical Guide to BPR Project Management, Second Edition, Dennis E. Wisnosky and Rita C. Feeney, Wizdom Press, 1300 Iroquois Ave., Naperville, IL 60563, 2001, 333 pp., $49.95 (book).

Customer Satisfaction Measurement Simplified: A Step-by-Step Guide for ISO 9001:2000 Certification, Terry G. Vavra, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 328 pp., $32 member, $40 list (book).

Developing and Managing Engineering Procedures, Phillip A. Cloud, William Andrew Publishing, 13 Eaton Ave., Norwich, NY 13815, 2001, 182 pp., $75 (book).

Four Practical Revolutions in Management, Shoji Shiba and David Walden, Productivity Press, 541 NE 20th Ave., Suite 108, Portland, OR 97232, 2001, 757 pp., $65 (book).

Fundamental Concepts for the Software Quality Engineer, Taz Daughtrey, ed., ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 288 pp., $40 member, $50 list (book).

Handbook of Industrial Engineering: Technology and Operations Management, Third Edition, Gavriel Salvendy, ed., John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158-0012, 2001, 2,796 pp., $225 (book).

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