Brand Manners: How To Create The Self-Confident Organization To Live the Brand
Hamish Pringle and William Gordon, John Wiley and Sons Inc., 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158, 2001, 314 pp., $29.95 (book).
Companies spend millions of dollars creating and maintaining brand names with reputations that create positive images and foster sales. Brands represent promises about what we can expect from a product, service or company. Brand manners are the way an organization can manage its promise to customers and ensure customers are happy as often as possible.
This book focuses on how organizations can facilitate internal and external working relationships and conditions that support the brand images they have developed. It includes information on the brand manners improvement cycle and a how-to guide.
The process of brand management can be summarized as follows: all brands must communicate to their target audiences what their promises are to establish benchmarks and expectations against which the product or service brand should be judged. If this is done well and if the customer service process can consistently overdeliver these publicly established standards, then customers will have the sense they are getting outstanding service.
I recommend this volume to anyone dealing with customers. It involves the often forgotten interface between marketing and management--that much of what causes buyers to select and stay with a brand comes from personnel and personal interactions and not just advertising. It is well-written and has insightful case studies and great cartoons.
ISO 9001:2000 for Small-and Medium-Sized Businesses
Herbert C. Monnich Jr., ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2001, 154 pp., $28 member, $35 list (book).
Large corporations have the necessary resources to implement and maintain an ISO 9000 quality system. This book was written for organizations with 10 to 400 employees. It addresses three needs of small-and medium-sized businesses: a general understanding of the concepts of the ISO 9001:2000 standard, a quality management system based on the ISO 9001:2000 standard and a way to update a quality management system from the 1994 version to the 2000 version.
The book is written in easy to understand language any small business owner with little or no knowledge of the ISO 9000 standard can understand. Each clause of the new ISO 9001:2000 standard is covered in a separate chapter.
The book is also full of useful information and tables that break down difficult to understand concepts. It ends with a sample quality manual for a small business. The only drawback I could find is that the book does not contain the actual ISO 9001:2000 standard. Readers who are serious about the implementation of ISO 9001:2000 will need to purchase it.
Dove Quality Consulting
Manufacturing at Warp Speed: Optimizing Supply Chain Performance
Eli Schragenheim and H. William Dettmer, CRC Press LLC, 2000 N.W. Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33431, 2001, 342 pp., $57.95 (book and CD).
Schragenheim and Dettmer's book, Manufacturing at Warp Speed, describes how to increase and maximize throughput and reduce inventory and operating expenses to optimize financial performance.
The authors examine four production workflows and discuss manufacturing approaches, including make to stock and forecast, make to order and assemble to order. Readers will learn about the constraint theory and how it is applied to manufacturing operations. They will gain an idea of what it takes to improve delivery performance, shorten production lead time, reduce inventory and make more money for the business.
The companion CD included with the book allows the reader to work simulations. It is an excellent tool for clarifying the reader's understanding. I recommend the book for operations, financial and quality assurance personnel.
John J. Lanczycki Jr.
Modern Project Management
Norman R. Howes, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2001, 262 pp., $59.95 (book and CD).
Norman Howes deals with project management as a dynamic process that requires more skills than scheduling or general management. In recognition of the complexity of the task, the author provides a CD with prototype tools that are compatible with Microsoft Access and Project. The CD also includes a tutorial addressing the aspects of project management he defines as project planning and project execution.
In presenting each of these project management aspects, the author points out pitfalls and alternative approaches to evaluating project execution, as well as the varying requirements of commercial and government project management.
The author warns meaningful inputs from supervisors and support personnel are needed. Without these, he says, Microsoft Project can become a mere scheduling tool. The dynamic of project management requires constant attention to the changing parameters of the project, accurate risk management and the ability to spot trends. Using this book, the project manager can enhance his or her likelihood of success.
William F. Foster
Reliability, Maintainability And Risk, Sixth Edition
David J. Smith, Butterworth-Heinemann, 225 Wildwood Ave., Unit B, PO Box 4500, Woburn, MA 01801-2041, 2001, 335 pp., $57.95 (book).
I found Reliability, Maintainability and Risk to be similar to other books I have read covering the same subject. It doesn't contain a large number of reliability related statistics. But it covers enough statistics and basic reliability engineering principles that engineers from various disciplines can benefit from it. This book would make a good reference guide.
I would have started the book with chapter 18 on project management and would have included references for the other chapters. Part five of the book, excluding chapters 18 and 23, could have been shortened. I found chapter 17 on software quality and reliability very informative, especially the section on software checklists.
An additional drawback for American readers is the author's use of British English and the way he refers to European standards without appropriate references to U.S. standards.
ABS QE Inc.
Practice What You Preach: What Managers Must Do To Create A High Achievement Culture
David H. Maister, The Free Press, 1230 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, 2001, 250 pp., $26 (book).
David Maister conducted a study of 139 offices in 29 professional service firms in 15 countries and 15 different lines of business. This book publishes and discusses his findings and identifies the best practices employed by financially successful offices. The question of whether employees' attitudes have any correlation to the firm's financial success is answered with a strong "yes."
The structure of the book is unique. The author makes great effort to use plain language and make his points without using mathematical lingo.
Maister's analysis reveals the financially successful offices outperformed the rest in several management areas: listening, getting values input from employees, being trustworthy, coaching, communicating, treating others with respect and practicing what they preach. He believes the most important value is management that is believable and consistent. In chapter seven, he further discusses nine statements that serve as the best bet for predicting superior future financial performance.
Maister continues to analyze the data to include views of age, office size and other variables that factor into performance.
In chapter 25 he concludes the management trait that leads to superior performance is having the courage to lead (risk taking) and the ability to build capability in employees.
The study done by the author, however, provides objective evidence that superior employee attitudes and morale can lead to performance excellence, not the other way around.
The Idea Generator: Quick and Easy Kaizen
Bunji Tozawa and Norman Bodek, Perfect Customer Service Inc., 809 S.E. 73rd Ave., Vancouver, WA 98664, 2001, 334 pp., $47.52 (book).
While traditional kaizen means a week of intense analysis using prescribed methodology, Quick and Easy Kaizen, the way the authors propose it, literally can be done in minutes. The authors present a scaled down version of kaizen that is easily implemented and provides an avenue for employees to make improvements.
Quick and Easy Kaizen sounds like a great idea, but there are some caveats, the authors don't cover. The whole idea of quick and easy kaizen is premised on a company's allowing employees to directly make changes in their work methods. Without employee empowerment to do so, Quick and Easy Kaizen will be doomed. The workforce might view the program as another quick fix. Only an enlightened workforce and management team can make it work.
Quick and Easy Kaizen isn't a replacement for full kaizen as a means of making major system improvements, but it could supplement regular kaizen or existing quality improvement methods.
This book will come in handy if you are looking for an organizationwide improvement process that is easy to implement. It is full of examples, anecdotes and success stories and is enjoyable reading.
How To Lead Work Teams: Facilitation Skills, Fran Rees, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 350 Sansome St., 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104-1342, 2001, 227 pp., $29.95 (book).
Implementing ISO 9000:2000, Matt Seaver, Gower Publishing Co., 131 Main St., Burlington, VT 05401-5600, 2001, 262 pp., $99.95 (book).
Insights to Performance Excellence in Health Care 2001: An Inside Look at the 2001 Baldrige Award Criteria for Health Care, Mark L. Blazey, Joel H. Ettinger, Paul L. Grizzell and Linda M. Janczak, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 277 pp., $33.50 member, $40.75 list (book).
Integrating ISO 14001 Into a Quality Management System, Second Edition, Marilyn R. Block and I. Robert Marash, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 202 pp., $30 member, $37.50 list (book).
Internal Quality Auditing: Meeting the Challenge of ISO 9000:2000, William A. Stimson, Paton Press, PO Box 44, Chico, CA 95927-0044, 2001, 296 pp., $39 (book).
Interpreting ISO 9001:2000 With Statistical Methodology, James L. Lamprecht, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 216 pp., $26 member, $32 list (book).
ISO 9001:2000 Guidelines for the Chemical and Process Industries, Third Edition, ASQ Chemical and Process Industries Division and Chemical Interest Committee, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 139 pp., $28 member, $35 list (book).