Handbook of QS-9000 Tooling And Equipment Certification

George Mouradian, Society of Automotive Engineers Inc., 400 Commonwealth Dr., Warrendale, PA 15096-0001, 2000, 241 pp., $29 (book).

This handbook is written to assist automotive tooling and equipment (TE) manufacturers in meeting quality system requirements related to QS-9000. It covers the basic development of quality standards, including the TE supplement. The book briefly reviews the requirements of the supplement and discusses its relationship to QS-9000. The balance of the book deals with the development of a strong reliability and maintainability program.

Areas covered include reliability and maintainability quality systems and tools, including failure mode and effects analysis, testing, prediction and life cycle costs. The text introduces various techniques and systems, provides examples along with figures to explain the concepts and includes a list of references at the end of each chapter. The book also contains a chapter on customer responsibilities.

This is not a cookbook approach to obtaining certification to the QS-9000 TE supplement. From the book's title, one would expect the material to concentrate on the automotive industry. I found the topics discussed would apply to any manufacturing industry where reliability and maintainability are of concern.

Bryan Ruggles
Sanden International USA
Allen, TX

Insight to Performance Excellence 2001: An Inside Look at the 2001 Baldrige Award Criteria

Mark L. Blazey, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2001, 420 pp., $33.50 member, $40.75 list (book).

The Baldrige Award criteria are a well-known and powerful assessment tool for identifying organizational strengths as well as key areas for improvement. The book, which is updated annually, offers a thorough and logical explanation of the criteria. The 2001 edition discusses the core values and concepts and contains in-depth explanations of the various criteria.

One section compares the Baldrige criteria to the European Quality Award criteria and to ISO 9000:2000. Another contains information about state awards and Baldrige Award winners.

The package includes a CD-ROM that enables organizations to compile information and prepare a Baldrige narrative application.

The book is easy to read and well-written. It is recommended for large companies that want to apply for the award.

Bengt Klefsjö
Luleå University
Luleå, Sweden

Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement, Volume One: Statistical Tools

Jacqueline D. Graham and Michael J. Cleary, eds., PQ Systems Inc., 10468 Miamisburg-Springboro Rd., Miamisburg, OH 45342, 2000, 236 pp., $39.95 (book).

Designed as a handbook for students and practitioners of statistical process control, this book covers basic statistics, statistical analysis and data collection.

The first section deals with the tools for data collection and sampling. Sample collection and validation data sheets are included. These sheets are simplistic, but they are sufficient to illustrate the importance of this activity.

The second section is devoted to the statistical tools necessary to analyze data collected in the first part of the book. Some of the different techniques discussed include run charts, control charts, histograms, capability analysis, scatter diagrams and Pareto diagrams. Each section includes illustrations of the charts or graphs.

The book is complete, well-written and easy to read. I would not recommend it to a statistician, but for an applied researcher, student or practitioner of statistical process control, it is a complete reference.

I. Elaine Allen
Babson College
Wellesley, MA

Strategic Thinking For the Next Economy

Michael A. Cusumano and Constantinos C. Markides, eds., Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 350 Sansome St., 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104-1342, 2001, 317 pp., $19.95 (book).

Strategic Thinking for the Next Economy is an integrated collection of fascinating articles organized into four parts: strategy and value creation, flexibility, the strategy making process, and strategic innovation and growth. The common theme is a company can learn to design a superior strategy.

In many organizations, managers perceive change and evolving customer requirements as the biggest obstacles to effectiveness in product and service delivery. Stabilizing changes and freezing specifications are seen as a cure to most problems. This book shows how organizations cope with such issues.

The chapters cover topics such as strategic decision making, robust adaptive strategies, value innovation, challenges for multinationals and strategies for managing fast growth. Each chapter includes examples and interesting perspectives.

In this age of Six Sigma, when quality professionals are asked to proactively contribute to the strategic direction of their companies, this text should be required reading. It provides an excellent overview of modern strategic thinking for managers.

Ron S. Kenett
KPA Ltd.
Raanana, Israel

TAPS: A Total Approach To Problem Solving

Paul Palady and Thomas Snabb, PAL Publications, 4600 Woodward Ave., Studio 512, Detroit, MI 48201, 2000, 368 pp., $89 (book).

All organizations have problems. Most organizations focus on one or two problem solving tools and attempt to adapt these tools to all the situations they face. The authors say this practice will result in a less than optimum solution, or a temporary, rather than a permanent fix. The authors' solution is to provide problem solvers with more complete tools, so they will be better equipped to solve problems.

The authors present a fairly complete set of problem solving models, ranging from plan-do-check-act and theory of constraints to Six Sigma. The tools are then categorized for describing problems, investigating causes, investigating the problem, and optimizing and implementing solutions.

Anyone involved in problem solving or process improvement projects will find this book a valuable resource. The book makes difficult concepts accessible and has useful examples, graphics and demonstration problems. A quote from the preface sums up the book's approach: "Don't force the problem to the model, rather let the problem select the model."

Roger E. Olson
Systems Quality Consulting
Alta Loma, CA

The Executive Handbook On Compensation

Charles H. Fay, ed., Free Press, 1230 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, 2001, 860 pp., $125 (book).

Successful companies all face a common dilemma: How can they adequately reward employees who must meet short-term goals while also accomplishing long-term strategies? This book helps answer that question.

With chapters grouped to form four distinct parts, the book presents a significant amount of material in logical progression. The first part forms the basis for the book and covers business strategy, human resources and compensation. Here the reader is introduced to three primary themes including the overall flexibility of the compensation system, alignment of the rewards system with the tactical and strategic goals of the corporation and alignment of the payment system with the work culture.

The second part introduces methods for systematically evaluating reward systems and strategies. The third part covers reward design and implementation, measurement systems, plan comparisons and alignment of the overall compensation mix with company defined values. The fourth part covers specific types of payment models.

The book challenges the reader to say why we invest so much in compensation and yet seem to forget to apply an in-depth analysis of these compensation and rewards programs.

Frank Pokrop
Abbott Laboratories
Abbott Park, IL

Web-Based Human Resources

Alfred J. Walker, ed., McGraw-Hill, Two Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10121-2298, 2001, 333 pp., $34.95 (book).

As American business has become increasingly complex, the internal function of human resources (HR) has also become more complex. This collection of essays focuses on improving the quality of support and services in the HR arena by implementing an Internet based approach to its operations. Web based HR technologies allow faster, easier delivery of critical services to both employees and management, while at the same time redefining HR roles as more strategic and less administrative.

Walker introduces new, browser based HR portal technologies and emphasizes the importance of setting up Web based access to HR information, services and support. The essayists, all HR consultants, discuss using Web based employee and manager self-service, delivering employee benefit information over the Internet, supporting electronic compensation planning, and recruiting and staffing via the Internet.

For HR staff new to computers and the Internet, the book highlights the potential of Web based HR. I recommend it as foundation reading to introduce this new approach. Readers will need to be familiar with tedious consultant jargon. However, the book provides a solid introduction to a complex topic and presents a framework for approaching the integration of the Internet into the HR function.

Dale Farris
Farris Resources
Groves, TX


Lessons from the eFront, Matthew W. Ragas, Prima Communications Inc., 3000 Lava Ridge Ct., Roseville, CA 95661, 2001, 267 pp., $27.50 (book).

Let's Fix It: Overcoming the Crisis in Manufacturing, Richard J. Schonberger, Free Press, 1230 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, 2001, 272 pp., $28 (book).

Real Management, John C. Chicken, Thomson Learning, Berkshire House, 168-173 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7AA, 2001, 122 pp., $20.99 (book).

Six Sigma for the Shop Floor: A Pocket Guide, Roderick A. Munro, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 192 pp., $12 member, $15 list (book).

Six Sigma Project Management: A Pocket Guide, Jeffrey N. Lowenthal, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 130 pp., $12 member, $15 list (book).

Skills for Management, Fifth Edition, W. David Rees and Christine Porter, Thomson Learning, Berkshire House, 168-173 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7AA, 2001, 400 pp., $24.99 (book).

Strategic Management, Fourth Edition, John L. Thompson, Thomson Learning, Berkshire House, 168-173 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7AA, 2001, 1,141 pp., $27.99 (book).

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