The Face of Quality

ERMER-foq Name: Donald S. Ermer

Residence: Madison, WI.

Education: Doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin.

First job related to quality: Was a United Nations Industrial Development Organization expert on industrial quality to the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research for a year in 1972. While there, he taught statistical process control, design of experiments and reliability testing, consulted on quality improvement in local industry and helped establish a national quality certification program.

Current job: Emeritus professor in total quality in the mechanical and industrial engineering departments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; flunked retirement in 2002 when student demand caused him to return to teach Deming's principles; one of the founders of the Wisconsin Forward (quality) Award, for which he now serves on the board of directors and executive committee and is chair of the governance committee; consultant to industry, health organizations and government agencies.

ASQ activities: Fellow; faculty advisor of the ASQ student chapter at the university since 1994.

Most recent honor: Eugene L. Grant Award for "... exemplary teaching and mentoring of thousands of university and industrial students ..."

Personal: Married to Phyllis, a registered pharmacist; both son and daughter have master's degrees and are in jobs related to quality; five grandchildren.

Favorite ways to relax: Ice boating, windsurfing and sailing.

Quality quote: To be recognized as a quality organization, an organization must follow the major tenets of W. Edwards Deming's philosophy, which has inspired the use of the quality improvement process in all our endeavors. Deming's philosophy has three main principles: continuous improvement, constancy of purpose and the concept that 85% of the quality and productivity problems in any organization are in the management system and should not be blamed on employees with the least responsibilities.

New Keynote Speaker Set for AQC Steve_Phillips

Steve Phillips, vice president, quality, reliability and technical service for Harley Davidson Motor Co., will replace Clyde Fessler, former Harley vice president of business development, as a keynote speaker at ASQ's 57th Annual Quality Congress (AQC) May 19-21 in Kansas City, MO.

Phillips joins previously announced keynoters Horst Schultze, former president and COO of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winning Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., and J. Gerald Suárez, organizational designer and systems thinker.

Book Signings

Several book signing events are also slated for AQC. Grace Duffy, Russ Westcott and Duke Okes, contributors to such popular ASQ Quality Press books as The Certified Quality Manager Handbook and The Executive Guide to Improvement and Change, will be available to sign copies on May 19 from 2:45 to 3:15 p.m.

Tuesday will have two signing sessions. From 9:15 to  9:45 a.m., Forrest Breyfogle, author of Implementing Six Sigma, and Rod Munro, author of Six Sigma for the Shop Floor and Six Sigma for the Office, will be available. From 3:15 to 4 p.m., Dennis Arter will sign his third edition of Quality Audits for Improved Performance.

The final signing session, from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, will find Jim Schutta and Ken Miller, authors of two new books, on hand. Shutta is co-author of Developing New Services: Incorporating the Customer Into Strategic Service Development, while Miller is author of The Change Agent's Guide to Radical Improvement.

The signings will take place in the Quality Press bookstore in the ASQ Center at the convention. More information and any schedule changes can be found at http://wcqi.asq.org.

Quality Quote

"Best of class performance is not us breathing our own fumes."

Michael Worthington, corporate VP and general manager, global safety and security solutions, for Motorola's Commercial, Government & Industrial Solutions Sector, 2002 Baldrige Award winner, speaking on how the company benchmarks its performance levels at the 2003 Quest for Excellence XV Conference. pencil/gear

Shingo Prize Honors Lean Manufacturers

The 2003 Shingo Prizes for Excellence in Manufacturing were recently announced and will be presented at the 15th Annual Shingo Prize Conference and Awards Ceremony May 14 in Detroit. There were a record number of applicants this year, resulting in 25 finalists and 15 winners.

One winner, Affordable Interior Systems Inc., Hudson, MA, was recognized in the small business category. The remaining winners were in the large business category. They are:

  • Autoliv ASP, Airbag Module Facility, Ogden, UT.
  • Autoliv ASP, Inflator Facilities, Brigham City and Ogden, UT.
  • Delphi Corp., Delco Electronics de Mexico, Delnosa 104 Operations, Reynosa, Mexico.
  • Delphi Corp., Energy & Chassis Systems, Sistemas Electricos y Conmutadores, Juarez, Mexico.
  • Delphi Corp., Flint Operations, Flint, MI.
  • Delphi Corp., Packard Electric Systems, Plant 19, Warren, OH.
  • Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., F-117, Palmdale, CA.
  • Medtronic Xomed, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Merillat Industries, Atkins, VA.
  • Symbol Technologies Inc., Holtsville, NY; McAllen, TX; and Reynosa, Mexico.
  • HON Company, Cedartown, GA.
  • TI Automotive, Caro, MI.
  • TI Automotive, New Haven, MI.
  • Vibracoustic North America, MCU Products Lead Center, Manchester, NH.

The Shingo Prize for manufacturers in the United States, Canada and Mexico is administered by the College of Business at Utah State University.

IAF Group To Develop ISO 9001 Auditing Guidelines

The International Accreditation Forum's (IAF) ISO 9001 Advisory Group's (IAG) good auditing practice (GAP) group has agreed to develop practical guidelines on effective means of auditing against ISO 9001:2000 for third-party registrar auditors of quality management systems.

IAG says the document will provide practical examples, forms and other tools to address what are perceived as poor practices and to recommend good practices.

"This will parallel work already underway at IAF to encourage a competence based approach to the accreditation audits of certification bodies," says IAG. "The overall direction in both groups is toward maximizing the effectiveness of results based auditing."

At its February meeting in Sydney, Australia, IAG considered causes and effects covering actual and potential threats to the credibility of ISO 9001. Attendees agreed to formalize the composition of the group to ensure a balance of interests from industry, accreditation and certification bodies, auditing practitioners, ISO/TC 176 (the International Organization for Standardization's committee for quality management systems) and ISO-CASCO (the ISO conformity assessment committee).

Issues identified at the meeting include:

  • The extent to which certification bodies can provide added value to their customers without compromising their independence.
  • How to make the complaint system more useful.
  • Better liaisons between certification bodies and users of the products of the certified organizations.

The next meeting of the GAP group will be held in conjunction with the ISO/CASCO meetings in Geneva, Switzerland. For additional information, go to www.iso.ch/iso/en.

QuEST Forum
Shifts Strategic Direction

In 2003, the QuEST Forum is refocusing its objectives, starting with a reorganization of its work groups from eight to four. The forum objectives are to continuously improve its quality management system requirements and measurements and to share best practices.

The new global work group is tasked with making the QuEST Forum and its TL 9000 quality management standard for telecommunications known worldwide.

Regional conferences are being planned toward this end, including one for the Americas in Mexico City June 24-25 and an Asian/Pacific conference in Hong Kong Sept. 23-24. The forum also has tentative plans for a conference in Italy.

The telecommunications business excellence work group is coordinating the forum's annual Best Practices Conference in Schaumburg, IL, Sept. 23-24. Speakers are being sought to share their experiences. Abstracts are due by May 31.

The TL 9000 Quality Management System Measurements Handbook, release 3.5, has been accepted by the forum membership and is now available. The integrated global quality requirements and measurements work group has been tasked with harmonizing global requirements and measurements.

The oversight work group continues its overview of the forum's operations. For more information regarding the work groups and QuEST Forum activities, visit the QuEST Forum website at http://questforum.asq.org or e-mail quest@asq.org.

Ahora Disponible en Español H1192

Starting in May, ASQ Quality Press will offer Spanish translations of five of its most popular titles:

  • H1193.ISO Lección Guía 2000: Lección de Bolsillo Para Q9001-2000, segunda edición (ISO Lesson Guide 2000: Pocket Guide to Q9001-2000, second edition) by Dennis Arter and J.P. Russell. The Spanish language edition of the best-selling ISO Lesson Guide 2000 discusses quality, its measurable characteristics and the role of customer requirements in all quality management systems. Using the ANSI/ISO/ASQ Q9001:2000 standard as the model, the book explains each ISO 9001 clause and its key concepts, the ISO process approach and the quality management principles.
  • Auditorías de Calidad Para Mejorar la Productividad, tercera edición (Quality Audits for Improved Performance, third edition) by Dennis R. Arter. This is a reference for learning and applying basic quality auditing principles. There are examples and checklists throughout the book for quality practitioners, registrars and those preparing for certification exams. The edition addresses both internal and supplier auditing as it relates to any quality management system, including ISO 9001, good manufacturing processes and automotive quality.
  • Seis Sigma: Guía Para la Aplicación de un Proyecto (Six Sigma Project Management: A Pocket Guide) by Jeffrey N. Lowenthal. The popular pocket guide provides a step-by-step approach to implementing a Six Sigma project that can be applied within any type of organization.
  • Como Medir La Satisfaccion del Cliente: Segun la ISO 9001:2000 (Customer Satisfaction Simplified: A Step-by-Step Guide for ISO 9001:2000 Certification) by Terry G. Vavra. This book will guide Spanish speaking members through the process of implementing a customer satisfaction measurement process to help their organizations meet ISO 9001 certification.
  • Integración de la ISO 14001 en un Sistema de Gestión de la Calidad, segunda edición (Integrating ISO 14001 Into a Quality Management System, second edition) by Marilyn R. Block and I. Robert Marash. This book explains how an organization can integrate the requirements of both quality and environmental management. It provides a natural progression for companies planning to transition from 9002:1994 to ISO 9001:2000 and wanting to ensure a fusion of quality and environmental issues.

To learn more about these titles or to order, visit http://qualitypress.asq.org  or call 800-248-1946 (United States and Canada only) or 414-272-8575.

Wisconsin Group Collaborates on Healthcare Quality

A group of healthcare providers and businesses have formed the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality to develop and publicly report measures verifiable by independent third parties.

"You can't improve what you don't measure. You can't compare what you don't share," said John Toussaint, MD, chairman of the collaborative and president and CEO of ThedaCare in Appleton, WI, one of the collaborative members.

Other provider members include Froedtert Hospital and Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and Dean Health System and St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center in Madison. Business partners include DaimlerChrysler, the United Auto Workers and the Trane Co.

Besides creating healthcare quality measures, the collaborative's goals are to:

  • Publicly report the performance of collaborative members using those measures.
  • Invite other organizations to adopt the measures as benchmarks for the state.
  • Share and refine best practices.

ASQ has offered administrative support and to act as an independent clearinghouse for collecting and sharing data.

Article Says Detroit's Quality Gap Caused by More Than Defects

A McKinsey Quarterly article says the U.S. automobile industry's quality gap has as much to do with appeal as it does with defects.

Writers Niladri Ganguli, T.V. Kumaresh and Aurobind Satpathy say, "Though buying decisions once emphasized quality defined as minimizing the number of defects in a car, consumers are now focusing more on maximizing the appeal of a handful of core product attributes--for example, whether the car is fun to drive, well designed or stylish." 014V0203

This shift, they say, is partly due to Detroit's reduction of defect rates of new cars to levels so low a defect free car is now largely taken for granted. Thus, quality is now not only about getting fewer things wrong, as in the past, but also about getting more things right--better performance, greater comfort, tangible amenities and a sense of aesthetics.

The writers say lack of product appeal translates into loss of market share because U.S. automakers must offer increasingly large incentives to offset the lower resale value of their cars.

Automakers are advised to use customer satisfaction ratings to define the two or three attributes that matter most to consumers, guide the product development process in that direction and use testing not only to remove defects but also to rate entire car performance measured by desired attributes.

ANSI Launches Personnel Accreditation Body Certification

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system, has launched a new accreditation program for organizations that certify personnel.

The program will operate under the new international standard, ISO/IEC 17024, General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification Systems of Persons.

According to Sally Harthun, certification manager, ASQ is already following ISO/IEC 17024 procedures for its 12 certifications: quality manager, quality engineer, quality auditor, quality auditor-hazard analysis and critical control point, quality auditor-biomedical, reliability engineer, quality technician, software quality engineer, Quality Inspector, quality improvement associate, Six Sigma Black Belt and calibration technician.


Keim To Speak at Colorado Conference

Elizabeth M. Keim, president of ASQ and managing partner of Integrated Quality Resources, Boulder, CO, will be a keynote speaker at the 26th Annual Rocky Mountain Quality Conference. The conference will be held June 10-11 at the Green Center of Colorado School of Mines in Golden.

Keim, who will speak on June 11, does consulting work for major U.S. corporations, such as Ford Motor Co., DuPont and American Express. She will discuss successfully implemented applications of design for Six Sigma principles and ASQ activities aimed at capitalizing on future quality trends.

The June 10 keynoter will be Sam Addoms, chair of Frontier Airlines. For more information or to register, visit www.rmqc.org.

Six Sigma Month Slated for June

ASQ will celebrate Six Sigma Month throughout the month of June.

The celebration will include a writing contest, Six Sigma career services and weekly drawings for prizes, including a free registration to a training course or a major conference. The month will be capped off with a workshop at ASQ headquarters in Milwaukee on June 19.

Part of the workshop will be a general presentation on ASQ, quality and Six Sigma, followed by a workshop on Six Sigma, led by Steven H. Hoisington, vice president of quality for the Controls Business of Johnson Controls Inc.

Six Sigma Month sponsorship opportunities are available by calling an ASQ account executive at 800-248-1946 (United States and Canada only) or 414-272-8575. The full calendar of specials and events is located on the Six Sigma portfolio website at www.asq.org.  Click the link in the sidebar under "go to."

AQC Event: Get Published in ASQ's Journals
A presentation at the 57th Annual Quality Congress in Kansas City, MO, will explain how to write for and submit articles to Quality Progress and ASQ's other periodicals.

QP editor Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, along with other ASQ journal editors and reviewers, will present topics of interest, author guidelines and submission dos and don'ts on Mon., May 19, at 10:15 a.m. For more information, call 800-248-1946 (United States and Canada only) or 414-272-8575 x7295, or e-mail ddonaldson@asq.org.

Each One Reach One Recognition
ASQ's member-get-a-member program, Each One Reach One, has some new features. The program now recognizes the member who recruits the most new members in one month and has a random monthly drawing.

Recent winners were Kuang Kok Hoo, a Senior member since 1996 who recruited 24 members in January 2003. He has recruited nearly 100 members during the last two years in his home region of Taiping, Malasia. Terry Knox of Westminster, CA, a member since 1989, won the random drawing.

For February, 11 members who joined listed Eric R. Wogomon, Senior member since 1988 from Waverly, OH, as their sponsor. The random drawing winner was Douglas Mellman, LaGrange, IL.

All received a Quality Press gift certificate. For more information about the program, call 800-248-1946 (United States and Canada only) or 414-272-8575, or e-mail cs@asq.org.

Recertification and Retirement

Don't forget to recertify your ASQ certification. Check your wallet card or certification for your due date. More information on recertification and the journal application can be found at /certification/recertification/rucredits/.  

If you are fully retired and at least 55 years old, you can retire your certification. Full details and an application form are available at www.asq.org/certification/retirement.html.  

ISO 9000/14000 Conference Draws 214

The 10th ISO 9000/ISO 14000 Conference of ASQ and its Energy and Environment Division, with Registrar Accreditation Board sponsorship, drew 214 participants to Dallas in March.

Lorri Hunt, a Honeywell management project specialist and chair of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO technical committee 176, technical group 9001/4, was keynoter.

Popular sessions focused on effective and efficient transitioning tools and techniques, measurable areas to drive improvement and challenging topics such as documentation, auditing and measuring knowledge work, and customer satisfaction.

Other highlights were networking opportunities with other attendees, exhibitors, speakers and members of the Standards Group; a lively conversation moderated by Paul Scicchitano; a dinner and workshop event hosted by Jack West, with debate and discussion going on well into the evening; programs on ISO 19011, the integrated quality and environmental auditing standard, and QE 19011S, its U.S. supplement; and a sector specific session on ISO/TS 16949, the automotive technical specification.

Other programs of note were those on AS9100A, the aerospace quality management standard; the new AG 9000 agribusiness quality management standard; the current status of the ISO 14001/14004 update; and presentations by international speakers.


THE 13TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SOFTWARE QUALITY will be held in Dallas Oct. 6-9. Watch www.icsq.org for upcoming announcements of speakers and session topics. For additional information, e-mail lwestfall@westfallteam.com.   

THE 12TH ANNUAL SERVICE QUALITY CONFERENCE will be held from Sept. 15-16 in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, go to www.asq.org/conferences/service-quality-conference/index.html.  

PAPERS ARE BEING SOUGHT for the eight tracks of the Oct. 2 Toronto Quality Forum. Ken Case, ASQ's current president-elect, will be the keynote speaker. Submissions of abstracts and biographies should be sent to Steve Singh at svsajax@sympatico.com by May 15. Final papers are due by June 30. For additional information, visit www.torontoqualityforum.com.   

THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST SOFTWARE QUALITY CONFERENCE (PNSQC) will be held Oct. 13-15 in Portland, OR. PNSQC is seeking papers on all aspects of software quality and nominations for its annual Software Excellence Award of $2,500. For more details, go to www.pnsqc.org.

THE QS-9000 DATABASE has a new official repository. QSU Publishing will now administer the listing of automotive suppliers that have attained third-party certification in accordance with QS-9000, the sector specific quality management standard for the automotive industry. QS-9000 was developed by the QS-9000 Supplier Quality Requirements Task Force representing DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors.

THE AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARDS INSTITUTE has announced the call for nominations for its 2003 Leadership and Service Awards. The awards recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to voluntary consensus standardization and conformity assessment programs and have consistently demonstrated a commitment to their industry, their nation and the enhancement of the global standards system. Nominations are due by July 11. For more information, go to www.ansi.org.

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