QUALITY IN THE FIRST PERSON
by Larry Jannusch
It’s kind of strange that I got into the quality field because of my dad’s tools. He was an inspector, and I had no desire to know about what he did when I was growing up.
Dad passed away when I was in college. I put my education on hold, got married and took a job doing assembly. The adjacent machine shop was having quality problems and needed someone to check incoming parts and materials.
I mentioned that I had gages (in my dad’s toolbox), which I didn’t know how to use at first. But I quickly learned. It turns out we were the only customer at the time not inspecting received materials, and the suppliers were giving us all the marginal product because of this.
After rejecting lot after lot and including corrective action requests, we soon began getting a reputation for being a quality minded customer. Production and deliveries got back on track, and the finances improved accordingly.
I finished my degree and have been in quality, as a manager or engineer, for more than 25 years. Teaching seminars on internal auditing, statistics and root cause corrective action has allowed for growth on many levels in the quality assurance arena. It never gets dull.
I believe I’ve used every math and science skill I learned in college in this field. It’s a great feeling to be part of a team that makes hardware for satellites in space, for commercial jetliners and for the military to use keeping our country free. It’s been a good and rewarding career, and I think my dad is smiling.
LARRY JANNUSCH is a quality engineer with Systems 3 Inc. in Tempe, AZ. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Northern Arizona University. Jannusch is a Senior Member of ASQ.