ANSI and ASQ Restructure Accreditation Bodies

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and ASQ have formed a new American national accreditation body called the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB).

ANAB was created in response to the adoption of ISO/IEC 17011 covering general requirements for organizations that accredit conformity assessment organizations. This standard requires a national accreditation organization to be a legal entity. The ANSI-Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB) National Accreditation Program (NAP), as previously structured, did not meet that requirement.

ANAB will also be separated from RAB’s personnel certification programs because ISO/IEC 17011 prohibits an organization from engaging in both accreditation and certification activities.

By meeting the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011, ANAB will be in good standing as a signatory to the International Accreditation Forum multilateral recognition arrangement for quality and environmental management systems.

Certification/registration organizations accredited by the ANSI-RAB NAP automatically converted to ANAB accreditation this Jan. 1.

Food Safety

In other conformity assessment news, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) selected ANSI to accredit the certification organizations that audit suppliers under FMI’s safe quality food program.

In a pilot initiative with FMI, ANSI will help ensure auditing organizations are legal entities, are free of conflicts of interests, employ qualified people, have proper oversight and otherwise comply with the requirements of Guide 65 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).


Baldrige Applications Available; 2005 Deadlines Announced

The deadline for submitting the 2005 eligibility certification package that includes a nomination to the Baldrige board of examiners for the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is March 11. The deadline for the package alone is April 12.

Instructions for completing and submitting these packages and applications can be found at http://www.quality.nist.gov/Award_Application.htm (case sensitive).

May 12 is the deadline for submitting the 2005 award application package in CD/PDF format, while the deadline for paper format is May 26.


Not-for-Profits Increasingly Aware of SOX Act

According to Grant Thornton’s second annual Na-tional Board of Governance Survey of Not-for-Profit Organizations, 83% of respondents are very or somewhat familiar with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002, compared to 56% in 2003.

The survey, which includes responses from more than 700 entities, also found these organizations are not only aware of the act, but many also are taking action because of it. About half of the respondents have made changes to their corporate governance policies as a result of SOX.

The number of not-for-profits with an audit committee is on the rise: 84% compared to 77% in 2003. Only 15% of respondents report making changes to the makeup of their audit committee following SOX, but 82% say their audit committee includes some sort of financial expert.

An article tentatively titled “ISO 9000 and Sarbanes-Oxley” by William A. Stimson will appear in the March issue of Quality Progress. Stimson says quality professionals can help organizations comply with SOX.

Grant Thornton is an accounting, tax and business consulting firm. To order a full copy of the survey re-port, e-mail sheila.sheridan@gt.com or call 312-602-8430.


Customer Satisfaction Scores Down Slightly

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score for the third quarter of 2004 was slightly lower than that of the second quarter: 74.3 compared to 74.4.

“Even a slight change in the overall ACSI in one quarter has historically signaled a change in proportional consumer spending the following quarter,” according to Claes Fornell, director of the ACSI and business professor at the University of Michigan.

The third quarter results focused on food products, beverages and tobacco. Customer satisfaction with food products remained remarkably stable according to Jack West, past president of ASQ, which co-sponsors the ACSI.

Candy makers Hershey and Mars showed the greatest improvement over their scores of a year ago and remain near the top of the food in-dustry. Among all food manufacturers, Heinz remains the industry leader at 88, followed closely by Hershey (87), Quaker Oats (86) and Mars (85).

Most other companies are clustered in the mid-80s, but Campbell, Dole and Tyson declined this year to 79, matching the lowest ACSI scores ever of any food companies.

Tobacco and Beer

Overall, customer satisfaction with cigarettes stands at 78, the highest level in four years, with smaller discounters garnering higher scores than their larger competitors. The larger companies have raised their prices to cover large legal costs of recent years, from which the smaller companies have mostly been immune.

Overall scores for the beer industry declined 4% this quarter, largely due to a drop for industry leader Anheuser-Busch to 79, its lowest score in five years. An-heuser-Busch has been the target of negative ads by Miller Brewing, its chief competitor, which experienced 18% sales growth in the first half of 2004, while its satisfaction score of 79 was unchanged.

The complete third quarter report and scores can be found at http://www. theacsi.org.


Consumers Unconvinced Of Improvements In Healthcare Quality

Five years after the Institute of Medicine issued its report focusing attention on medical errors in hospitals, Americans say they do not believe the nation’s quality of care has improved.

Four in 10 people say the quality of healthcare has gotten worse in the last five years, four in 10 say it has stay-ed the same and only one in 10 says it has gotten better, according to a survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foun-dation, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Qual- ity and the Harvard School of Public Health.

The survey of more than 2,000 adults, conducted during the summer of 2004, found nearly half say they are concerned about the safety of medical care they and their families receive, and more than half say they are dissatisfied with the quality of healthcare in the United States.

On the other hand, a new study from the National Com- mittee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) says the quality of care delivered by health plans that publicly report their performance improved markedly last year, even though the U.S. healthcare system as a whole remains plagued by quality gaps that contribute to thousands of avoidable deaths every year.

For additional information and results of the Kaiser survey, visit http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/pomr111704pkg.cfm. The full NCQA report can be downloaded from
http:// www.ncqa.org/communications/news/index.htm.


Standards Provisions Prominent In Intelligence Reform Bill

The recently enacted U.S. intelligence reform bill contains several provisions with implications for the standards community and standards developers, according to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The legislation says the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security should promote, where appropriate, voluntary national preparedness standards such as ANSI/NFPA 1600, the private sector standard developed by ANSI and the National Fire Protection Assn. and endorsed by the 9-11 Com-mission.

Among the counterterrorism elements of the act is a requirement to implement a program to accelerate the deployment and use of a biometric entry-exit system for U.S. airports and ports. In 2004, the department adopted the first biometric facial recognition standard—ANSI INCITS 285-2004.

Other standards related provisions of the bill call for the development of standards for public safety communications and for translation standards to address database scanning of Arabic names.


ISO To Develop New Food Safety Standard

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is writing a new standard on food safety. Food Safety Management Systems—Requirements for Organizations Throughout the Food Chain will be published by the end of 2005 and will bear the number 22000.

Dennis Arter, ASQ’s divisions/forums liaison to the U.S. Standards Group, reports, “The document reads quite well (for an international standard). It does a fine job of combining quality management system (QMS) concepts from ISO 9001:2000 with the hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) concepts developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.”

Food safety deals with the presence of food borne hazards in food at the point of consumption. These hazards include biological toxins, chemical byproducts and physical contaminants and can be identified through the hazards analysis component of HACCP. “Once iden- tified, they can be eliminated or controlled through process and systems approaches of a QMS. The match between these two is almost obvious,” Arter explains.

Arter says with ISO 22000, there will be for the first time a standard that can be understood and used by farmers, ranchers and their suppliers, food processors, wholesalers and distributors, large retail stores and fast food outlets.

ISO 22000’s five key elements are:

  1. Interactive communication.
  2. System management.
  3. Process control.
  4. HACCP principles.
  5. Prerequisite programs.

Prerequisite programs, common to HACCP professionals and those subject to U.S. Food and Drug Adminis-tration controls, are known by terms such as good manufacturing practice, good hygienic practice and good veterinarian practice. “The ISO 22000 draft standard covers prerequisite programs quite nicely,” Arter asserts.

The draft contains a 13-page annex on how to implement the standard. “Some will say this is a repeat of the mistakes made by the U.S. military when it issued its handbooks on
MIL-Q standards. Users (and auditors) paid more attention to the guidance words than the base document principles,” says Arter.

“However, the recent revision to ISO 9001 has shown the market still wants guidance. The writing team was careful to keep the ‘shalls’ out of the annex and explain why the require- ments exist,” Arter concludes.

The first draft international standard passed a worldwide vote in late 2004.


Sustaining Membership Upgraded With Added Benefits

With the new year, ASQ has redesigned its sustaining membership program with enhanced benefits. The redesign followed member and corporate research.

Changes include e-section membership, one forum/division membership (with more at $10 each), electronic access to all ASQ journals, an electronic newsletter, strategic initiative (such as economic case for quality and image enhancement) materials and electronic access to annual conference proceedings.

Continuing benefits include a special area on ASQ’s website, Quality Progress magazine, a twice yearly listing in Quality Progress, a special event at the ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement (formerly Annual Quality Con-gress or AQC), discounts on ASQ products and services, in-cluding Career Services, and access to Quality Information Center searches.

Benefits removed from the former model include print subscriptions to any or all journals and periodicals, membership in all forums/divisions, hard copies of AQC proceedings and discounts on ASQ certification.

For more information about ASQ sustaining membership, go to http://www.asq.org/join/sust or call 800-248-1946 or 414-272-8575.

The FACE of Quality

Name: Roger Hoerl.

Residence: Niskayuna, NY.

Education: Doctorate in statistics from the University of Delaware.

First job related to quality: Statistical consultant to the quality management group at Hercules Inc., Wilmington, DE.

Current job: Leads the applied statistics lab at General Electric (GE) Global Research. The group of 13 statisticians develops analytical technology in support of each GE business. A certified Master Black Belt, Hoerl also was quality leader for the GE corporate audit staff and led the development of a GE corporatewide design for Six Sigma for commercial quality methodology.

ASQ activities: Fellow; co-author of the Statistics Division’s book Improving Performance Through Sta-tistical Thinking; past chair of the Statistics Division.

Other activities: Fellow of the American Statistical Assn. (ASA); elected to the International Statistical Institute.

Awards: ASA Founders Award in 2004 for being an “advocate in promoting and facilitating discussion between industry and academe”; ASQ’s Brumbaugh Award in 2002 and Hunter Award in 1999.

Other books: Co-author with Ron Snee of Six Sigma Beyond the Factory Floor: Deployment Strategies for Financial Services, Health Care and the Rest of the Real Economy (Financial Times/ Prentice Hall, 2005), Statistical Thinking: Improved Business Per-formance (Thomson Learning/Duxbury Press, 2003) and Leading Six Sigma (Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2002).

Personal: Married to Senecca; two adult children.

Favorite way to relax: Not relaxation, per se, but his favorite activity is to visit orphanages in Bulgaria, where he’s led teams the last two years and expects to go two or three times in 2005.

Quality quote: Quality is finally assuming its rightful place as a fundamental business function, in all types of organizations from finance to healthcare to nonprofits. In this environment, we as quality professionals need to help determine how to properly integrate quality into the larger organization to optimize overall results without dogmatically preaching quality at the expense of other functions.


Quality Press Releasing Eight New Titles

ASQ Quality Press has announced recently released or soon to be released publications:

  • Computer Based Robust Engineering: Es-sentials for DFSS by Genichi Taguchi, Rajesh Jugulum and Shin Taguchi was published Dec. 8, 2004.
  • The Process Approach Audit Checklist for Manufacturing by Karen Welch was published Dec. 10, 2004.
  • Enterprise Process Mapping: Integrating Systems for Compliance and Business Excellence by Charles G. Cobb was released Jan. 2.
  • DFSS as Strategic Experimentation: Planning, Designing and Building World Class Products and Services by H.E. Cook was released Jan. 2.
  • The Certified Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook by Donald W. Benbow and T.M. Kubiak was published Jan. 10.
  • The Quality Toolbox, second edition, by Nancy R. Tague will be published in mid-February.
  • Effective Writing for the Quality Professional: Creating Useful Letters, Reports and Procedures by Jane Campanizzi will be released Feb. 23.
  • Applied Statistics for the Six Sigma Green Belt by Brisham Gupta and H. Fred Walker will be released Feb. 28.

For more information or to order a book, go to http://qualitypress.asq.org. To receive regular information about new Quality Press releases and standards, sign up online for Quality Press News, a monthly e-mail an-nouncement, at http://www.asq.org/keepintouch.html.


Reports Offer New Views on Job Outsourcing

The practice of outsourcing is a hot media topic, causing fear and anxiety among U.S. and European workers, but new surveys and reports reveal some different perspectives on the subject.

While European and U.S. organizations are on pace with each other as far as outsourcing financial functions within the last two years—Europe outsourcing 72% and the United States outsourc- ing 77%—less than half the respondents to a survey view the practice to be effective, as reported by Pricewaterhouse Coopers. According to the survey, “one third of companies see limited or very little benefit to outsourcing, 9% feel they are breaking even, and 4% believe they are actually losing money.”

Enterprise Systems presents another side of outsourcing by reporting “over 70% of companies that outsource choose a domestic provider, and half of their survey respondents say no positions were eliminated in their last outsourcing project.”

Both surveys report the most common positions being outsourced are IT, systems reporting, payroll, billing and accounts payable services along with benefits and claim administration functions.

The Economist states that “while Amer- icans and Europeans fear for their jobs, worriers forget the same changes in production technology that destroy jobs also create new ones.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan notes, “There is always likely to be anxiety about the jobs of the future, because in the long run most of them will involve producing goods and services that have not yet been invented.” The Economist concludes outsourcing is “a game in which everyone can win,” because not only does it benefit richer countries, but it also gives poorer countries a chance to better themselves.

For more information regarding this subject, visit PricewaterhouseCoopers’ website at http://www.pwc.com, Enter- prise Systems’ website at http://www.esj.com or The Economist’s website at http://www.economist.com.

ASQ News

DIVISION SPONSORS FUTURE CITY AWARD The Society’s Design and Construction Division/Forum is again this year sponsoring a special award for the most innovative use of construction materials and techniques for National Engineers Week’s Future City Competition. The national competition for seventh and eighth graders recognizes team oriented engineering. The teams design and construct a city with a population of 50,000 in the year 2150. Regional competitions were scheduled for mid to late Jan-uary and the finals will be in Washington, DC, Feb. 19-22.
For more information, go to http://www.futurecity.org.

SERVICE COURSES OFFERED IN BALTIMORE Three new service related courses have been added to the March cluster of ASQ courses being offered in Baltimore March 14-16. The courses are The Case for Quality: Taking It to Management, Best Practice in Service Quality Measure- ment and Quality Methods for the Service Industry. For complete details on the course cluster and new offerings, go to http://www.asq.org/ed/courses.

PAPER AND PRESENTATION PROPOSALS for the 14th annual Service Quality Conference are being accepted through the end of February. The proposal application can be found at http://www.asq.org/ed/conferences/sqc/ 2005/index.html.

CCT NUMBERS GROW A summer 2004 issue of High Mach, a publication of the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), indicated pride in the fact that of the total of 147 ASQ certified calibration technicians (CCT), nine were with AEDC. Since then, another 201 have passed the exam for a total of 348 ASQ CCTs worldwide.

BECS CONFERENCE HAS B2B and B2C TRACKS The third annual Business Excellence and Customer Satisfaction Conference (BECS) for the first time is offering business to business and business to consumer tracks. The conference is for marketing, customer service, supply chain, survey research and other personnel who want to learn how quality systems increase customer satisfaction, provide measurable value and positively impact financial performance. It will be held Feb. 28-March 1 in Tampa, FL. To learn more about the conference and the service oriented course it includes, go to http://www.asq.org/ed/conferences/becs/2005/index.html.

COSTA RICA CONFERENCE IN MARCH The annual Costa Rica Quality Conference will be held March 14-16 in San Jose. The five sponsors are ASQ’s Costa Rican international member unit, the Institute Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Cámara de Industrias de Costa Rica, Georgetown University’s Center for Intercultural Education and Development and Broom Community College/State University of New York. The eight scheduled keynote speakers represent educational institutions and multinational business organizations such as Fujitsu Network Communications and Citigroup. There will be multiple parallel workshop tracks both days and six half-day postconference workshops on March 16. For more information, go to http://www. asq.org/global.

Short Runs

VERIDIAN HOMES of Madison, WI, has become the third builder in the United States to achieve national housing quality certification under a pilot program offered by the National Assn. of Home Builders Research Center. The certification recognizes builders and trade contractors who have implemented formal quality assurance systems and participated in annual audits. Denis Leonard, an ASQ member who is Veridian’s quality manager, wrote two articles for Quality Progress in 2004.

THE AMERICAN MEASURING TOOL MANUFACTURERS ASSN. has released the second edition of Searching for Zero, a guide to dimensional metrology compiled through measurement surveys that included ones conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It can be ordered at http://www.amtma.com.

REPRESENTATIVES OF NINE public accounting firms have issued the Framework for Evaluating Process/Transaction Level and Information Technology General Control Exceptions and Deficiencies for use in audits of internal control over financial reporting. A copy of the report can be read at http://www.kpmg.com/news/index.asp?cid=928.

COMPLIANCE SPENDING, including that for Sarbanes-Oxley, risk management and standards, is predicted to increase by an average of 23% at U.S. and European multinational companies during the next one to two years, according to PrincewaterhouseCoopers’ most recent Management Baro-meter Survey. More detailed re-sults are available at
http://www. pwc.com/extweb/aboutus.nsf/docid/f818240917f5ad7785256ea90054d768.

THE SOCIETY OF AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERS (SAE) and Cadpo, a training provider, laun-ched their first computer aided design course in Shanghai, China, in December 2004.

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