Offshoring Doesn’t Preclude Engineering Career

Analysis of global outsourcing by McKinsey & Co.’s global institute says that while many engineering jobs will be done in India, China and other low wage countries, the underlying demand for engineers is so great there will still be demand in the United States.

McKinsey interviewed HR executives with 83 large companies and found the execs view less than one in five engineers in low wage countries as potential hires. The others engineers don’t speak the language, don’t live in the right cities or near airports, lack sufficient practical knowledge or experience or otherwise just don’t fit.

McKinsey says the report doesn’t justify complacency in the United States and other high wage countries. “The supply of suitable talent from the 28 low wage countries we studied exceeds demand for offshore talent from companies in high wage countries,” McKinsey concluded. “U.S., Western European and Japanese professionals should anticipate tougher competition and wages lower than they would enjoy if not for the growing ranks of educated workers elsewhere.”

For an executive summary, the full report or further analysis of the report, go to http://www.mckinsey.com/mgi/publications/emerginggloballabormarket/index.asp.


Companies Can Turn Reporting Into Business Value

Companies can turn regulatory compliance and heightened corporate governance efforts into opportunities that create value for their businesses, according to a new report from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

According to “Beyond Reporting,” companies that find value in the reporting, codes and guidelines associated with compliance and corporate social responsibility:

  • Articulate their own vision of accountability and sustainability and embed the vision within core business strategies.
  • Use accountability codes as tools to change mind-sets about the relationship between value creation and sustainable development—not simply in compliance efforts.
  • Integrate sustainable development and accountability across corporate functions rather than create specialized centers.

“Beyond Reporting” was co-authored by Alcan, Caterpillar, Environmental Resource Management and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. A full copy of the report can be found at http://www.wbcsd.org.


17 Sections Pitch Economic Case for Quality Program

Seventeen sections have completed training and have begun rolling out ASQ economic case for quality (ECQ) programs in their areas.

The sections are: 100, Boston; 302, Mid-Hudson, NY; 304, North Jersey, NJ; 402, Toronto, Canada; 406, Manitoba, Canada; 502, Baltimore; 505, Philadelphia; 613, Silicon Valley, CA; 705, Las Vegas; 712, Tijuana, Mexico; 801, Columbus, OH; 810, Akron-Canton, OH; 814, Elyria-Lorain, OH; 1107, Radford-Roanoke, VA; 1407, Central Arkansas; 1409, Tulsa, OK; and 1422, Bay Area, TX.

Following successful tests of the ECQ idea in Pittsburgh and Milwaukee, the sections agreed to take the program to the next level through local contacts. Armed with ASQ-supplied lessons learned, presentation material and myriad case studies from industry, section representatives are proactively contacting local executives at organizations with annual revenues of less than $500 million to explain how quality can impact bottom lines.

For more information on the ECQ program, go to http://www.asq.org/economic-case/index.html.


JCAHO Urges Systems Approach to Patient Safety

In a June hearing before the health subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Commission, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) said U.S. healthcare facilities must embrace a systems approach to preventing adverse events and keeping the inevitable errors that caregivers make from reaching patients.

Dennis S. O’Leary, JCAHO’s president, said the systems approach, borrowed from engineering and quality control principles that have been successfully applied to manufacturing, mitigates the effects of mistakes by designing systems that anticipate human error and prevent the occurrence of adverse events.

The absence of electronic information exchange capabilities to provide decision support makes it virtually impossible for practitioners to maintain a current clinical knowledge base, O’Leary added.

“The healthcare industry is a victim of the rapid and continuing advances in its capabilities and sophistication. Much progress had been made in improving patient safety since the Institute of Medicine issued its report, To Err Is Human, but we may actually be falling further behind as new drugs, procedures and technologies are introduced every day,” O’Leary testified. “Each of these has inherent safety risks that have not been identified, and they are usually introduced into care delivery settings where patient safety and systems thinking are not constantly top of mind.”


Is Six Sigma a Dying Fad?

The Avery Point Group’s managing principal, Tim Noble, says the average life cycle of a theory of business management fad is typically five years.

Six Sigma has been a big part of the business lexicon for al-most a decade. But instead of seeing the method’s chapter coming to a close, Noble says interest in Six Sigma is still very strong.

Noble points out if published books are any indicator, the interest in Six Sigma is continuing to grow. In the last two years alone, he says more than 100 books on Six Sigma have been published, a sevenfold increase over the number on the subject published five years ago.

The Avery Point Group is an executive search firm that focuses on functional expertise in Six Sigma, lean, and plant, operations, supply chain and distribution management.

Further proof that Six Sigma is not a dying fad comes from Quality Progress’ readers. In QP’s recent annual reader survey, the method led all others when readers were asked to state the type of information from the magazine they actually used on the job.


Awards Nomination Deadline Nov. 1

The deadline to nominate people deserving of recognition through ASQ’s awards program is approaching. Recipients do not have to be members of ASQ and can live anywhere in the world. The deadline for all nominations is Nov. 1.

Recipients will be recognized at the annual ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement to be held May 1-3, 2006, in Milwaukee. Awards include:

  • The Crosby Medal for an author of a distinguished book contributing significantly to the extension of the philosophy and application of the principles, methods or techniques of quality management.
  • The Juran Medal for exhibiting distinguished performance in a sustained role as an organizational leader who personally practices the key principles of quality and demonstrates breakthrough management.
  • The Deming Medal for successfully combining the application of statistical thinking and management so each supports and enhances the other.
  • The Edwards Medal for outstanding leadership in the application of modern quality control methods.
  • The Feigenbaum Medal for an individual 35 years old or younger (as of Nov. 1 of the applying year) who has displayed outstanding characteristics of leadership, professionalism and potential in the field of quality and whose work has been, or will become, of distinct benefit to mankind.
  • The Freund-Marquardt Medal for an individual who has held positions of responsibility for development of standards that focus on the management system of an organization.
  • The Eugene L. Grant Medal for outstanding leadership in the development and presentation of meritorious educational programs in quality.
  • The Ishikawa Medal for outstanding leadership in improving the human aspects of quality. Both individuals and teams can be nominated for this medal.
  • The Lancaster Medal for dedication and outstanding contributions to the international community of quality professionals.
  • The Shainin Medal for outstanding use of unique or creative applications of statistical techniques in the solving of problems related to the quality of a product or service.
  • The Shewhart Medal for outstanding contributions to the science and techniques of quality control or demonstrated leadership in modern quality control.

Applications and information for all ASQ Medals and Awards is available at http://www.asq.org/about-asq/awards/index.html.

The FACE of Quality

Name: Wayne Nelson.

Residence: Schenectady, NY.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in physics, Caltech; master’s degree in physics and doctorate in statistics, University of Illinois with National Science Foundation fellowships.

Introduction to quality: As a grad student, attended an inspiring short course on statistical quality control by Irving Burr, Gayle McElrath and Jack Henry, which confirmed his interest in working in industry.

Previous job: A General Electric employee for 25 years, he consulted on innumerable quality and reliability applications and developed new methodology.

Current job: Private consultant and trainer for diverse companies on statistical applications of reliability and accelerated test data analysis.

ASQ activities: Fellow; authored two how-to booklets and presented many courses and talks for ASQ and sections; reviewed for ASQ journals and Quality Press.

Other activities: Author of Applied Life Data Analysis (Wiley paperback, 2004), Accelerated Testing (Wiley paperback, 2004) and Recurrent Events Data Analysis for Product Repairs (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 2003); fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and American Statistical Assn.

Honors: 2005 recipient of the Reliability Section of IEEE’s Lifetime Achievement Award; ASQ Shewhart Medal for technical leadership, Brumbaugh Award and Youden and Wilcoxon prizes; Fulbright Award to lecture on reliability data analysis in Argentina; National Sci-ence Foundation senior research fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Personal: Divorced; three fine children and three finer grandchildren (continuous improvement).

Favorite ways to relax: Dancing Argentine tango and ballroom; playing the oriental game of Go; attending live theater and occasionally doing amateur performing; travel, including visits to Mexico (25 archeological sites to date); improving his Spanish.

Quality quote: We all have the tendency to accept the way things are, but there is often a better way. It pays to be sensitive to the shortcomings of what we do and to strive to improve all we can. Such improvements often come from being open to the ideas and suggestions of others. Indeed, engineering colleagues stimulated many of my statistical developments.

ASQ News

SARBANES-OXLEY CONFERENCE SEPT. 27-28 A conference on the benefits of integrating management systems, including the Sarbanes-Oxley financial reporting law and quality and environmental management systems, will be held Sept. 27-28 in Philadelphia. Keynote speaker will be Edwin Piñero of the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive. For more information or to register, go to http://www.asq.org/conferences/sarbanes-oxley/index.html.

CHECK OUT ASQ’S REDESIGNED WEBSITE at http://www.asq.org. The site has a new look andsimplified navigation.

SERVICE CONFERENCE PLANNED FOR OCTOBER The 14th annual service quality conferencewill be held Oct. 17-18 in Atlanta. Keynoters will be Joseph DeFeo, president of the Juran Institute; Paige Lillard, VP of business excellence, Turner Broadcast-ing System Inc.; and Frans Johansson, author of The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Inter-section of Ideas, Concepts and Cultures. For more information or to register, go to http://www.asq.org/conferences/service-qualiity-conference/index.html.

QUALITY DOWN FOR HOSPITALS, AIRLINES ASQ’s first quarter 2005 quality index revealed a downward trend for airlines, wireless services, hospitals, hotels and fast food chains, but improvements for utilities and cell phone makers. Derived from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the quality index measures perceived quality for different sectors each quarter. For details of the first quarter index, go to http://www.asq.org/media-room/news/2005/06/20050614utilities.html. For more information about the quality index, go to http://www.asq.org/quality-index/index.html.

THE 2005 ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE will be held Sept. 18-22 in San Diego. For details and registration, go to http://www.asq.org/ee.

ASQ CERTIFIED AUDITORS RECOGNIZED ASQ and RABQSA International have announced an agreement that will recognize ASQ certified quality auditors as RABQSA provisional auditors. A data exchange between the two organizations has allowed RABQSA to streamline its application and evaluation process.

THE NEW ENGLAND DISCUSSION GROUP of the Biomedical Division will be held Oct. 27-28 in Waltham, MA. For details or registration, contact Pamela Goldstein at pgoldstein@memdispectra.com or 781-372-2364, or go to http://www.asq.org/biomed.

QUALCON 2005 of the Human Development and Leadership Division will be held Oct. 30 on the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia. The event is being co-hosted by the Australian Organization for Quality-Queensland. For details or registration, go to http://www.qualcon.com.au.

Short Runs

LISA McNARY, author of Quality and Six Sigma From the Inside Out: Politics, Change and Leadership in Organizational America (SPC Press, 2005), says proceeds from the book have established an annual Deming Management Memorial Award in the college of business at Lamar University, Beaumont, TX. James Adam Cochran was selected by the college’s executive committee to receive the first award. McNary teaches quality and productivity at the university. W. Edwards Deming’s last graduate student before his death, she wrote “Life Lessons From Deming” (Quality Progress, August 2004, p. 35).

APPLICATION NUMBERS ARE IN for the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. There were 64 applications: 33 healthcare, 16 education, eight small business, six service and one manufacturing. Last year’s numbers were 60 applications: 22 for healthcare, 17 education, eight small business, five service and eight manufacturing. Baldrige judges and overseers discussed the drop in numbers of business, particularly manufacturing, applications, attributing it to a general decline in manufacturing, outsourcing and the focus of U.S. businesses on short-term financials.

NEW RANKINGS AND RESEARCH from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are becoming more stable. When NHTSA first rated SUVs in 2001, only one earned four stars, while in 2005, 24 earned that rating following rollover tests. Complete test results for 2005 model year vehicles can be found at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/regrev/evaluate/809868/pages/index.html.

SIX SIGMA AS A HEALTHCARE INITIATIVE will be featured at a quality colloquium on healthcare Aug. 21-24 at Harvard University. The program, sponsored by Train for Patient Safety, will feature an executive course on patient safety, healthcare quality enhancements and medical error reduction for healthcare executives, clinicians and patient care staff. For additional information, go to http://www.qualitycolloquium.com.

URAC HAS LAUNCHED accreditation standards to address the quality of consumer directed healthcare plans. The new standards cover consumer education and support products that call on consumers to make more of their own decisions about health coverage and personal health choices. URAC is also developing revised health website standards. For additional information, go to http://www.urac.org.

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR HEALTHCARE QUALITY is accepting abstract submissions for its annual conference to be held Sept. 17-20, 2006, in San Diego. Abstracts and paper and poster presentations are due by this Sept. 30. For additional information and to submit, go to http://www.nahq.org/conference/2006/abstracts.html.

THE AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has said it will award funding of more than $8 million over two years for 15 projects that are designed to help clinicians, facilities and patients implement evidence based patient safety practices. More than half the projects focus on reducing medication errors. For more information, go to http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/pips.htm.

THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF PHARMACEUTICAL ENGINEERING has released the Good Automated Manufacturing Practice (GAMP) Guide: Validation of Laboratory Computerized Systems. The GAMP system targets lab, quality and computer validation professionals responsible for defining and managing laboratory validation practices in regulated life science industries. For additional information on the guide, go to http://www.ispe.org.

GENERAL SYSTEMS CO. of Pittsfield, MA, and eTQM College of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, have announced the launch of the Feigenbaum Leadership Excellence Award for men and women in the public and private sector of the Arab world. The award, named for quality guru Armand Feigenbaum, president and CEO of General Systems, will be administered by the Virtual Executive Club at the eTQM College, a provider of e-learning in the Middle East.


Food Supply Chain Standard Publication Set for Sept.

The International Organization for Standardization says its new standard for food safety management systems will be published in September.

ISO 22000, Food Safety Management Systems—Requirements for Any Organization in the Food Chain, can be applied to organizations including feed producers, primary producers through manufacturers, transport and storage operators, and subcontractors to rail and food service outlets.

Interrelated organizations such as producers of equipment, packaging materials, cleaning agents, additives and ingredients can also be covered by the standard.

ISO 22000 specifies the requirements for a safety management system in the food chain when an organization needs to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards to provide consistently safe end products that meet customer requirements and applicable food safety requirements.

The standard’s publication is complemented by a technical specification, ISO/TS 22004, which provides guidance on implementation of the standards with a particular emphasis on small and mid-sized enterprises. ISO/TS 22003, will be published later to explain certification requirements applicable when third-party certification is used.

More information can be found at http://www.iso.ch.

Average Rating


Out of 0 Ratings
Rate this article

Add Comments

View comments
Comments FAQ

Featured advertisers