World Conference Roars Into Milwaukee

The World Conference on Quality and Improvement came home to Milwaukee in 2006, as more than 2,200 quality professionals gathered in May to celebrate ASQ’s 60th anniversary.

The weather was chilly and rainy, but the environment inside the Midwest Airlines Conference Center was welcoming and lively. Speakers included Sister Mary Jean Ryan, president and CEO of SSM Health Care in St. Louis; David Kohler, group president of the Kohler Co. Kitchen and Bath Group in Kohler, WI; and John M. Jones, president and COO of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. The unofficial best entrance award went to Tues-day’s keynote speaker, James McCaslin, president and CEO of hometown Harley-Davidson Motor Co., who thundered into the auditorium on one of his company’s motorcycles.

This was the first World Conference held in Milwaukee since the new ASQ headquarters opened in 2001. Attendees had the opportunity to tour headquarters and meet face to face with staff.

To view more photos of the 2006 World Conference, go to http://wcqi.asq.org/2006/post-conference. For information on the 2007 World Conference in Orlando, FL, go to http://wcqi.asq.org.

Awards and Fellows

ASQ handed out several annual awards, including the Brumbaugh Award and Crosby, Feigenbaum, Freund Marquardt, Grant, Ishikawa, Juran, Lancaster, Shainin and Shewhart medals. For a complete list of the winners and copies of their acceptance speeches, go to www.asq.org/about-asq/awards/index.html.

ASQ also recognized 24 members who achieved Fellow status in the past year.

Executive Roundtable

This year’s conference featured the first ever executive roundtable. Including seven speakers, 31 CEOs from the manufacturing and service markets attended.

The event provided an opportunity for executives, often overlooked in ASQ activities, to discuss problems they are facing and how the quality community can address them.

Challenges identified included commoditizing products, advancing quality beyond compliance with laws and regulations, viewing quality not as a cost but as a value added resource, identifying basic quality tools and matching them with situations, and attracting new employees with longer term perspectives.

Members Rate Benefits

Two discussion groups, totaling 219 ASQ members, took part in a member value survey. The purpose was to assign dollar values to various ASQ benefits. Participants estimated the average yearly sustainable value of ASQ membership to be $14,235. In 2005, 32 participants determined the average value to be $6,625.

The top three benefits in dollar value were certification ($3,000 per year), training ($2,500) and section involvement ($1,750).

One or both groups rated several benefits as having no monetary value, including employment opportunities listed on ASQ’s website, information on standards, conferences and meetings (excluding the World Conference), professional credibility/salary improvement and award opportunities for their organizations.

Winning Teams Take Home Excellence Awards

 Twenty-seven teams participated in the 21st International Team Excellence Competition at this year’s World Conference. Three took top honors:


Company: Reliance Industries Ltd; Hazira, India

Team: Polyester fiberfill cost reduction

Project: Reducing the production cost of polyester fiberfill by controlling high-cost items without affecting product properties or process operations.


Company: Boeing C17 Program; Long Beach, CA

Team: Transportation tracking

Project: Developing a process to visibly track inventory from receiving to production. The new process eliminated searches for lost parts, implemented online and real-time monitoring and ensured timely delivery of inventory.


Company: Siemens VDO; Guadalajara, Mexico

Team: Mack Trucks plant failures reduction

Project: Reducing returns of Mack Trucks through Six Sigma.

Other teams came from Boeing, Honda of America, Fidelity Investments and Baxter Healthcare. The award ceremony was hosted by Green Bay Packers president and CEO John Jones.

For information on next year’s International Team Excellence Competition, visit http://wcqi.asq.org or e-mail gbalagopal@asq.org.


Juran Center Announces Fellows and Doctoral Awards

The Joseph M. Juran Center for Leadership in Quality has announced the 2006 Juran Fellows and Juran Doctoral Award winners.

Fellows are doctoral candidates selected for their quality related research. They receive $10,000 each to expand their research after graduation. This year’s fellows, selected from 22 applicants, were:

  • Brad Beauvais, Pennsylvania State University, for Does Money Really Matter? The Effects of Health Organization Finances on Quality of Care.
  • Ruthanne Huising, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for Becoming (and Being) a Change Agent: Personal Transformation and the Diffusion of Quality Management Programs.
  • Nina Vyatkina, Pennsylvania State University, for Continuous Improvement of Second Language Pragmatic Competence: Data-Driven Teaching Based on a Learner Corpus.
  • Jisun Yu, University of Minnesota, for One Size Does Not Fit All: Toward an Understanding of Local Adaptation of Quality Management Practices in Cross-Border Practice Transfers.
  • Dongli Zhang, University of Minnesota, for Quality Control vs. Quality Learning: Measurement, Antecedents and Performance Implication.

Doctoral awards are for students beginning their doctoral research. Winners receive $2,500 each. From 17 applicants, seven winners were selected: Aravind Chandrasekaran, Emily McIlvaine and Pallab Sanyal from the University of Minnesota; Betty Harper, Leidy Klotz and Tanuj Motwani from Pennsylvania State University; and Sarang Deo from the University of California, Los Angeles.

The Juran Center is part of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. For more information, go to www.carlsonschool.umn.edu/juran.


Drafting Progresses On Social Responsibility Standard, ISO 26000

About 320 people from 55 countries and 26 international organizations attended a May meeting of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) working group on social responsibility.

The representatives of industry, government, labor, consumers, nongovernmental organizations and other service, support and research organizations are developing ISO 26000, a voluntary guideline standard. In addition to the work on the standard’s content, the attendees further defined the group’s operating framework and developed communication tools for promoting awareness of social responsibility, the significance of the standard and how diverse interests can contribute to the shaping of the standard.

Communications tools include a dedicated website at www.iso.org/sr. The working group’s next meeting will be in January or February 2007 in Sydney, Australia. ISO 26000 is expected to be published in early 2009.

ASQ is administrator of the U.S. technical advisory group (TAG) on social responsibility, which represents the U.S. position in the development of the standard. The TAG is still seeking members, specifically from the government, nongovernmental organization and labor sectors. Those interested should contact ASQ’s standards team at standards@asq.org.


Role of Engineers in Reducing Poverty Discussed

Engineers can do amazing things with little money to improve the lives of people in poverty stricken areas of the world.

That was the message Bernard Amadei, founder of Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA), presented during a general session on May 2 during the World Conference on Quality and Improvement in Milwaukee.

EWB-USA began in 2000 in San Pablo, Belize, where children were responsible for carrying all drinking and irrigation water to the small Mayan village.

Amadei, professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder, was asked to examine the possibility of designing and installing a water delivery system to the village, which lacked electricity, running water and sanitation.

Amadei returned to Boulder, where he recruited eight engineering students and a local civil engineering expert to help. The result was a project that took advantage of a waterfall to provide energy to drive a pump.

The project, which included a water intake structure, drive tank, storage tank and about 3,000 feet of pipe, was completed at a cost of about $14,000. That amount included airfares for 12 people. Residents of the village assisted so the improvement would be sustainable once the engineers and students left.

Based on this experience, Amadei founded EWB-USA, which is now part of an international organization of engineers who complete similar projects throughout the world.

Madei pointed out a need for assistance from ASQ’s members in the areas of both quality control and best practices. He cautioned, however, that development of best practices in remote desert or jungle areas is different than it is in the industrialized world because of both physical and cultural challenges.

Interested quality engineers and other practitioners can learn more about EWB-USA and its international counterpart at www.ewb-usa.org or

ASQ News

GOVERNMENT ADDS ASQ TO PREFERRED SUPPLIERS LIST The U.S. government has added ASQ to its Federal Supply Services (FSS) list, making it an approved source for federal government training. The government will receive discounted pricing and reduced contract processing time for ASQ’s onsite and computer based training, and ASQ receives priority when the government is selecting such training. For more information on the FSS, go to www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/ channelView.do?pageTypeId=8199&channelId=-13263 (case sensitive).

CERTIFICATION CHANGES NAME ASQ’s certification board has voted to change the name of the mechanical inspector certification to quality inspector. The Inspection Division proposed the change The first certified quality inspector exam will be Oct. 21. For more information, go to www.asq.org/certification.

ANDERSON RECEIVES TOP SELLER AWARD Bjørn Andersen was presented with Quality Press’s Top Sellers Award at ASQ’s publications reception, held during this year’s World Conference. The award is given to authors whose books sell more than 10,000, 20,000 or 50,000 copies. Andersen’s book, Business Process Improvement Toolbox, published in 1999, surpassed the 10,000 mark in the past year.

NEW STANDARDS AVAILABLE ASQ is selling electronic versions of three new standards in its online bookstore: ISO 22000:2005: Food safety management systems—Requirements for any organization in the food chain, ISO 9000:2005: Quality management systems—Fundamentals and vocabulary and ANSI/ISO/ASQ Q10002-2004: Quality management—Customer satisfaction—Guidelines for complaints handling in organizations. To purchase these, go to http://qualitypress.asq.org and select Standards from the Select a Category dropdown menu.

The FACE of Quality

Name: Geoffrey Vining.

Residence: Blacksburg, VA.

Education: Doctorate in statistics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg.

Current job: Professor and chair of the department of statistics at Virginia Tech.

Introduction to quality: Process engineer at Faber-Castell in Lewisburg, TN, in 1981. Vining had an undergraduate degree in philosophy but had taken several statistics classes. He says this made him the closest thing to a statistician Faber-Castell had, and the company put him in charge of the W. Edwards Deming based quality program it was launching at the time. Vining later went back to school to learn more about statistics in quality.

ASQ activities: Joined ASQ in 1985; became a Fellow in 2001; is current chair of the publications management board; was the editor of the Journal of Quality Technology from 1998 to 2000; has served on several other ASQ boards and committees.

Published works: Most recent book is Statistical Methods for Engineers, second edition, co-authored with Scott M. Kowalski, Duxbury Press, 2006; has written two other books, edited one and authored or coauthored 27 articles for professional journals.

Personal: Getting married this month in Peru; has three children from a previous marriage.

Favorite ways to relax: Travel, fine dining and good wine.

Quality quote: Improving the quality of products and services is absolutely fundamental for business innovation. My work focuses on how statistics can improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of quality improvement. I view statistics as a catalyst for innovation. My job is to improve the catalyst.


Quality Suffers in Energy Utilities, Airline Industries

Rising fuel costs appear to have taken a toll on customer perceptions of quality in the energy utilities and airline industries during the first quarter of the year, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and the ASQ Quarterly Quality Report, derived from ACSI data.

Customers of those industries, plus limited service restaurants and hospitals, were interviewed for the survey. The survey revealed that while consumer confidence was still high, it was poised for a steep decline in May.

Among the 30 energy utilities tracked by the ACSI, six declined and only four showed gains. Compared to the first quarter of 1995, when the ACSI first measured customer satisfaction with utilities, the perceived quality rating of the industry as a whole has declined significantly (3.5 index points).

Among airlines, only US Airways, which had the lowest perceived quality score this quarter last year, showed a significant gain. The gain, however, wasn’t enough to pull it out of a last place tie this year with Northwest Airlines.

The airline industry as a whole has quality marks lower than any industry group measured in the ACSI. Southwest Airlines is the only U.S. airline with perceived quality ratings matching the overall national quality index for all industries.

Jack West, past president of ASQ, lists disgruntled employees, elimination of or extra charges for amenities, reduced service and smaller jets among the factors causing the poor quality perceptions.

The only limited service restaurants to record gains this quarter compared to the first quarter last year were pizza chains. Among hamburger restaurants, only Wendy’s has ratings close to those of the pizza restaurants. Starbucks has the highest perceived quality rating in the limited service restaurant category—noteworthy in that this is the first time Starbucks has been included.

Because hospital care is a locally delivered service, ratings are not individualized. But as a group, hospitals increased their perceived quality score by nearly four percentage points this quarter.

West points out that for several years, hospitals have been adopting and adapting quality improvement approaches, such as Six Sigma, measurement of outcomes and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria.

For additional information on the first quarter quality report, go to www.asq.org/quality-report/reports/ 20060516.html.

Short Runs

RABQSA INTERNATIONAL HAS DEVELOPED a new certification for auditors of information security management systems (ISMS). ISO/IEC 27001 and ISO/IEC 17799 pertain to information security management and were used to develop the new certification program. For more information, go to www.rabqsa.com.

THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR STANDARDIZATION has published a new standard to help ensure the security of financial transactions on the internet. Information about ISO 21188:2006 can be found at www.iso.ch/iso/en/commcentre/pressreleases/2006/ Ref1008.html (case sensitive).

THE EUROPEAN CENTRE FOR TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT (ECTQM) turns 20 this year. The ECTQM is part of the School of Management at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom. Members include ASQ, the European Foundation for Quality Management, the British Quality Foundation, the Indian Quality Society, the New Zealand Quality Foundation and the Iranian Society for Quality. For more information, go to www.brad.ac.uk/acad/management/ectqm/intro.html.

WORLDWIDE CONVENTIONS AND BUSINESS FORUMS, which organizes the Global Six Sigma Awards, has named Jill M. Considine the Six Sigma CEO of the Year. Considine is chair and CEO of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp. in New York. President Bush appointed Considine to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. Considine will be presented with the award at the Global Six Sigma Awards Gala Dinner on June 28 in Las Vegas.

SUMMARY APPLICATIONS of the six recipients of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards are now available at http://baldrige.nist.gov/2005_Application_ Summaries.htm (case sensitive). Hard copies of these documents will be mailed upon if request by e-mailing nqp@nist.gov or calling (301) 975-2036.

A SAMPLE BALDRIGE AWARD APPLICATION for nonprofit organizations is now available online. The application profiles a fictitious government organization, the Flagstaff District of the U.S. Water Resource Agency, and is available at http://baldrige.nist.gov/Flagstaff.htm (case sensitive). Starting in 2007, nonprofit organizations will be eligible to apply for the Baldrige award.

A SALARY SURVEY from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) provides information on salary, bonuses and stock options gathered from 1,223 respondents, all supply management professionals. The survey is available free to ISM members or for nonmember purchase at www.ism.ws.

SOLIDWORKS HAS ANNOUNCED its sponsorship of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The corporation, which develops and markets software for design, analysis and product data management, will provide one license of its education edition and associated curriculum tools to each recipient of the White House award. This will allow the teacher to introduce students to practical applications of math and science fundamentals.

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