Sales and Marketing The Six Sigma Way

Michael J. Webb and Tom Gorman, Kaplan Business, 2006, 298 pp., $27 (book).

Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way demonstrates how Six Sigma tools and techniques can be used to solve sales and marketing problems. The book begins by stating there is a crisis in sales and marketing industries caused by the balance of power in the marketplace shifting to the customers.

This shift has resulted in more salespeople not reaching their quotas and working more hours to produce results. The remainder of the book shows how process thinking and Six Sigma can help sales and marketing organizations overcome this crisis.

The main strength of this book lies in helping readers think of sales and marketing as a process of finding, winning, keeping and then servicing customers. Thinking about sales and marketing in this way allows readers to use Six Sigma tools, such as yield calculations, process mapping and fishbone diagrams as a way to solve the industries’ problems.

Still, the book is somewhat of a sales pitch on how process thinking can be used in sales and marketing more than it is a book that shows in detail how Six Sigma can be used to solve the industries’ problems.

It is telling that only two out the eight chapters deal with Six Sigma in any detail. There was also no mention of how to validate data, which is critical to any project, but even more so to one in a transactional environment such as sales.

Overall, the book does touch on how Six Sigma can be used in sales and marketing. If that is all you are looking for, then buy this book.

Brian Cocolicchio
Quest Diagnostics
Teterboro, NJ

It All Begins With Deming and Crosby

R.J. Kovel, Knowledge Transfer Press, 2006, $25 (book).

Decades ago, two legendary experts identified valuable principles of quality improvements and transformations. The groundbreaking ideas of W. Edwards Deming and Philip Crosby are just as relevant today as when they were first practiced.

It All Begins With Deming and Crosby does not simply restate Deming’s 14 points or reinterpret Crosby’s ideas. Instead, it chronicles one man’s journey of discovery and transformation as he applies these ideas to everyday situations.

Kovel uses this story as an effective means of instilling Crosby’s and Deming’s knowledge of improvement methods to readers. The author’s achievements, conversations and lessons learned in the past 15 years in manufacturing come together as raw material for this book. These events have been brought together to communicate ideas and methods for building a successful company and developing a fulfilling life. The story relates to everyday experiences happening in real businesses to real people.

I liked the book and its different approach. I also enjoyed the enlightening quotations from Deming and Crosby dispersed throughout the book. Readers will learn how to transform their thinking and achieve measurable improvements in every area of business and life. As Deming said, “We are here to make another world.”

Bengt Klefsjö
Luleå University of Technology

All That Matters About Quality

William B. Miller and Vicki Schenk, Bayrock Press, 2006, 176 pp., $11.95 (book).

All That Matters About Quality I Learned in Joe’s Garage: High Quality Made Simple is a quick read. Miller and Schenk have produced a story that says it all, providing great insight into a subject while also providing a simple account of a simple task. Do not assume the depth and completeness of coverage is lacking due to its easy reading and style of presentation. It is one of the best general quality manufacturing books I have ever read. The authors have instilled the essence of just in time and total quality management manufacturing practices that anyone, at any level, involved in manufacturing anything can easily understand.

The book begins with a tale of a weekend project with the narrator taking notes after a previous foray into a manufacturing project that left him with many significant lessons learned. By the end of the book, his notes and thoughts on this project are summarized in a series of short journal entries covering the manufacturing process in general. The narrator then offers a final “10 rules of quality.”

The book’s usefulness is enhanced as a learning tool by including a series of questions in the discussion guide that are suitable for shop floor or boardroom analysis. The one thing I found mildly objectionable was the inclusion of fortune cookie-like statements introducing each chapter, causing me to question where it was leading.

I think both novice and seasoned quality practitioners will find this book useful. I am definitely sharing this find with my quality staff.

Marc A. Feldman
Solvay Chemicals

Quality Management Essentials

David Hoyle, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2007, 216 pp., $29.95 (book).

Quality Management Essentials is a brief introduction to the fundamentals and principles of quality management. It tries to overcome the existing difficulties of embedding understanding in the minds of those who have the ability and opportunity to make decisions. This book aims to give the reader a balanced view by presenting a logical argument, which in turn leads to overall understanding. However, it is not a comprehensive guide to quality management.

The initial chapters provide a concise explanation of quality management’s basic concepts. Each concept is clearly defined and existing misconceptions are discarded. Chapter 3 is dedicated to justifying the achievement of quality as a strategic issue requiring a systems approach.

The main part of the book includes an explanation of two very different approaches to managing quality: ISO 9000 and process approach. Misconceptions on both approaches are presented and then refuted.

The book’s strength is that almost all the basic concepts of quality management are clearly and briefly explained in a very readable style. The book’s main weakness is the lack of real examples illustrating each of the explained concepts. However, the book does include a final chapter analyzing four real cases, making it possible to assimilate what was previously explained.

Overall, this book serves as an introduction to quality management principles. It is highly recommended to managers and professors wanting a brief explanation and discussion of the essentials of quality from a recognized quality author.

Martìn Tanco
Tecnun (University of Navarra)
San Sebastian, Spain

The Certified HACCP Auditor Handbook

ASQ Food, Drug and Cosmetic Division, ASQ Quality Press, 2007, 312 pp., $63 member, $105 list (book and CD-ROM).

The Certified HACCP Auditor Handbook is the newest version of a previous ASQ offering, titled The Quality Auditor’s Handbook. The original work was developed for quality auditors as a baseline for hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) knowledge, including an introduction of general principles and how they applied to the food and medical device industry.

This knowledge base, some of which was included as an add-on by ASQ to the existing Certified Quality Auditor Exam, was approved as a standalone certification in 2004. As a result of the Certified HACCP Auditor (CHA) certification, this book was published.

It includes much of the original reference material, with new chapters devoted to the principles of management systems auditing and analytical tools of quality assurance. Additionally, the primary focus of this updated reference is to help prepare the reader for the CHA exam and includes a sample on CD-ROM.

The book is logically laid out, with initial chapters discussing the history of HACCP, preliminary steps in assessing the need for an HACCP plan, HACCP team development, as well as detailing the process flow diagram.

New chapters include guidelines for conducting an effective HACCP audit, HACCP auditor competencies and brief descriptions of quality assurance analytical tools, which are familiar to most quality professionals.

The last half of the book is split between applying HACCP principles to the food and medical device industry, with general topic headings designed to give readers some direction as to what questions they should consider in their own industry or company. New appendixes and a detailed bibliography include helpful interpretation of ISO 22000:2005, Food Safety Management Systems-Requirements for Any Organization in the Food Chain, National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, and Codex Guidelines for HACCP, and commonly identified hazards in the food and medical industry.

This book is a good place to start for anyone trying to understand the basics of HACCP and for those prepping for the CHA exam.

Linda Cubalchini-Travis
Simi Valley, CA


  • The Executive Guide to Understanding and Implementing the Baldrige Criteria: Improve Revenue and Create Organizational Excellence Denis Leonard and Mac McGuire, ASQ Quality Press, 2007, 144 pp., $16 member, $28 list, (book).
  • Made-to-Order Lean: Excelling in a High Mix, Low Volume Environment Greg Lane, Productivity Press, 2007, 224 pp., $50 (book).
  • The Executive Guide to Understanding and Implementing Employee Engagement Programs: Expand Production Capacity, Increase Revenue, and Save Jobs Pat Townsend and Joan Gebhardt, ASQ Quality Press, 2007, 88 pp., $16 member, $28 list (book).

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