Seen & Heard

True or false?

In response to "Standard Wise" (September 2013, pp. 16-21): Is it true that [in ISO 9001:2015] each building or site will need its own certificate, and will not be allowed to use a corporate site in place of multiple certificates?

Steven Leggett
Macomb, MI

Author’s response: Because ISO 9001:2015 is still under development, it may be a bit premature to know all the details regarding whether multiple certificates will be required. Typically, this is addressed in ISO 17021, which is a standard used by the certification bodies.

At my ISO 9001 consulting firm, we have always recommended that our clients have one certificate per site. We find the cost is about the same and it allows each site to work under one system, and one site’s certification is not put in jeopardy if another site has nonconformities.

If this doesn’t become a requirement, I am of the belief it is best for the organization regardless.

Oscar Combs

Scratching the surface

Peter Merrill was just scratching the surface in his article, "The New Revolution" (January 2014, pp. 50-52). 3-D printing is only a few steps away from completely changing the manufacturing environment.

Why order something online and wait for the delivery truck when you can just download the 3-D file for it and print it right there? This changes not just manufacturing, but also everything—and I do mean everything—associated with distribution, as well.

Merrill mentioned serious downsides, but those really depend on your perspective. If you lose your job because the widget factory shut down, you’ll see home-widget printing negatively. If your organization counted on the ability to dissuade counterfeiting through tags attached to your products, you’ll see the ability to produce an exact replica in every home office as a problem. On the other hand, if you produce the materials used by these printers, or you come up with a way to apply a form of digital rights management to printer files, your future looks bright.

As an ironic twist, some 3-D printers are able to print 3-D printers, so don’t think printer manufacturers are a guaranteed investment.

When everyone has the ability to print what they need, "mass production" will be redefined as production by the masses. "Star Trek" called them replicators, and that future isn’t far away.

Ian Meggarrey
Fallon, IL

Big data challenge

In response to "Breaking Down Barriers," (January 2014, pp. 16-22): I think even before statistical analysis and predictive modeling changes, we must enable our staff to adjust to the data mining requirements of big data. As we get more data, we must know how to access it properly to use it.

The second challenge is that, with more data, it is easy to think that we know what is going on without going to the source. With the greater ability to analyze data, we must make a more conscious effort to go to the gemba, lest we lose touch with the reality of the source of the data.

Lloyd Gholson
St. Louis

Tune In

The latest ASQ TV episode focuses on culture of quality. In the episode, review ways to improve your organization’s culture, view a healthcare-related case study and listen to a tribute to real-life superheroes—engineers.

Watch for a new episode focusing on voice of the customer that will be available on March 11.

Visit http://videos.asq.org to access the full video library.

Online Extras

  • Retirement ready
    View a decision tree checklist for planning your retirement, which accompanies this month’s Career Corner column, "Penny-Wise Planning".
  • Real-life demo
    Watch William Hooper, author of "Probing Probabilities", give a video demonstration of how the Bayesian theorem works and how you can use the method in real-life problem-solving situations.
  • What’s your take?
    Voice your opinion about the content in this month’s QP by rating and commenting on the issue’s feature articles.

Quick Poll Results

Each month at www.qualityprogress.com, visitors can take an informal survey. Here are the numbers from last month’s Quick Poll:

Every superhero has a kryptonite. What’s yours?

  • Overthinking a problem or solution. 36.5%
  • Procrastinating. 29.2%
  • Overcommitting while short on time. 24.3%
  • Staying organized. 9.7%

Visit www.qualityprogress.com for the latest question:

What’s your take on the U.S. country of origin meat labeling legislation?

  • Support it—Consumers should know where their meat comes from.
  • Don’t support it—It’s too costly to track the entire supply chain.
  • Don’t have an opinion.

Quality News Today

Recent headlines from ASQ’s global news service

Subway to Remove Bread’s ’Dough Conditioner’ Chemical
Take a look at ingredients for some varieties of Subway’s bread and you’ll find a chemical that may seem unfamiliar and hard to pronounce: azodicarbonamide. The chemical is also found in yoga mats and shoe soles.

U.S. Retailers Pressured to Raise Cybersecurity Spending
Target Corp.’s decision to spend up to $100 million on a program to adopt the use of chip-enabled smart cards is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to what retailers must do to defend themselves against future cyber attacks, according to security experts and IT service providers.

Want the latest quality-related news and analysis?
The QNT Weekly enewsletter, available exclusively to ASQ members, delivers it every Friday.

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