Defect: A Dirty Word

Building safer, better, less costly products

Ensuring that customers receive safe products that work correctly might be at the core of your work (inspecting, testing, auditing, sampling or measuring, for example). Outside of that, you’re also a customer: the car you drive to work, the soda you sip at lunch, the service you receive when you call to question your cable bill—all are expected to be safe, reliable and, in the latter case, helpful.

In this issue, we focus on product quality and safety. In "Looping in Quality," the author examines the quality loop framework and how it can be used to ensure product quality from the workstation to the finished product. Using the example of producing vehicle seats, the method and the lessons can be applied widely in various manufacturing settings. The framework also allows management to quickly identify and resolve quality issues, manage feedback and feed forward corrective action information, all encompassed in four loops.

Next, have you ever been at the grocery store, and the checker just can’t seem to scan your item? He or she sighs and has to type in the code to register the sale. Codes are key, and code errors can cause lots of headaches. "Speaking in Code," looks at product coding, which has broad implications and definitions beyond the supermarket. The article offers ways to improve accuracy and consistency in the field.

This month, ASQ gets a new CEO. Bill Troy, who served as a lieutenant general in the U.S. Army, will officially begin his tenure April 21, replacing Paul Borawski, who served as CEO for the past 27 years. Troy has a rich background in leadership and strategy and will take ASQ to the next level.

What makes a CEO successful? Interestingly, two related surveys recently found that a large percentage of respondents don’t believe that engineers make the best CEOs, despite what I think is some compelling evidence to the contrary (think Alan Mulally and Jack Welch). See the survey results, and learn ways to become a better leader.

Seiche Sanders

Seiche Sanders

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