Infrastructure improvement

"Home Improvement (September 2016, pp. 16-21) provided excellent research from the construction industry. I hope this will extend to building projects that have massive resources involved, such as oil and gas, mining and metals, and infrastructure.

A 2014 study from the Mckenzie Global Institute estimated that the world will need to spend $57 trillion on infrastructure by 2030 to keep up with gross domestic product growth. This is a huge motivation for key players in the construction industry. The industry also must develop creative solutions, improve productivity, and ensure successful project delivery by introducing new technologies and applying best practices. Quality and innovation will play a big role in this.

Cherry Trinidad
Surrey, British Columbia

Applause for ‘Handoffs’

In response to "Handling Handoffs (September 2016, pp. 22-29):

Thanks for the great article on handoffs. I plan to use this strategy in pricing contract handoffs from sales to customer service, and ensuring contract accuracy from the agreement step to enterprise resource planning system entry and any subsequent changes to the contract.

Danna Zylka
Mississauga, Ontario

Lacking customer experience

I was concerned by "Dead or Alive (July 2016, pp. 36-40) because it addressed the evolution of quality and the context of total quality management (TQM) without even mentioning the latest trend in the quality arena: managing the end-to-end customer experience (CE). The authors’ explanation of TQM’s benefits focuses on operational performance, such as timely delivery, and reduced costs and defects. In today’s service economy with complex products and customers refusing to read contracts and directions, the scope of quality’s activities and the definition of benefits must be broadened and redefined.

My organization recently conducted a study that found organizations’ problems and services have not improved, but dissatisfaction now involves consumers dealing with complex technology. The main dissatisfier is no longer money lost, but wasted time. This implies a need for more emphasis on quality in marketing and sales to properly set customers’ expectations and educate them on how to gain value from their purchases.

The enhanced revenue, word of mouth and margin benefits of this broader definition of quality are often an order of magnitude greater than traditional cost savings from TQM. In my February 2012 QP article, "Taking the Wheel (pp. 42-47), I pointed out that CE—which addresses expectation setting, education by sales and marketing, and the rest of the process—must become the primary focus of quality. If it doesn’t, quality professionals will miss out on the big game of CE.

John A. Goodman
Alexandria, VA

Tune In

In the latest episode of ASQ TV, standards experts explain key changes to ISO 9001:2015, such as how to understand the term "documented information, the role of leadership and the emphasis on risk-based thinking.

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

Online Extras

Standards Resources
ASQ’s Standards Channel offers video interviews with top experts to help educate you on ISO 9001:2015 and other industry standards (http://tinyurl.com/asqtv-standards-channel). You also can receive the latest standards news by subscribing to Standards Connection, ASQ’s monthly enewsletter bringing you exclusive content and expert advice on your most important standards questions. Subscribe at asq.org/standardsconnection.

Ease the Pressure With Expert Answers
Feeling the pressure to solve a challenging quality question? Let our industry experts take the weight off your shoulders. Submit your question to editor@asq.org or at http://tinyurl.com/qpexpertanswers, and a subject matter expert will provide a solution.

Quick Poll Results

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

What is the greatest benefit of effective benchmarking?

  • Shows organizations what areas, systems or processes they should improve. 51.7%
  • Helps organizations better understand how they compare with competitors. 27.7%
  • Allows organizations to see and share best practices. 10.3%
  • Gathers data that can help create useful metrics. 10.3%

Visit www.qualityprogress.com for the latest question:

What has been the most challenging factor in implementing ISO 9001:2015?

  • Understanding organizational context.
  • Implementing risk-based thinking.
  • Determining the need for documented information.
  • Demonstrating leadership commitment to the quality management system.

Quality News Today

Recent headlines from ASQ’s global news service

Consumers’ Power Demands Ignite Battery Problems
The explosion-prone batteries that caused a massive recall of Samsung smartphones highlight the conundrum tech companies face as they look for more powerful, lightweight and easily recharged batteries to power consumer devices. The more energy stored, the more dangerous batteries can become.

Push to Trim a Few Dollars Led to Takata’s Air Bag Crisis
Rather than being the victims of Takata Co.’s missteps in the air bag crisis, automakers pressed their suppliers to put cost before all else, according to a New York Times investigation. General Motors’ decisions almost 20 years ago suggest that a quest for savings of a few dollars per air bag compromised a critical safety device, resulting in many deaths.

Want the latest quality-related news and analysis? The QNT Weekly enewsletter, available exclusively to ASQ members, delivers it every Friday. Subscribe now at http://asq.org/newsletters/index.html.

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