Chain Check-In

July was a busy month for supply chain news: Takata’s airbag fiasco continues to have a ripple effect on the auto industry as another spate of recalls were announced and the company declares bankruptcy; and Amazon, supply chain renegade, has entered into the fresh-foods arena with its acquisition of Whole Foods. Weigh in on the situation and respond to this month's Reaction Gauge question, and read more about the newly minted "Amazon Fresh," in "Grocery Game-changer."

The implications of supply chains continue to be of high interest for those in the quality profession. You’re increasingly charged with selecting the right suppliers for your organization’s needs, ensuring conformance to requirements and evaluating supplier quality.

In this issue: "Stock Options" explains how a hospital pharmacy retooled its handling of its stock of medications using lean principles to right-size its internal inventory and polish up its supply chain processes. The pharmacy saved time and money, and even created new space to expand operations.

In "Elevate Your Strategy" find out how design for quick response and design for manufacture and assembly can help reduce lead times in manufacturing and improve customer service and satisfaction. The innovative application of these tools in the context of a manufacturing setting could translate to your own organizations.

This month’s cover story, "Get at the Core" explains how it’s often the tendency to blame human error for manufacturing defects, but that the root cause always goes back to the systems. Creating a more robust system will almost certainly do more to prevent defects than retraining employees.

It’s an exciting year for us here at QP. We redesigned the magazine (to positive reviews) in March, and plan to celebrate our 50th year with a tribute in November. To that end, we’re encouraging reader participation in the way of memories, insights and notes about QP—and the future of quality—that will be used in social media or appear in the November issue. Visit asq.org/50-years-qp for instructions on submitting your fondest memories.

Seiche Sanders

Seiche Sanders

Editor in Chief and Publisher

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