Putting the ‘Q’ in Queue

A tool for reducing customer wait times

Nothing is more certain in life than death, taxes and a long line when you least want to stand in one. While lines may be part of life, quality approaches can be used to streamline lines—or queuing systems—by using tools to improve efficiency in serving customers, cutting down wait times and using available resources most effectively. In "Line Work," learn how to use arrival and departure (AD) curves to analyze customer flow leading to reduced wait times and improved service quality. The tool can be applied in manufacturing, too (read a case study in the sidebar, "That's Amore").

How often do you run into the "We’ve always done it that way" mentality? In "Beds, Math and Beyond," quality professionals within a hospital took on an ingrained culture and practices to examine bed assignment processes in its day-surgery unit. Their new approach allowed the hospital to reduce the number of surgeries that needed to be delayed or canceled and streamlined bed assignments, saving the unit money and improving patient satisfaction. 

Any project or initiative is an uphill battle if you don’t have the correct strategy in place. And failure is much more likely if that strategy doesn’t have quality at its core. Show your executives why this is so important as a foundation with "What’s Your Strategy?"

This month’s Innovation Imperative column looks at cost of quality with a positive spin. When it comes down to it, writes author Peter Merrill, the greater the waste, the greater the opportunity to innovate. He goes on to provide the steps for conducting a cost of waste innovation activity. You’ll quickly see where all those dollars are adding up.

One of the most innovative technologies out there right now is 3-D printing. In "Multi-Dimensional Future," get a rundown of how this game-changing technology is being used across many industries.

Seiche Sanders

Seiche Sanders

Editor in Chief and Publisher

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