Lance B. Coleman Sr., ASQ Quality Press, 2018, 154 pp., $33 members, $55 list (book).
A practical handbook to a robust supplier audit program, this book guides readers through the steps to plan and execute an effective risk-based supplier audit. There are several handy tools and utilities that the author provides as job aides. Additionally, the many case studies provide practical, first-hand scenarios of best practices and lessons learned on topics related to audits, including several of the author’s colleagues across the globe and across multiple industries.
Part one of the book focuses on end-to-end logistics to holistically plan, execute, report and close out risk-based supplier audits. Elements of risk analysis are incorporated in each of these steps through pointed questions and introspection. For instance, explicitly documenting risks and hazards in the input, performance and output of a process being audited.
Part two focuses on equipping auditors with a balance of soft skills. Readers are given practical advice on several fronts. The book also contains 25 questions to guide a risk-based audit from start to finish.
Effective risk management is at the heart of any successful business environment. This is even more pertinent to global organizations that see more than half of their value-creation occur outside of their walls. Applying risk-based thinking to supplier management life cycles is at the heart of this book. This book presents a well-curated collection of methods to perform a supplier audit while keeping risk-management front and center.
Mass Customized Manufacturing: Theoretical Concepts and Practical Approaches
Vladimir Modrak, editor, CRC Press, 2017, 332 pp., $93.95 (book).
In many markets, customers are seeking a customized product that satisfies their needs. The manufacturer who can quickly provide customers with the desired product will continue to capture and expand market share. This book can be used as a guide for organizations that desire to provide customized products to their customers.
This book contains 12 chapters divided into three sections covering trends and success factors, complexity drivers, and management and sustainability of mass customization. Each chapter is written by an expert or experts on the given topic. Overall, 21 international experts on specific aspects of mass customization contributed to this book. Each chapter is a self-contained work on a specific topic, containing a presentation of the material, examples and references.
The first section on trends and success factors provides an overview of designing production lines along with the role of information systems in mass customization.
Section two examines the drivers of complexity in sourcing, manufacturing and distributing a customized product. This section is technical in nature and provides several theoretical models that show how complex the manufacturing system and supply chain may be based on the given inputs.
The last section addresses sustainability—namely, sustainability of the business by understanding consumer trends. The section also covers the topic of environmental sustainability.
The 12 individual chapters cover a wide range of topics. Readers who are interested in any aspect of mass customization will find chapters that address that topic. Readers seeking an overview of mass customization also will find many topics of interest.
Rachel Silvestrini and Sarah Burke, ASQ Quality Press, 2018, 468 pp., $30 members, $30 list (book).
This book is all about linear regression analysis using JMP and R. In the authors’ words, it is a “comprehensive low-cost textbook intended for use in an undergraduate level regression course, as well as for use by practitioners.”
The book is divided into 10 chapters. The first chapter discusses the regression model-building process. There are brief, informative tutorials on using JMP and R. A reader who has never used JMP and R may see the need to refer to other books on JMP and R to become more familiar using them. The second chapter deals with data collection and cleaning. This book discusses how to clean data in terms of formatting data, dealing with missing data, and dealing with new and combined variables.
The third chapter discusses data visualization using histograms, box plots, scatter plots, bar charts, contingency tables and mosaic plots. In chapter four, the linear regression equation is discussed along with tests for significance of regression, coefficient of determination and statistical inference on the individual regression coefficient. Chapter five discusses model prediction and inference along with confidence intervals, prediction intervals, extrapolation and influential observations. Chapter six deals with model diagnostics. In this chapter, topics such as errors being normally distributed, independent errors, regressor assumptions, model assumptions and model diagnostics summary are discussed.
Chapter seven discusses remedial measures such as transformations to the response, transformations to the regressors and analytical approaches to transformation. Chapter eight discusses some advanced topics relating to model selection techniques. Chapter nine discusses model validation, which is an important aspect of applying regression models, and readers will appreciate the discussion of metrics for model validation. Chapter 10 presents a detailed case study. There also is an interesting and informative discussion about model presentation methods.
Each chapter has JMP and R software tutorials pertaining to the topics presented. The book is written in simple language, which allows readers with any level of statistical knowledge to understand and apply the concepts presented. There are numerous graphs and explanations of the concepts throughout the book, which are useful in comprehending some of the topics. This book is a valuable addition to the library of students, professors, industry practitioners and other users of linear regression.
Fin Rooney, ASQ Quality Press, 2018, 210 pp., $24 members, $40 list (book).
What does the word “quality” mean? The word might have many definitions to diverse types of people, and they may all be correct. What we know to be true, though, is that there are a few absolutes that let us standardize the concept.
In Rooney’s work, you see connections between the customer experience, production lines, R&D, and leadership and management. These workflows can be continuous, opposing, connected or simultaneous, but in any case, they all lead to a product that can be rated with a specific tier of quality.
Initially the text is as much of a critic of the quality profession as a proponent of it. In the field or in the factory, quality teams find themselves using a multitude of three-letter acronyms to determine the quality of a product or service. This alphabet soup can be confusing and demeaning, which can lead to impasse on the road to knowledge or discovery. One of the keys to executing a solid quality plan is keeping things simple. This strategy of simplicity is one of the ways senior leadership can establish processes that provide support to the quality of the organization and protect its bottom line. Good leadership also should believe in the product as much as the team.
To create a sustainable business model, leaders must perform or solicit market research and analysis. In a way, the customers or clients within a given market determine what the word “quality” means. Another market’s customers might have different expectations and select another product based upon those norms.
Leaders must strategize, support and sell quality. They can do this by fostering creativity, collaborating with internal and external partners to drive improvement, and allowing subordinates and mid-level employees to own and showcase their successes. Owning success means that those employees must own their processes, any changes to those processes that drive continuous improvement, all performance metrics and any knowledge required to understand why the product becomes known for its specific level of quality. This total quality approach allows leaders to justify rewarding performance that promotes that quality.
In addition to determining quality to be a consistent strength throughout any product line, the author reminds readers that all departments involved in the value stream—which allow the product to be created—are responsible. From HR and talent-sourcing agents for management, to the janitorial staff, which keeps infectious material away from patients at a hospital, all team members have a role to play in keeping the customer experience at the forefront of the quality profession.