“Pitfalls and Pratfalls” (September 2018, pp. 42-47) is well written and addresses important points. One suggestion is to include the concepts of correction (an interim measure), corrective action (decided based on the root cause analysis to prevent recurrence) and preventive action. The concept of preventive action can be elaborated and the fact that corrective action can’t be a preventive action in all cases must be emphasized.

Sujatha Prakash
Manapakkam, India


In response to “Career Coach: Build Integrity In” (July 2018, pp. 16-17): Great article. I’ll especially keep in mind some concepts—tone at the top, toxic triangle, Robert Sutton’s The No [Jerk] Rule—when I work with clients, especially with management.

Jonathan Patridge
Hopkins, MN


“Passport to Success” (July 2018, pp. 20-23) is a great article. It was straightforward and easy to understand—the hallmarks of good writing (and an example of the author’s “keep things simple” attribute). Thanks for your consistently high-quality and informative magazine.

Bob Austenfeld
Kobe, Japan

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This month’s question

With billions of vendors selling their items on Amazon, many consumers rely on reviews to guide their purchasing decisions. And just one bad review—or no reviews—can significantly affect a product’s sales. Manufacturers are beginning to realize that product reviews are a powerful key performance indicator (KPI). What are some other new or nontraditional KPIs and what do they measure?

Join the discussion on myASQ at my.asq.org, or on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/groups/3633.

Last month’s question

Hundreds of millions of tons of plastic is produced every year, and much of it ends up in landfills or the ocean. To combat its negative effect on people and the environment, some governments are banning single-use plastics and organizations are turning to alternative materials. What are some of the pros and cons of reducing plastic use? How might these changes affect manufacturers?

Mike Kuklewski, Netherlands, says:

In Belgium and France, a plastics recycling organization annually recycles more than 50,000 tons of plastics into reusable granulates. Most of these secondary resources are intended for the auto industry. The rest is sold to organizations providing goods to the building and agricultural industries. They export granulate to most European countries as well as the overseas market. It’s a small drop on the giant plate of plastics waste, but a fine example of how industry could create its own circular economy.

Harry Rowe, Indianapolis, writes:

Due to the large variety of types of plastics, it can be difficult to separate waste plastic by type. It’s also more difficult to return it to a form usable for manufacturing. A lot of recycled plastics get turned into things like plastic decking and park benches. Some “recycling” plants just burn paper and plastic to generate electricity. The market for recycled plastics is growing, largely due to a desire for social responsibility rather than economics. But it isn’t nearly as attractive as recycling aluminum.

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