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At Your Fingertips

by Cartia, Robert A.

Troubleshooting is defined as a form of problem solving most often applied to the repair of failed products or processes. It is a logical, systematic search for the source of a problem so it can be solved and so the product or process can operate again....


Open Access

Paving the Way

by Anderson-Cook, Christine M.; Borror, Connie M.

Data and information are at the heart of good investigations and decision making, but are all kinds of data the same? What are the major categories and types of questions to ask to collect and analyze data?...


Before the Fact

by Mehta, Bob

The FDA has ratcheted up its surveillance and inspection activities on the suppliers of food and dietary supplements. Growing concern over protection of America’s food chain has been voiced by the FDA’s commissioner of food and drugs....


The Audit Answer

by Estrada, Angel; Sinn, John W.

Graduate students at Bowling Green State University studied the Quality Systems Educational Collaboration, a program that addresses workforce and technical assistance needs for organizations, and disclosed areas for improvement using Six Sigma methods....


Open Access

Beyond the Basics

by Duffy, Grace; Laman, Scott A.; Mehta, Pradip; Ramu, Govind; Scriabina, Natalia; Wagoner, Keith

A movie sequel often can be as, if not more, captivating than the original. Essentially, a sequel builds on the original, continuing a journey with familiar characters and settings, developing ideas and unveiling more insight....


3.4 per Million: Next in Line

by Conklin, Joseph D.

In quality, the sequel is what usually makes things better. Who knows how often savings have been left on the table because organizations failed to look ahead to the next project?...


Open Access

Career Corner: Keep Your Toolbox Full

by ReVelle, Jack B.

Be aware of all the tools at your disposal to excel at your job. Your career as a quality professional depends on your ability to recall a specific quality tool and apply it when necessary....


Fail-Safe FMEA

by Rodríguez-Pérez, José; Peña-Rodríguez, Manuel E.

The appropriate use of quality risk management can help organizations comply with regulatory requirements, such as good manufacturing practices or good laboratory practices....


Open Access

Building From the Basics

by Rooney, James J.; Kubiak, T.M; Westcott, Russ; Reid, R. Dan; Wagoner, Keith; Pylipow, Peter E.; Plsek, Paul

Quality control is about models, methods, measuring and managing. It’s about uncovering a problem and finding the solution. It’s about using the right techniques at the right time to make things better....


Open Access

Lean Lessons: Lean Kaizen in the 21st Century

by Alukal, George

Adapted from a chapter of Lean Kaizen, the author offers key takeaways from the Toyota Production System (TPS). He describes how the kaizen method is the foundation of the The Toyota Way and how it emphasizes efficiency, problem solving and...


Quality Glossary

by Nelsen, Dave

Five years after it published its first glossary of quality terms, ASQ has revised that glossary with updated definitions and new entries, many from the lean glossary published in 2005. This reference of terms, acronyms, and prominent figures in the...


Open Access

10 Quality Basics

by Duffy, Grace; Payne, Graeme; Rooney, James; Hare, Lynne; West, John E. "Jack"; Borawski, Paul; Westcott, Russ; Okes, Duke; Guttman, Howard; Foster, S. Thomas; Conklin, Joe

In an overview designed to give quality newcomers a glimpse of the knowledge they need to succeed, ten regular Quality Progress contributors write on 10 basic quality topics that are fundamentals essential to surviving in a quality role. Topics covered...


Documenting a Process - With a Side of Cole Slaw

by Lynn, Leon; Kalfayan, John

Barbecue is an art, but it is also a process that can be documented and perhaps even reproduced. A dedicated group of friends conducted a controlled barbecue experiment in an effort to document the cooking method that has guided their efforts over the...


Clean House With Lean 5S

by Chapman, Christopher D.

Lack of organization in the workplace wastes time and lowers productivity. By implementing a lean 5S system – sort, set in order, shine, standardize, sustain - organizations can create a clean, well ordered, and disciplined work environment. Many...


Quality in the First Person

by Nix, Robert; Simonis, Matthew J.; Smith, Olin K.; Slane, William; Townsley, Rick

Five authors provide personal accounts of their quality experiences. In A Hunger for Quality, Robert Nix tells how a temporary job organizing files for a quality control manager turned into a permanent career in quality management. Certified Quality...


Improve Service And Administration

by Bothe, Davis R.

Variation in business activities is unacceptable and undermines quality. Statistical methods can be applied to all types of business processes to understand relationships between processes, then document and reduce variation. The several strategies...


Open Access

SPC: From Chaos to Wiping the Floor

by Hare, Lynne B.

Physicist Walter Shewhart, in tackling the problem of process control, began with the definition of control and went on to distinguish chance causes from assignable causes of variation. He believed that assignable causes could be found and eliminated....


Open Access

Quality Glossary


A handy reference is provided of quality terms, acronyms, and key people in the history of quality. Information is derived from a variety of sources and compiled by the editorial staff of the American Society for...


Expect the Unexpected

by Kissinger, Bruce; Foster, S. Thomas Jr.

The Idaho State Department of Water Resources (IDWR), whose mission is to provide oversight for the management of water within the state of Idaho, recently converted its Cobol based ADABAS database system to an structured query language (SQL) server...


Open Access

Column: Back to Basics: Use Check Sheets To Identify The Causes of Downtime

by Bothe , Davis R.

A true case study demonstrates how organizing information can help solve problems

In an attempt to reduce or eliminate downtime, organizations must identify the problems causing the downtime in the first place. After all, you can't solve a problem if you don't know what's causing it. But where do you begin when you have no idea what...


Service Quality and Higher Education Do Mix

by Canic, Michael J.; McCarthy, Patrick M.

In 1996, Indiana University Southeast recognized that it would have to begin competing for students and needed to establish a reputation for providing high-quality experiences for all of its students. The university's first step toward its goal was to...


Considerations for Global Supplier Quality

by Bossert, James

Assessment of international suppliers occurs in two steps: initial investigation and supplier visit. In the initial investigation, data are gathered about the company and the country. This includes background information on the company as well as...


Total Quality in K-12 Education

by Smialek, Mary Ann

Transformational change in U.S. schools is necessary for continuous improvement. A TQM (total management quality) culture in K-12 education requires a new organizational structure in which everyone is responsible for quality. In such an environment,...



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