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Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Against the Grain

by Marinelli, Allan

When this scientist introduced the concept of open door studies in the pharmaceutical industry, he was met with ageism....

Expert Answers: June 2014

by QP Staff

Driving service quality ... Evaluating equipment...

Measure For Measure: Pass or Fail

by Grachanen, Christopher L.

The calibration certificate—commonly referred to as a calibration report—is the documented evidence that a piece of test equipment was, at some point, determined to be within or out of its intended operating specifications....

Standards Outlook: Consulting Quandaries

by Schnoll, Les

As a consultant, you sometimes must walk the fine line of being (appropriately) assertive and going too far, thus alienating your difficult clients. You must learn to deal with occasional idiosyncratic behaviors—thus, the consultant’s quandary....

Open Access

Looping in Quality

by Awofala, Dele

The quality loop framework provides organizations with a structured approach to integrating quality throughout the product assembly process—from the workstation to the customer....

Speaking in Code

by Kaiser, Randy

Manufacturers spend time and money creating products for market, yet all of that hard work can be wasted if coding errors affect product quality....

Back in Service

by Chakravorty, Satya S.

Machines have evolved from prehistoric tools to sophisticated 21st century devices. Man has been and always will be fascinated by machines and will continue to dream about building something that does what everyone thinks is impossible....

Follow the Fundamentals

by Snee, Ronald D. ; DeVeaux, Richard D.; Hoerl, Roger W.

New technology for acquiring, storing and processing data is being introduced at an ever-increasing pace. In 2012, the White House launched a national “Big Data Initiative.” According to IBM, 1.6 zettabytes of digital data are now available....

Open Access

One Good Idea: Bucket List

by Suedbeck, John G.

Categorize and control your risk management audit data....

Open Access

Salary Survey 2013: Behind the Results

by Hansen, Max Christian

The 2013 Salary Survey was sent to ASQ 44,945 members. There were 7,504 individual responses, for a response rate of 16.7%....

The Service Quality Platform

by Swersey, Arthur J.

A five-step framework helps service organizations lay the foundation for building a service quality program....

Open Access

Words to Work By

by QP Staff

Readers shared their favorite quality quotes and reflected on the wisdom of the words....

Expert Answers: October 2013

by QP Staff

Handling incoming inspections ... identifying special processes during an audit...

Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Get a Job

by Cote, Murray

Professor encourages students to seek certification....

Standards Outlook: Regulatory Nightmares

by Schnoll, Les

“Do it right the first time” is a mantra often used by quality professionals. In the associated world of regulatory affairs and compliance, this adage also represents an appropriate mindset....

Standards Outlook: The Missing Key

by West, John E. "Jack"

Past perceptions about conformity to ISO 9001 suggest an organization may have a good quality management system, but it can still produce junk. But ISO 9001 does provide reasonable assurance that the output of the system will meet customer needs....

Avoiding an Avalanche

by Milliken, Greg

Organizations that make products with rigorous quality requirements face numerous challenges associated with meeting objectives—ranging from complying with standards to operating in highly-regulated and frequently audited environments....

Open Access

Balancing Act

by Montgomery, Eda Ross; Neway, Justin

With common quality methods and standards in place, manufacturing organizations share a daunting challenge: an increased volume of electronic and paper-based data collected during process development and manufacturing....

Open Access

The Right Blend

by Vanicek, Vera

Faced with cost reductions and scheduling changes, a chemotherapy mixing room (CMR) implemented the define, measure, analyze, improve and control method and lean tools to optimize operations....

Why Certify?

by Laman, Scott A.; Korkuch, Dana; Kohler, Rene; Drobnick, Rudy; Kramer, Robin; Gardner, Pete; DiPuppo, Janet G.; Krothapalli, Sowmya;

These stories are told by people at different stages of their careers. One of the things they have in common, however, is they’ve carefully considered the costs and benefits of ASQ certification....

Standards Outlook: Corrective Action Challenge

by Reid, R. Dan

The purpose of corrective action is to prevent the recurrence of the problem. There are usually many actions that can be taken to address the problem, ranging from incremental changes to innovative solutions....

Open Access

One Good Idea: Ultimate Originality

by Sundararajan, K.

When developing products for a new market, innovative ideas are essential. A tool that can be used to spark innovative new product ideas is the ideate, define, design and validate (IDDV) method....

Rain Gauge

by Fulton, Lawrence V.

The Six Sigma define, measure, analyze, design and verify process is appropriate for exceedingly complex engineering construction problems that require the use of simulation and design of experiments....

Salary Survey 2012: Crunching the Numbers

by Hansen, Max Christian

The 2012 survey was sent to 54,337 members. Of the 6,857 individuals who started the survey, 6,857 completed the questionnaire for a response rate of 11.2%....

Standards Outlook: Get in Front of the Problem

by West, John E. "Jack"

Considering the unfortunate fact that product recalls and their disastrous results seem relatively common, it’s curious why so many organizations resist formal efforts to address preventive action....

Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 1: Salary by Job Title

by Hansen, Max Christian

Figure 1 includes results for: x Full- time employees, part- time employees, x U. S. employees, Canadian employees, International employees Salary by job title for U. S. respondents / FIgUre 1 46,884 50,558 53,970 56,246 57,718 69,279 70,094 72,261 74,13...

Standards Outlook: From the Trenches

by Liebesman, Sandford

ISO 9001 and the COSO internal control guidance document used by financial organizations that must comply with the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act don’t have a lot in common, but one thing they share is the need to update the current version....

Shift Into High Gear

by Hankel, Amanda

When customers of tgestiona began expressing dissatisfaction about the its inefficient service and delivery processes, it began a transport optimization project that earned gold-level status in the 2012 ASQ International Team Excellence Award process....

Open Access

Perspectives: Added Structure

by Trotter, A. Mark; Calabrese, Rick; Huang, Li-Chung; Krumenaker, Alice; Palm, Ulo

Global good manufacturing practices (GMP) and regulatory guidelines ensure the “safety, identity, strength, quality (and) purity of drug(s).” Manufacturing and quality control testing of approved drugs fall under these GMP regulations....

Clever Combination

by Flori, Albert

As software use increases in safety-critical applications, we must implement quality improvement tools and techniques to identify software failures before they have a critical effect on the completed system or a fatal effect on the end user....

Open Access

Back to Basics: The Big Picture

by Bautista Smith, Janet

Business competition is an unending race with multifaceted measurements of success. One success factor is productivity: the ratio of value added—such as service rendered or products produced—versus the associated cost....

Open Access

Standards Outlook: What's Old Is New Again

by West, John E. "Jack"; Hunt, Lorri; Croft, Nigel H.; Jarvis, Alka

The time appears to have finally come to start another major revision of ISO 9001. But before moving forward, it’s a good idea to look back at where we’ve been....

A Tangled Web

by Dougherty, Jim; Lengel, Wylene

In simple terms, software as a service is on-demand access to software via the internet. It seemingly eliminates the installation and testing of the software by the customer—or does it?...

Practice Makes Perfect

by Rich, David

Significant problems can occur during full-scale production when new manufacturing processes are poorly conceived. Therefore, it is incumbent on R&D organizations to employ effective procedures that ensure sound manufacturing process development....

Open Access

Salary Survey 2011: Slow and Steady

by Hansen, Max Christian; Wilde, Nancy J.; Kinch, Eileen R.;

A single organization’s actions may be reported several times if multiple employees of that organization responded to the survey. Director: Oversees all aspects of an organization’s quality or business improvement efforts, such as developing and administr...

Standards Outlook: The Missing Link

by Liebesman, Sandford

In most organizations, quality and finance behave like independent silos, resulting in excessive costs and unhappy customers and investors....

Online Tables Standards Outlook

by Liebesman, Sandford

Developed the following business process measures: 4 � documented results of management review meetings 5 � Customer satisfaction measures 5 � Measurable objectives used in product or service improvement 1 � balanced scorecard ( please indicate measures ...

Supporting Role

by Stimson, William A.

The ANSI/ISO/ASQ Q9000 Series of Quality Management Standards consists of three component standards. Taken together, the standards are components because they form a complete tactical approach to quality management....

Open Access

One Good Idea: Dancing Around Innovation

by Niles, Kim

Being innovative, or using applied creativity, is difficult when you fail to recognize it as a process and approach innovation opportunities as an artisan....

Open Access

Certification at Work

by Roberson, Russell L.; McKaig, Brian

Organizations face difficult decisions every day: where to invest, how to focus employees and how to drive a competitive advantage in their markets. A decision to launch employee training cannot be taken lightly....

Risky Business

by Singer, Donald

In highly regulated industries that manufacture pharmaceuticals, foods and cosmetics, quality control scientists have been known to perform sampling and testing to determine the acceptability of finished products. Throughout the last decade,...

Walking the Talk

by Krzykowski, Brett

Frequent service interruptions led Argentina-based Telefónica Group to establish a project that increased the reliability of its network and, in the process, garner gold honors at the 2010 ASQ International Team Excellence Award competition....

Expert Answers: May 2011

by QP Staff

Calculating limits for three processes....

Standards Outlook: Spring Into Action

by West, John E. "Jack"

In a lot of organizations, quality is relegated to the status of a long-forgotten initiative the organization “finished.” In these cases, what should a quality professional do?...

Statistics Roundtable: Influence and Effect

by Mason, Robert L.; Young, John C.

Being able to determine the effect a data point has on summary statistics provides useful insight into the construction of better parameter estimators....

Doomed to Fail

by Caffrey, Noel G.; Medina, Candace G.

Ben looked around his new office, happy to still have a job but apprehensive about his new position. He had just been reassigned after his boss’s boss, the CEO, decided the continuous improvement initiative he had been leading was just not working out....

Open Access

Salary Survey 2010: Not Out of the Question

by Hansen, Max Christian

Every year, QP’s Salary Survey sparks countless questions for quality professionals and gets them thinking about their careers and personal development: How do I compare with others? What can I do get ahead? Are things getting better out there?...

Salary Survey 2010: The Complete Report

by QP Staff

experience by gender / FIGURE 2 More than 20 years 10.1- 20 years 6.1- 10 years 3.1- 6 years $ 6,000 Male Years of experience in quality profession Years of experience in quality profession Female $ 4,000 $ 2,000 0 $ 2,000 $ 4,000 $ 6,000 1- 3 years Less...

Open Access

Get Your Ducks in a Row

by Orthaber, John

The ISO 9001 quality management system has been around since 1987, and it is generally acknowledged that the system produces some fairly significant benefits, including improved profitability, higher sales and better employee morale....

Measure for Measure: Well Equipped

by Doty, Stephen; Caldwell, Del

If you're experiencing consistent customer dissatisfaction with your product, it's possible your measurement information may be of such poor quality that it prevents you from making sound decisions related to your product or service....

Open Access


by Murphy, William H.

All companies want to build a stronger brand by ensuring customer satisfaction. Along the way, of course, the companies want to make a profit....

Discussion Warranted

by Kleyner, Andre

Warranties are important attributes of most business transactions. Their comprehensive impact on a company’s bottom line, however, is not always clearly understood—even by the people who deal with product quality and reliability on an everyday basis....

Standards Outlook: Prevent Defense

by West, John E. "Jack"

Effective preventive action requires focus and attention, both of which can be addressed via a method that starts with prioritization and ends with improvement actions....

Window of Opportunity

by Chadha, Rajeev; Kalra, Jay

By employing lean Six Sigma, a supplier for one of the Big Three automakers met its goals and developed technology that is projected to be applicable to any and every automobile—from two-door coupes to full-size vans—within five years....

Standards Outlook: Under Control

by Schnoll, Les

Medical device manufacturers must ensure the design and process are reliable, and must produce devices the same way every time. The FDA believes the quality, safety and effectiveness of a device are established during the design phase....

0210 Standards Online Only

by Schnoll, Les

Manufacturing approves or manages release of drawings for each phase of the product development process ( PDP) per the drawing release procedure . Change control defined by the preproduction design change or production design change procedure Make and b...

Standards Outlook: Above and Beyond

by Gordon, Dale K.

Much has happened in the last year to aerospace industry quality management system standards, three of which were updated to account for ISO 9001:2008. They were also expanded to be more inclusive of broader market requirements....

Test Run

by Ramu, Govind

In 2008, 14,906 people took ASQ certification exams, and 9,394 of these people—or 63%—passed. So how can you avoid being one of the certification exam takers who will not pass this year?...

Open Access

Salary Survey 2009: Lingering Effects

by Bemowski, Karen

Like almost everyone, quality professionals are feeling the effects of the economic recession. In all, 4.9% of respondents to QP’s 23rd annual salary survey indicated they are unemployed, retired or laid off....

Salary Survey 2009: The Complete Report

by QP Staff

52 section 6 Salary by Number of Work Hours Online section 7 Salary by Nonexempt vs. exempt Status Online section 8 Salary by Number of Years in Current Position Online section 9 Salary by Number of Years in Current Position and in the Quality Field Onli...

Standards Outlook: Trust, but Verify

by Russell, J.P.

Grouping product, service and process audits together is somewhat natural, because a process audit may include a product or service audit. I’ve dubbed the combination a verification audit....

Standards Outlook: Remaining Relevant

by West, John E. "Jack"

Without changes, ISO 9001 risks becoming irrelevant on the world stage. So, what new ideas should be included in the next edition?...

Take a Bite Out of Inefficiency

by Nuhfer, Dina; and Walters, Thomas

Providing consistent and effective service or product requires a consistent and effective framework for implementing, maintaining and improving tactical and strategic operations. Dentistry is no different....

Keep on Truckin’

by Adrian, Nicole

In July 2005, a transportation representative at Bayer MaterialScience identified a potential problem with the way the company chose its shipping carriers. Bayer, a global manufacturer of polymers used as raw materials for products such as compact...

Small Change, Big Impact

by West, John E. “Jack”

Little has changed in the fourth edition of ISO 9001, which was issued late last year by the International Organization for Standardization. ISO 9001:2008 contains no new requirements, so the transition should be painless for most organizations....

Standards Outlook: Dynamic Duo

by Liebesman, Sandford

Lean and Six Sigma are two methods aimed at improving the quality of an organization’s operations and its financial results. Both concentrate on customer satisfaction and improved business performance....

Open Access

Standards Outlook: To Launch or Not to Launch

by Schnoll, Les

Having quality professionals on medical device product development teams eliminates last-minute conflicts....

Open Access

Out of Sight ... Out of Mind

by Schultz, Bill

The purpose in sharing this story is to publicize a growing gap in quality-system coverage caused by outsourcing and to share some of the challenges of fixing it. The story is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent....

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....

Salary Survey 2008: Part 2, Section 21: Base Earnings by Quality Experience, Education, ASQ Certification and Six Sigma Training

by QP Staff

In 2002, QP started tracking whether self-employed consultants wore one hat or two—that is, whether they worked as self-employed consultants only or whether they worked for a company and offered consulting services outside their company-related duties....

Salary Survey 2008: Part 1, Section 17: Salary by Highest Level of Education and Number of Years in the Quality Field

by QP Staff

The salary survey results show that respondents’ salaries typically increase as their level of education increases (see Section 16) and as their level of experience in the quality field increases (see Section 3)....

Open Access

Salary Survey 2008: Looking at the Numbers

by Bemowski, Karen

Mean salary: The mean salary is the average salary for that particular group. Manager: Ensures the administration of the company’s quality, process and business improvement efforts within a defined segment of the organization. Quality engineer: Designs, i...

Salary Survey 2008: The Complete Report

by QP Staff

51 Section 6 Salary by Number of Work Hours Online Section 7 Salary by Nonexempt vs. Exempt Status Online Section 8 Salary by Number of Years in Current Position Online Section 9 Salary by Number of Years in Current Position and in the Quality Field Onli...

Open Access

One Good Idea: Get Specific

by Gimson, Guy

Quality control or quality assurance personnel will typically be responsible for determining whether a lot of product conforms to specifications. Answering a few key questions is the first step toward the elimination of nonvalue-added product testing....

Driven by Metrics

by Okes, Duke

Performance metrics are a necessary part of managing an organization. However, they have good and bad impacts on individual behavior, so organizations need to find ways to maximize the good while minimizing the potential damage....

Expert Answers: September 2008

by QP Staff

Information management systems ... The benefits of binomial probability plotting....

Open Access

Career Corner: Laugh It Off

by Kulisek, Diane G.

Assuring quality, and laughter, might seem at diametrically opposite sides of the human behavior spectrum. Many studies and articles have been published about the benefits of laughter and humor when managing people or projects, or when trying to overcome ...

Two Are Better Than One

by Nanda, Vivek "Vic"

Management need and my personal curiosity recently led me to take a closer look at the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). My work pointed out similarities and differences between SOX and ISO 9001....

Better Safe Than Sorry

by Goodden, Randall L.

Last year’s record number of product recalls, especially recalls of children’s toys, drew worldwide attention to product safety and defective products. The recall stories topped newscasts and made headlines in newspapers coast to coast....

Open Access

It All Ties Together

by Adrian, Nicole

At a time when gas costs have skyrocketed and companies across the board are doing their bit to be greener, a team of individuals from CSX Corp. came together to develop a solution to combat the large amount of fuel wasted while locomotives sat idling....

3.4 per Million: Test Drives and Data Splits

by Conklin, Joseph D.

Prediction models are one of a Six Sigma practitioner’s best friends for improving processes. The more complicated and persistent the quality problem, the more useful prediction models can be....

Open Access

Eyes on the Dashboard at Mercy Health System

by Daniels, Susan E.

Patient satisfaction has been a component of Mercy Health System’s dashboard system for about six years, so when emergency department satisfaction into the red zone in late 2005, it immediately set off an alarm....

Standards Outlook: How to Manage Risk in a Global Economy

by Liebesman, Sandford

The global economy has provided opportunities that didn’t exist just 10 years ago. But the flattening of the Earth via the internet and extensive outsourcing to countries such as China and Mexico have also presented organizations with many risks....

A Gold Medal Solution

by Adrian, Nicole

By using quality tools, a team from Boeing came up with solutions that eliminated the unsafe conditions that occurred during installation of the details in aircrafts' tailcones....

The Remedy for a Data Dilemma

by O'Brien, Colleen; Jennings, Sue

In 1994, Bellin Health volunteered for a pilot assessment managed jointly by the Baldrige National Quality Program and the Joint Commission. This assessment helped Bellin focus on developing an integrated measurement system....

Open Access

QMS Certification: Down With Disillusionment

by Gyani, Girdhar

Conformity assessment and international standards that cover products and quality and environmental management systems provide mechanisms to ensure the quality of goods and services, but a recent survey reveals that the various certification bodies...

Salary Survey-Regular Employee and Self-Employed Consultants Results

by QP Staff

45 Section 6 Salary by Number of Work Hours Online Section 7 Salary by Nonexempt vs. Exempt Status Online Section 8 Salary by Number of Years of Quality Experience and Highest Level of Education Online Section 9 Salary by Number of Years in Current Posit...

Part I Section 1 Salary by Job Title (Regular Employees)

by QP Staff

Standard Minimum Maximum deviation Count Mean Median Full- time employees Analyst $ 30,000 $ 145,000 $ 19,951 206 $ 63,694 $ 60,000 Associate 21,000 200,000 26,118 96 61,756 56,500 Auditor 18,000 170,000 22,697 258 66,392 65,000 Black Belt 34,000 149,845...

Standards Outlook: AS&D Standards? Revisions to Improve Supplier Performance

by Cressionnie, L.L. “Buddy”

The International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) is revising the IAQG 9100 family of standards1 to stay aligned with changes to ISO 9001,...

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...

Statistics Roundtable: Reliability Assessment by Use-Rate Acceleration

by Necip Doganaksoy, Gerald J. Hahn, William Q. Meeker

Statistical evidence is often needed to show that a proposed product meets or exceeds its reliability goals. Many times, such evidence must be obtained in a compressed time period....

Using Statistics To Improve Satisfaction

by Goldstein, Sheldon D.

Choosing which attributes to improve from customer survey data maximizes the use of resources and increases the chances of positive returns on your efforts. The Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance by ranks helps focus attention on what needs...

Open Access

Standards Outlook: Environmental Standards Development--Why You Should Be Involved

by Briggs, Susan L.K.

At the last meeting of the U.S. technical advisory group on environmental management, attendees discussed the important issues being decided at the subcommittee meetings of International Organization for Standardization technical committee (TC) 207....

Salary Survey – 2006

by Edmund, Mark

Full Survey

44 Section 6. Salary by Number of Work Hours Online Section 7. Salary by Nonexempt vs. Exempt Status Online Section 8. Salary by Number of Years' Quality Experience and Highest Level of Education Online Section 9. Salary by Number of Years in Current Pos...

Salary Survey – 2006

by ASQ

Regular Employee - Section 1. Salary by Job Title

Standard deviation: Standard deviation is a FIGURE A PART 1. REGULAR EMPLOYEE RESULTS Section 1 Salary by Job Title Comparison of Salaries of Full- Time And Part- Time Employees 4,731 ( difference) 77,049 ( 2006) 72,318 ( 2005) 4,777 ( difference) 71,584...

Quality in the First Person: Living by the Values

by Graf, Linda

My first exposure to quality was when I was 27. I was working in R&D at Polaroid Corp. While I liked working at Polaroid, I was unhappy with my job, so I started looking for other openings in the company and found a quality control engineer position....

Climbing the Career Ladder: It's Up to You

by Walker, H. Fred; Levesque, Justin

With as much information on the subject of career development as there is available today, the real challenge is recognizing that you, not your employer, are responsible for your own career development, and then finding a structure to guide your plans....

Measure for Measure: Four Steps to Ensure Measurement Data Quality

by Graham, Robert

Part one of this column, published in July, posed four questions you should ask to ensure your measurements are providing data that are good enough for the given application....

Standards Outlook: Increase ISO 9001's Value

by Liebesman, Sandford

ISO 9001 describes a basic, effective quality management system (QMS). Compliance to it is the starting point toward achieving excellence in an organization. Additions to an ISO 9001 compliant QMS can act as the first steps toward excellence....

New Frontiers in the Design of Experiments

by Kenett, Ron S.; Steinberg, David M.

Statistically designed experiments enable businesses to reduce time to market while achieving quality product performance that is critical to survival and success. R.A. Fisher first introduced them in the early 20th century to evaluate the results of...

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