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Need for Speed

by Spencer, Karen; Helfer, Steve

Organizations must focus on key indicators and achieve optimal performance levels. They must define quality as it relates to customers and modify quality to achieve and sustain quality levels that maximize supply chain performance and quality management....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Standard of Living

by Ricker, David

Look to your life for ISO 9001 lessons....


Expert Answers: February 2014

by QP Staff

Controlling documents ... Showing resources in an audit...


Open Access

Fresh Perspective

by Radziwill, Nicole M.; Owens, Tracy;

The relationships among technology, innovation and quality are based on creating new value and sustaining the ability to continue creating it. Leveraging these relationships can help in releasing your creative spirit....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Pyramid Scheme

by Weeden, Marcia

A framework for stronger standard operating procedures....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Career Traveler

by Hermenitt, Chris

Determination helps machine operator soar to the top....


Open Access

The Right Ingredients

by Zaidi, Syed Wasi Asghar;

In Out of the Crisis, W. Edwards Deming writes, “Everyone doing his best is not the answer. It is first necessary that people know what to do.” To ensure people know exactly what to do, all activities within the organization should be system oriented....


Open Access

Lessons in Labeling

by Braswell, Nina; Koroseta, Jill; Grogan, Amy

What kind of care would you want for a loved one fighting cancer? This is the question the experts at Cancer Treatment Centers of America ask themselves every day and motivates employees to create a culture where continuous improvement becomes a habit....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Minimizing Chaos

by Gojanovic, Tony

Much has been written about document control and management. But applying these basic principles can help transform a nightmare into a well-managed system....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Prevent Memory Loss

by Knapp, Gary

All quality personnel can benefit from a good habit many successful people live by—note-taking and documenting meeting minutes....


Heavy Mettle Victory

by Mazu, Michael J.; Conklin, Joseph D.

After 23 years of service, I retired from Heavymet. Heavymet is a colossus: 65,000 employees in 55 plants in six business units in six countries. I lived in interesting times there. Many asked how I felt about our progress in process management....


Standards Outlook: Clearly Defined

by Russell, J.P.

It seems that everyone knows the difference between a system and a process. We know processes and systems are related, but most of us aren’t sure when one begins and the other ends....


Open Access

Online Figures One Good Idea

by Port, Jonathan D.

Planning Execution Hierarchy Aim Quality manual Procedures Work instructions Forms Records Quality management system documentation pyramid / Online Figure 1 Transforming the document pyramid / Online Figure 2 Aim Quality manual Procedures Work instructio...


Reaching Out

by Blumenthal, Cynthia

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Middlesex, Jeffery Eugenides describes life at Ford Motor Co. in the 1920s, detailing how unskilled workers tried to match the calculated pace of assembly lines and a manufacturer that made almost every part itself....


Online Tables Blumenthal

by Blumenthal, Cynthia

Supplier categorization risk matrix / online table 2 Supplier category High risk Moderate risk Low risk 1. Direct manufacturing material suppliers Product material suppliers Chem inc. blank label paper supplier nonproduct material suppliers Maintenance, ...


Pushback Prevention

by Schultz, John R.

“Our quality program doesn’t seem to be working.” This statement, or a similar one, is frequently repeated by executives and managers who believe quality-focused projects are not meeting expectations. Such perceptions are often reinforced by published...


Put JIB on the Job

by Hannon, Christine; Grossman, Steven

An organization implemented a proven training program that improved quality and efficiency plantwide during the recession, positioning it to perform at higher levels when demand increased after the economy recovered....


Best of Both Worlds

by Granowicz, Gene

Combine flowcharts and turtle diagrams to simplify the presentation of information and clarify process interactions, making employee training and quality management system auditing easier....


Go With the Flow

by Theiss, Brandon R.

In an effort to implement lean Six Sigma initiatives, many companies forget that data flow and material flow are two sides of the same coin. This starves the Six Sigma methods of data, which causes the enterprise to run at a suboptimal level....


On the Map

by Boudreaux, Miriam

Process mapping is an essential technique for identifying all the processes that take place in an organization, as well as their interrelation. This visual tool makes it easy to understand the sequence in which these processes take place....


Measure for Measure: Calibration Evaluation

by Shah, Dilip

What do you do when a supplier does not have accreditation to the required quality standard? How about when the particular test or calibration item is not covered under the scope of accreditation?...


Customer Focus Sparks Invention

by Ellifson, Valerie

To reduce customer complaints and remain profitable, Littelfuse’s facility in the Philippines designed a voice of the customer (VOC) project. The executive team or project champion and project sponsor help the team set goals and expectations, and provide ...


Open Access

Leaning Toward Green

by Chapman, Christopher D.; Green II, Newton B.

Lean practitioners have long challenged employees to question why a process is performed in a particular way, whether it is necessary, and to shift their paradigm to implement a simpler, more efficient way to provide value to the customer....


Starting Line

by Cooper, Jill

So, you’ve volunteered (or, as one of my coworkers says, you’ve been “volun-told”) to lead your company through the implementation of ISO 9001. Now what do you do?...


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....


Standards Outlook: Conducting a Document Review

by Russell, J.P.

Some industry sectors require documentation that has word-for-word traceability between the MS documentation and audit criteria. For internal audits, document reviews can be part of a routine audit of an area, rather than a separate document review. Docum...


Standards Outlook: Automakers Shift Manual Into Another Gear

by Reid, R. Dan

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) published the second edition of the Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) and Control Plan Reference Manual this summer....


Open Access

In the Know

by Ramu, Govindarajan

More and more organizations are choosing outsourcing as a necessary means of remaining competitive in the global economy. Quality professionals must consider building a body of knowledge completely dedicated to the subject of quality in outsourcing....


Open Access

Army Aviation Depot Does an About Face

by Giddens, Jamey

A few years ago the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD), which provides maintenance, repair, and overhaul of the Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter, was in danger of losing the contract because of problems with turnaround time and cost overruns. CCAD’s...


Small Business Leadership: Creating and Preserving a Business Culture

by Filho, Savio Capelossi

Every business has its own culture that starts slowly and evolves over time as the business becomes more successful and grows. For a small business, it is initially the founder who determines the culture of the firm and the way employees work 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...


Open Access

Back to Basics: It's Just Paperwork?

by Mahoney, Carol

Understanding the need for document control

When I was a teenager, my mother gave me a diary and a bit of advice: "Say what you think, but be careful what you write."...


ISO 9001: Could It Be Better?

by Dearing, Jack

Many well-intentioned people are using ISO 9001 to control and improve quality, but much of the standard should be disregarded. ISO 9001's unnecessary costs affect companies, their employees and customers, as well as society in general which depends...


Merging Quality Cultures in Contract Manufacturing

by Jones, David M.

When EPIC Technologies acquired the Siemens Electronic Manufacturing Center operations in Johnson City, Tennessee, it became necessary to merge its quality culture with those of its new subsidiary while continuing to keep its original customers happy....


A Second Look at 5S

by Van Patten, James

While Six Sigma has largely replaced 5S (lean), that doesn't mean that 5S doesn't have the potential to deliver benefits beyond cleaning up the shop floor. 5S is an idea that can change the perception of the workplace and provide a foundation for all...


Standards Outlook: Process Auditing and Techniques

by Russell, J.P.

Process audits are highly focused, but their effective techniques are not always understood. Because there is no sanctioned process audit standard, anyone can claim to be doing process audits....


Core Roles in a Strategic Quality System

by Imler, Ken

When establishing and maintaining a strategically viable quality system, senior management defines the roles played by groups, departments, or functions within the organization using risk/benefit analysis to determine the best fit in terms of logistics,...


Open Access

Steady Does It For DynMcDermott

by Turner, Andy

DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations (DM) holds the maintenance and operations contract for the Department of Energy's strategic petroleum reserve. High DOE expectations prompted DM's Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award journey ten years ago when DM...


Improve Your Audit Interviews

by ASQ Audit Division; Russell, J.P.

The interview process is vital to the success of an audit, therefore, auditors must be able to use various techniques to gather needed information without appearing threatening to the auditee. The interview should be relaxed and comfortable, allowing...


Open Access

So You Want To Write?

by Westcott, Russ

Do you ever think you have something important to say or know how something could be done better and want others to hear you? Your colleagues, friends and relatives tend to tune you out....


The Write Stuff For Quality

by Campanizzi, Jane

Effective writing is a powerful skill that can add value to your organization. The more you utilize basic language techniques, the easier it will be for your readers to interpret and understand your workplace writing. This article, adapted from...


ISO 9000 In Service: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

by Scott, John

When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began requiring ISO 9001 certification for its new business contracts, claims processing contractor Palmetto GBA decided to pursue certification for its existing contracts as well. Getting a...


Lean Glossary

by Rooney, Steven A.; Rooney, James J.

A glossary defines terms commonly associated with lean...


TS 16949 – Where Did It Come From?

by Reid, Dan

TS 16949 is an international fundamental quality management system specification for the automotive industry based on ISO 9000. It was developed at the request of automotive suppliers from the Big Three automakers' quality system assessment manuals,...


Better Processes = Better E-Commerce

by Reijers, Hajo A.; Jansen-Vullers, Monique H.

Successful e-commerce (EC) requires customer and supplier interaction to be seamlessly integrated with existing business processes. Quality professionals must keep this in mind when redesigning business processes, particularly in the service industry....


Healthcare Agreement Revision Nears Release

by Reid, R. Dan

The first revision of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) International Workshop Agreement (IWA 1) should be released this month if all goes according to plan....


Stop Depending On Inspection

by Craig, Darin J.

In today’s global marketplace, “better, cheaper, and faster” has become the mantra for manufacturers. Obviously, it would be better to build a product correctly in the first place, but making the transition from a traditional...


Tips for Automotive Auditors

by Reid, R. Dan

ISO 9000 has taken more than its fair share of criticism, largely due to the variation in international third-party conformity assessment....


A Software Company’s TL 9000 Success Story

by Nanda, Vivek “Vic”; Kelly, Tim

When Ulticom, a small software product company, set out to establish a quality management system it considered a number of international standards before pursuing registration to TL 9000, the telecommunications quality management standard based on ISO...


Basic Requirements of a Quality Manual

by Grimes, Kevin R.

If your company is implementing a quality management system based on ISO 9000:2000 standards, the content of the quality manual should reflect ISO 9001 requirements, but it need not match the format. Basically, ISO 9001 asks that you document actions...


Beyond Standards

by Mroz, Jim; Berglund, Ronald

A quality management system model for the healthcare industry based on ISO 9000 is preventing bureaucratic barriers from channeling resources away from customer service. The Sparrow Health System’s Sparrow Adult Outpatient Rehabilitation Services...


ISO 14001 Revision Nears Completion

by Block, Marilyn R.

International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO, Technical Committee 207 has released the draft international standard (DIS) for the revised version of ISO 14001....


Top 10 Tips for Shop Floor Audit Readiness

by Pylipow, Peter E.

Wendy, a shift supervisor at fictitious Skyko Industries, was notified her manufacturing area was going to be added to the scope of Skyko’s ISO 9001 registration....


Column: Standards Outlook: Characteristic Management

by Reid, R. Dan

Executives sometimes wonder why their organizations still have quality problems, despite their best efforts to eliminate them. There are many possible causes and you've probably heard of some of them, such as lack of resources and lack of leadership or...


Management System Integration: Can It Be Done?

by McDonald, Mary; Mors, Terry A.; Phillips, Ann

In October 1996, the International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO, issued the final version of ISO 14001, an international standard for environmental management systems (EMS)....


Open Access

Column: One Good Idea: Process Identification

by Westcott, Russ

If your organization has had a difficult time describing its quality management system (QMS) because it believes the system must be process mapped to satisfy the ISO 9001 requirements, then listen up....


Open Access

Print Perfect

by Johnson, Kristen

Branch-Smith Inc., a fourth-generation printing company, had its origins in the unlikely success of a boy born without arms in 1868. The company as it exists today takes inspiration from founder Aaron Smith, who taught himself to type with his toes,...


Open Access

Column: One Good Idea: Document Control

by Janitz, Mikel E.

Focus on the information, not specific documents

The phrase "control of documents" is simple, but it's one tough element of ISO 9000 to design, document, implement and maintain. To simplify this element, you need to ask, "How do you define and control information?"...


Column: Career Corner: Sell Your Contribution To the Bottom Line

by Westcott, Russ

Don't be too polite to blow your own horn. Telling people what you have accomplished is good for them as well as for...


Hungary's Journey To Business Excellence

by Molnar, Pal

Hungary has emerged as a major European success story, its economy thriving despite the recent worldwide recession. Four Hungarian companies illustrate how quality has led to business success. Using total quality management techniques tailored to fit...


Column: Emerging Sectors: ISO 9000 for Small Service Companies

by Goldstein, Sheldon

Should a small service company pursue ISO 9000 certification? If your customers aren't well informed about the benefits of hiring a certified company, why invest the time and money to achieve the goal?...


Column: Standards Outlook: Purchaser and Supplier Quality

by Reid, R. Dan

Going beyond ISO 9001, QS-9000 and TS 16949

For quality to happen, quality control from the supplier's perspective is necessary. But evidence indicates suppliers do not always pursue the actions needed for quality improvement. Quality practitioners...


Delivering Quality, Safety and Security in Aviation

by Brong, Jerry

Aviation is one of the most regulated industries in the world. Procedures are standardized for use of airspace, aircraft manufacture, and pilot certification. Regulations are multinational, and yet aviation is an industry in which free enterprise and...


Column: Emerging Sectors: ISO 9000:2000 Gives Competitive Edge

by Schoenrock, Todd Brady

Security division of business services provider implements standards to get things right the first time

Wackenhut's security services division has taken the initial steps toward becoming ISO 9000:2000 certified. Along the way, the division derived an unanticipated benefit--boosted credibility in the internal competition for...


Column: Emerging Sectors: ISO 9001:2000 Meets Quality Challenges

by Keller, Stefan

Background investigation firm is first in industry to achieve new standard

When Vertical Screen of Southampton, PA, a pre-employment background screening company, began creating new divisions and hiring additional employees, it became apparent a formal system was needed to provide quality information...


Destination: ISO 9001

by Shipley, David

When in 1999 Nebraska manufacturer Nucor Corporation announced that it would require each of its Vulcraft divisions to achieve ISO 9001 certification, the Norfolk Division had two paths from which to choose. They decided that rather than wait until the...


Transition to ISO 9000:2000

by Stahan, Jay

Organizations can upgrade their ISO 9001:1994 certification to ISO 9001:2000 by using their existing quality management systems (QMS) instead of starting over with the revised standard's format. If the 1994 standard's terminology and format have met...


Open Access

Simplify Your Quality System

by Godwin, Pat



It is usual in the automotive industry for companies to coordinate their quality management standards to the QS-9000 manual, the automotive sector derivative of the ISO 9000 series. The organization of ISO 9000:2000 is different, however, and...


Open Access

ISO 9001 and 9004: A Framework for Disaster Preparedness

by Kolka, James W.


The terrorist attacks of September 11 forced many to examine their personal and professional preparedness for catastrophe. Those businesses that were able to pull their employees, equipment, and data together after the tragedies had highly...


Column: Emerging Sectors: Johnson Space Center Reaches for the Stars

by Blum, Leon

.]In the late 1990s, the Johnson Space Center (JSC) and NASA's other centers began experiencing flattened and decreasing funding from Congress without an equivalent decline in workload. Management recognized a shift in emphasis from correction to...


Johnson Space Center Reaches for the Stars

by Blum, Leon

ISO 9001 certification leads shift from problem correction to prevention and information sharing

In the late 1990s, the Johnson Space Center (JSC) and NASA's other centers began experiencing flattened and decreasing funding from Congress without an equivalent decline in workload. To ensure JSC's QMS had been thoroughly tested, the center initiated a ...


Open Access

Widgetcraft for One Small Paint Company

by Brody, Andrew M.

Marcus Paint Co., a small company specializing in the manufacture of custom formulated coatings for metal products in original equipment manufacturing, implemented QS-9000 to satisfy customer requirements. Despite initial misgivings, senior management...


Open Access

ISO 9001 Without Tears

by Wright, Tony

A quality management system patterned on ISO 9001:2000 doesn't have to be difficult to implement and manage. The standard can be reduced to one relatively short manual containing procedures that are never longer than a single page. To do this, the quality...


Column: Standards Outlook: Auditing ISO 9001:2000.

by Russell, J. P.

Challenges arise because some of the requirements aren't specific or traceable

Because many of its clauses are nonprescriptive--they don't contain specific or traceable requirements--some quality professionals are expressing concern about the auditability of ISO 9001:2000, the new quality management standard. Without...


Lessons Learned

by Treichler, David H.; Carmichael, Ronald D.

Despite the difficulty of transferring technology and methodology from one culture to another, a team from Raytheon has successfully conducted Six Sigma based tactical transformation workshops for Raytheon Business units, their customers, and suppliers...


Column: Standards Outlook: From Deming to ISO 9000:2000

by Reid, R. Dan

Lip service isn't enough; management must understand and carry out its obligations to achieve sustainability and growth

For quality programs to be successful, management must take an active role in their implementation. Plenty of guidelines are available in the work of quality leaders such as W. Edwards Deming and in more recently developed standards and programs such...


10 Requirements for Effective Process Control: A Case Study

by Little, Thomas A.

Failure to control the manufacturing process results in product recalls, product loss or rework, and a decrease in customer confidence. Because the management of READ-RITE Corporation, a manufacturer of magnetic heads for computer disk drive, considered...


Industrywide Shakeout

by Pritts, Bradley A., Jr.

The Big Three automobile manufacturing firms in North America have raised the bar on quality performance requirements. The tightened demands are aimed at suppliers, third-party auditors, and registrars. Recent developments have redefined the direction...


Failed Software Projects? Not anymore

by Markus, Marcel

A software company adopts ISO 9001 to eliminate costly errors

CTG's management system addresses these requirements for each functional area that has a potential impact on the quality of service: strategic planning, marketing, sales, service development, delivery, recruiting, people development and support services. ...


Open Access

Implementation Can Benefit from Quality Experience

by Clarke, Anthony J.

Knowledge management is beginning to be recognized as a quality tool that will change the standards of competition. Knowledge management decreases waste and rework by focusing on shared solutions, ideas, and best practices. The concept of knowledge...


Hustle, That's All

by Dagestino, Kathryn; Moore, Wendy L.; Teutloff, Jorn

The Earle M. Jorgensen Company has always focused on service quality. The company, which distributes steel and aluminum bar, tube, and plate products in the U.S. and Canada, has found its commitment to service quality to be both a blessing and a...


Leveraging a quality system to establish an EMS.

by Block, Marilyn R.

Similarities are many; differences are few

Despite overwhelming similarities between ISO 14001, Environmental Management Systems--Specification With Guidance for Use and ISO 9001 based quality systems, the vast majority of quality assurance managers are as unfamiliar with ISO 14001 today as when i...


Beyond Compliance

by Arter, Dennis

Most quality auditors perform compliance audits to verify the implementation of written procedures. Compliance audits can be second party audits used to review the activities of suppliers, or they can be third party audits performed by independent...


A Success Story From Australia

by Akpolat, Hasan

Small printer's ISO 9000 effort wins converts to its self-adhesive label technology

In 1996, only six months after of implementation of the quality system, the company achieved ISO 9000 certification. Some organizations misunderstand the purpose and scope of the ISO 9000 standards and develop a documentation system that's based on the 20...


A Blueprint for Document Control

by Fine, Debra L.; Read, William L.

As a vital component of a quality system, controlled documentation provides benefits such as: currency and availability of information; preservation of knowledge; management of revisions and obsolete documents; and authoritative approval. Typical...


Research: The Key to Quality Policies and Procedures

by Page, Stephen B.

A structured research plan for analyzing a business process is the key to writing quality policies and procedures. Comprehensive and accurate policies and procedures are essential for meeting documentation requirements of standards like the ISO 9000...


An Integrated Approach to Food Safety

by Bennet, William L.; Steed, Leonard L.

HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 9000 are compatible quality tools for the food industry. Although it can be a challenge to analyze and interpret the ISO 9000 elements, there are...


Quality Management and Continuous Improvement at Campbell

by Ouellette, Norman P.

HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) programs have fit well into the Campbell Soup Co. approach to quality and safety. HACCP is established in over 90% of Campbell plants, where compliance planning and implementation focus on production steps...


Taking the Myth Out of Documenting Work Instructions

by Dunford, Terry

A misperception about work instruction documentation can be corrected by focusing the documentation on control items rather than on operating details. It also is helpful to think of work instruction documentation as the recording of critical standards....


Do the Right Things Right

by Wilson, Hilary M.

A robust and adaptive ISO 9000 quality system fosters efficiency and effectiveness. A proactive strategy will lead to elimination of nonconformities and development of a solid infrastructure. The DISTRO company has done this by adhering to the...


Quality in the Age of Communication

by Cremer, Christopher J.

At Modine Manufacturing Co., communications technology facilitates quality message consistency, benchmarking, and training in an organization with many plants, divisions, and customer requirements. Modine's local area network (LAN) and wide area...


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...


Getting Suppliers in on the Quality Act

by Mehta, Pradip V.; Scheffler, Joan M.

The supplier quality assistance program of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) provides set-up guidance and on-site reviews of inspection and test functions; quality system audits; inspection and testing training; and certification. Some...


Bringing Quality Home

by Clark, Maria R.

Work instructions in picture format have improved the morning routine of two children of ages 3 and 5. The Morning Checklist is a sequence of seven pictures with simple sentences covering the 45 minutes from making the bed through washing and dressing...


Integrate Quality Cost Concepts Into Teams' Problem-Solving Efforts

by Robison, Jim

Cost of quality (COQ) initiatives can be incorporated into any organization. A ten-step method integrates the four COQ elements of appraisal costs, prevention costs, external failure costs, and internal failure costs into problem solving programs....


Helping the Learning Disabled Participate in Quality Programs

by Owens, Boyd E.

Employee training is ever more important in an era of worker shortages and technological change. This is especially true for employees with learning disabilities (LDs). Even though an LD may affect one's ability to process information, persons with...


12 Rules to Make Your ISO 9000 Documentation Simple and Easy to Use

by Russo, C. W. Russ

Simplicity and usability of an ISO 9000 documentation system is the theme of 12 recommendations. First, create the quality manual only after all other documents have been prepared. Second, a concise quality policy need be only one paragraph or one...


Integrating ISO 9001 and ISO 14001

by Beechner, Alice B.; Koch, James E.

The integration of standards increases focus while reducing confusion. Elements of the ISO 9001 quality standard can be enhanced with corresponding components of ISO 14001, the environmental management standard. Management responsibilities for the...


Bored With the Same Old Reference Books?

by Taylor, C. Michael

Registrars for ISO 9000 and QS-9000 certification look for well documented, clear, controlled, and compliant relationships among an organization's entities. Whether the relationships are handled through interface agreements, corporate interlinks, or...



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