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Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: Pyramid Scheme

by Weeden M., Marcia

A framework for stronger standard operating procedures....

Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: All About Data

by ReVelle B., Jack

We can't be certain, but Lt.Commander Data, a character on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," may have derived his name from his ability to acquire and process data critical to the mission of the United Star Ship Enterprise....

Open Access

Super Supplier

by Namboodiripad, Vivek

How one organization created an audit program to improve supplier quality....

Open Access

Keep Calm and Prepare for ISO 9001:2015

by Aston, Bill; Briggs, Susan; Cianfrani, Charles; Desai, Deann; Gluck, Allen; Palmes, Paul; Robitaille, Denise; West, John

This article is meant to calm your anxieties by helping you to understand five of the key changes in ISO 9001:2015, what they mean, what you must do to meet the new requirements and the resources available to you during the transition process....

3.4 per Million: Reality or Illusion?

by Kubiak, T.M.

Lately, I've felt like Howard Beale, the character in the 1976 movie “Network,” who has gone over the edge. I’ve been exposed to so much mediocre service quality, I’m at the brink of screaming one of Beale’s most famous lines in the movie....

Online Table 3.4 per Million: Reality or Illusion?

by Kubiak, T.M.

Lately, I've felt like Howard Beale, the character in the 1976 movie “Network,” who has gone over the edge. I’ve been exposed to so much mediocre service quality, I’m at the brink of screaming one of Beale’s most famous lines in the movie....

Expert Answers: February 2015

by Dunmire, Thea; Cianfrani, Charles A.

A common misconception is that an audit program is the same as simply completing internal audits. An audit program consists of the arrangements made to complete all of the individual audits needed to achieve a specific purpose. Communicating audit finding...

Expert Answers: June 2014

by QP Staff

Driving service quality ... Evaluating equipment...

Solid Base

by Ahmed, Afaq;

A petroleum and petrochemical plant consists of equipment such as pumps, valves, motors, flanges, pipes, turbines, tanks and pressure vessels. Typically, such plants rely on a global supplier base to procure such equipment....

Open Access

A Place to Call Home

by Leonard, Denis; Zajicek, Gary

Builder leverages quality toolbox, culture to construct house for "Extreme Makeover" TV show....

Open Access

Back to Basics: Pyramid Scheme

by Weeden, Marcia

A framework for stronger standard operating procedures....

Open Access

5S Shakeup

by Casey, John

There are secrets about 5S that lean experts often overlook because nobody ever clued them in. Before revealing the secrets, however, there are a few questions to answer: What is 5S? Why is 5S important to implement?...

Ready, Set, Go

by Lawson, Edward

Organizational progress is generally driven by the identification of goals and objectives. Strategic planning, which defines goals and objectives, is a formal process in organizations, regardless of size....

Dig Deeper

by Chadha, Rajeev

Sort,store, shine, standardize and sustain (5S) is a lean process for creating and maintaining an organized, clean, safe and high-performing workplace....

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....

Open Access

Online Figures - Vanicek

by Vanicek, Vera

daily volume Total time ( hours) Drug receiving/ reconciliation 0: 51: 00 0: 51: 00 Injectables ( RT) 0: 01: 09 25 0: 28: 45 Pump receiving 0: 01: 32 9 0: 13: 48 Pump assigning ( existing) 0: 01: 43 7 0: 12: 01 Pump assigning ( NP) 0: 07: 00 1 0: 07: 00 ...

Open Access

Quality Around the Clock

by QP Staff

It’s in your DNA. It’s how your mind works. It’s what you do. It’s who you are. When you work in quality, you see things differently. You approach problems and scenarios in certain ways. It happens after you’ve signed off....

Healthy Returns

by Kennedy, Denise; Caselli, Richard J.; Berry, Leonard L.

The future of any enterprise depends on the quality of its customer service. All organizations—even those manufacturing products—are service organizations because all create value for customers by performing services....

In the Spotlight

by Keathley, Jane

Based on what we know about the skills needed for innovation management, what quality management functions, responsibilities and skills can be applied to manage innovation?...

Online Conklin: The Road More Traveled

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

After being part of a great team that implemented process management at Plant Able in the XYZ division of Heavymet, I took the show on the road to our sister facility Plant Baker....

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....

The Secret to Sustainment

by Lindquist, Russell

Of all the problems and projects encountered by most continuous improvement professionals, the most challenging is making change last. In fact, sustaining change tends to be an afterthought for many....

Standards Outlook: Taking Control

by Russell, J.P.

Organizations need controls to ensure objectives are achieved. It’s management’s job to establish, implement and monitor controls, and the auditor’s job to determine whether they are adequate....

Standards Outlook: Remote Control

by Russell, J.P.

When you start talking about remote auditing—or e-audits—around a group of auditors, you will hear plenty of strong opinions. Some auditors are vehemently opposed, while others are open to the idea....

Standard Outlook: In Transition

by Cressionnie, L.L. "Buddy"

The 30-month transition period for the aviation, space and defense (AS&D) quality management system (QMS) standard began Jan. 1. With plenty of time to get familiar with the QMS documents, organizations are striving to meet their requirements....

Now What?

by Carboneau, Clark; Banks, Jon; Armijo, Tony; Zondlo, John A.

This is the story of one organization’s efforts to develop and implement a dissemination process that would consistently spread its improvement solutions across all facets of the organization....

Expert Answers: February 2010

by QP Staff

Updating a scorecard ... the right metrics ... starting a quality management system....

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....

Score One for Improvement

by Leip, Terry

Five years ago, Intel’s IT organization decided to improve internal customer satisfaction and the efficiency of IT projects with a CMMI-based process improvement activity to develop standard processes for project management....

Standards Outlook: The Right Approach

by Liebesman, Sandford

The process approach is at the heart of a quality management system (QMS) defined by ISO 9001. And, as everyone knows, it’s necessary to have the old ticker checked out from time to time....

Quality in the First Person: Quality Isn't a 9-to-5 Job

by Miller, Christopher

As a quality professional, I often think about how quality is embedded in people’s everyday lives. Looking back at my own life, I was shocked to learn how long and how much of an impact quality has had on me—especially outside of work....

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....

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....

Smooth Approach

by Morris, Jon

Traditional internal audits fulfill a need for companies with fresh ISO 9001 implementations. But for organizations with mature systems, an innovative approach called an appreciative internal quality audit can take them beyond compliance to excellence....

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

10 Auditing Rules

by Kausek, Joe

All auditors receive training in the basics of planning, conducting and reporting audits. Unfortunately, this is the only training many ever receive....

Measure for Measure: A Clearer Picture With RCA

by Niemann, Craig A.

The next step to crafting a successful quality assurance program is conducting root cause analysis (RCA) to examine the individual nonconformities, and then performing trend analysis to determine the most significant nonconformities and the root cause....

The Great Debate

by Mors, Terry A.

Two auditors meet over breakfast. One is a quality management system (QMS) auditor and the other an environmental management system (EMS) auditor....

Open Access

Back to Basics: An Appreciation for Documentation

by Domalik, Dan

Isn’t completing the task more important than completing the paperwork? Why do organizations spend valuable time and resources generating and maintaining paperwork systems?...

Sharpen Your Auditing Skills

by Kausek, Joe

Effective audits require effective audit planning. One of the best tools to help guide both the planning and execution of an audit is the audit checklist....

Turbocharge Your Preventive Action System

by Sittsamer, Murray J.; Oxley, Michael R.; O’Hara, William

A layered process audit (LPA) is an ongoing chain of simple verification checks to make sure a defined process is followed correctly. This powerful management tool can improve safety, quality and cost savings by amplifying problem solving systems and...

Open Access

Career Corner: Adapt to Today's Risk Based Environment

by Lindborg, Hank

Not long ago, during a discussion about innovation, a nontraditional student of mine told me that if my ideas were more than 18 months old, they were probably out of date....

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

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."...

Reach for the Stars

by Van Loon, Han

CelsiusTech Australia, a systems and software supplier, has long had a commitment to quality, but believes there is always room for improvement. The company decided to create an improved approach to the plan-do-check-act cycle to help new employees...

The Power of Process Orientation

by Sever, Kay

Hidden barriers to the success of continuous improvement programs exist in most companies and often transcend tactics applied to produce cultural change. These cultural conditions are not always obvious, but their symptoms include organizational silos...

Lean Inspection Through Supplier Partnership

by Ericson, Joel

Incoming inspection is a nonvalue-added activity that does not improve a product, but only identifies products that do not meet standards. One way to reduce incoming inspection is to move from traditional sample inspection to a system in which the...

Don't Forget the People

by Iyer, Srijayan N.

Standard practice in quality management has been focused on establishing good systems for quality, but many organizations see these efforts fall short of objectives. The problem is the lack of linkage between the way the workforce perceives and...

Open Access

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....

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...

New Standard Guides Internal and Supplier Audits

by Johnson, Gary L.

A supplement to enhance ISO 19011:2002, Guidelines on Quality and/or Environmental Management Systems Auditing, has been developed by U.S. experts. The supplement provides guidance for internal and supplier programs and the use of the standard by small...

Open Access

Back to Basics: All About Data

by ReVelle, Jack B.

We can't be certain, but Lt.Commander Data, a character on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," may have derived his name from his ability to acquire and process data critical to the mission of the United Star Ship Enterprise....

Open Access

Time Management Using Quality Tools

by Courtney, Patrick M.

Quality tools are useful in personal life. The Six Sigma concept of process improvement, specifically the DMAIC tools, has been moved from product to process, and is now applicable for personal performance improvement. Random time checklists, frequency...

Genentech Error Proofs Its Batch Records

by Bottome, Robert; Chua, Richard C.H.

Like other firms subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation, Genentech must provide complete and accurate documentation of processes. In September 2003 an error-proofing project was launched by the good manufacturing practices core team at...

Open Access

A Recipe For Excellence

by Daniels, Susan E.

The roots of the Bama Companies' 2004 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award go back to a Texas kitchen in 1927. Today the third-generation family owned business makes frozen baked goods for fast food and casual dining restaurants using the same...

Developing Best in Class Processes at NASA

by Olson, Tim

In addition to its well-known space activities, NASA performs many other engineering activities. Developing processes to ensure the quality and safety of systems is of paramount importance in achieving mission success. For this reason, NASA has created...

Create a Better Life With Quality Tools

by Sergesketter, Bernard F.

The same quality principles needed for business success may be applied on an individual basis to improve both professional and personal lives. For the process to succeed, standards must be identified, set and measured....

Open Access

Your Gateway to Quality Knowledge

by Nelsen, Dave

For the past decade, the Quality Information Center (QIC) at ASQ’s Milwaukee headquarters has collected and compiled material from quality professionals in academics, manufacturing and service to create a definitive quality body of knowledge....

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...

Faster Test Results

by Godin, Eric; Raven, Dennis; Sweetapple, Carolyn; Del Guidice, Frank R.

Southside Hospital used Six Sigma to reduce test turnaround times from 68 hours to an average of 32 hours. The use of quality tools helped the hospital improve the sigma level for stress test turnaround....

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: Emerging Sectors: All Aboard the ISO 9000 Express

by Abou-Sabh, Sharif; Bohman, Christer

The Chicago Transit System, serving approximately 1.5 million riders every day in Chicago and 38 neighboring suburbs, is a vital component of Northeastern Illinois' economy. Operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and including buses, trains and...

The Proven Way

by DiOrio, Louis J.

Proven systems engineering practices can help an organization move toward a standards compliant quality management system (QMS). The systems engineering approach starts with a top-down definition and leads to bottom-up design, build, and verify sequence...

Column: Standards Outlook: Auditing a Process Based System

by Liebesman, Sandford

Since the clause-by-clause approach to auditing for ISO 9000 no longer works, auditors will need to understand subjective and objective issues, and to determine whether the processes of the Quality Management System are...

A Quality Manual For the Transition and Beyond

by Kaganov, Mark

Companies may wonder whether quality manuals structured around the new ISO 9001:2000 format would be acceptable while the firm is still registered to the old ISO 9001:1994 standard. Consensus warrants that if the manual meets all the requirements of the...

5S for Suppliers

by Bullington, Kimball E.

Lean supply implies that the supply chain is appropriate for lean production. The 5S program, derived from the Japanese words for sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain, provides a proven model for organizing and maintaining a production...

How to Achieve Operational Excellence

by Bigelow, Madeline

Quality improvement systems can contribute to operational improvements, but they cannot eliminate operational costs arising from deviations and nonconformances caused by human error. In order to grow in today's competitive business environment,...

Open Access

Reduce Human Error

by Rooney, James J.; Vanden Heuvel, Lee N.; Lorenzo, Donald K.

Human error is most often determined to be the cause of events leading to death or serious injury at healthcare facilities. When the responsible person is coached, disciplined, or perhaps even fired, managers and team leaders feel fairly confident...

Open Access

Quality Glossary

by ASQ

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...

Open Access

Connecting the Planners and Doers

by Sussland, Willy A.

Many companies are seeking a way to link business strategy to its implementation. The Two Rings model shows how senior and operations management, each represented by a ring, can contribute their respective knowledge and develop business strategies...

The Role of Repair Stations

by Tarach, Ron

In order to ensure quality, safety, and security, aviation repair stations rely on a manual detailing regulations and guidelines encompassing quality, operations, materials management, and human resources. Aviation Product Support (APS) has internal...

New Industry Specific Quality Certification

by Maness, Thomas C.; Kozak, Robert A.

The Canadian secondary wood products manufacturing industry is made up largely of small enterprises with little access to capital, a history of low-paying jobs, and a poorly educated workforce. Global competition in the sector is fierce, and quality...

A Chip Maker's Unique Improvement Approach

by Norton, Fred

CANDOS, the continuous improvement process at Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), is an acronym derived from a series of steps: Clearing, Arrangement, Neatness, Discipline, Ongoing improvement, and Safety. Its principles of maintaining a safe and...

A Quality Swing With Ping

by Driescher, Robert T.

When John A. Solheim took over the reins of golf equipment maker Ping, he set out to find an established way to measure how the company was conducting business against an internationally accepted standard. Solheim and his management team evaluated four...

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...

Column: Emerging Sectors: Why an association became ISO 9001 certified.

by Miller, Darlene M.

AIAG sees the standard as the best way to continually design, build and deliver 'good stuff' for its customers

Becoming registered to the ISO 9001 standard was viewed not only as a means to improve the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG)'s business processes and quality of work, but also as the way to ensure its products and services conform to customers'...

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...

Open Access

The State of Quality Auditing

by Hutchins, Greg

Internal, quality, operational, safety, environmental, compliance, and customer-supplier audits will converge in the near future. In particular, the model is likely to be adopted by publicly held organizations. Because many concepts of internal control...

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...

Open Access

Checklists - A Perfect Tool to Tune Up Your Quality Manual

by Kaganov, Mark

It is common in writing quality manuals that some requirements of some standards are forgotten and fail to be addressed. While the creation of a quality manual appears to be a simple matter of documenting a firm's commitment to a particular standard,...

Semiconductor Assembly Council Promotes Use of Quality Tools

by Cooper, Marla; van Beek, Johan Cornelis

The member companies of the Semiconductor Assembly Council represent manufacturers, assembly and test subcontractors, and end user companies. SAC was established to certify subcontractor quality and process control systems. The member firms represent...

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...

Continuous Process Improvement When It Counts Most

by Czarnecki, Hank; Schroer, Bernard J.; Adams, Mel; Spann, Mary S.

Managers are challenged to address the radical changes that have occurred in the manufacturing industry in the past two decades. Managers often use continuous process improvement and computer simulations to help them reduce waste, improve quality,...

Explosion of New Products Creates Challenges

by Maguire, Miles; Hagen, Mark

New product development in the Innovation Age needs new quality tools and techniques to meet customer expectations and fast-paced change. Rapid innovation is evident in the explosive growth of patent applications, led by companies like Eastman Kodak,...

Quality You Can Bank On

by Kalmin, Norman D.; Myers, Linda; Fisk, Mary Beth

Certification to ISO 9002 for the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center required four phases embedded in the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle. Phase one, planning, included evaluating the Center's competitive and business needs; selecting the ISO 9002...

Creating More Effective Meeting Facilitators

by Buchel, Mary

Ten recommendations for trainers cover the planning and implementation of meetings. First, trainers should be aware of the meeting style of the organization and thereby help facilitators increase the productivity of meetings. Second, the training...

Work Design for Self-control in Financial Services

by Shirley, Britt M.; Gryna, Frank M.

Interviews with employees of four financial services companies provided information from which to develop self-control checklists. The checklists cover the three criteria that determine if a person is in a state of self-control. The criteria are:...

Advanced Quality Planning: A Guide for Any Organization

by Thisse, Laurence C.

Implementation of advanced product quality planning (APQP) has long-term business advantages for any organization, while supporting the QS-9000 activities of firms in the automotive industry. This planning process, including a control plan (CP)...

The Process Audit: Often Ignored but Never Insignificant

by Bafna, Sudhir

Assessment of a specific process within the quality system is the role of the process audit, which is also known as a mini, partial, or phased audit. Usually an internal audit, the process audit operates under an internal quality standard...

The Quality Auditor: Helping Beans Take Root

by Hunt, John R.

Awareness of corporate culture enables the quality auditor to go beyond bean counting and become an agent of cultural change. This broader view of quality auditing fits well with the TQM (total quality management) view that behavioral factors are...

Improving the Quality of Family Life

by Cook, Laura L.; Cook, Jack S.

Quality principles and tools have helped the parents and children in this family. Even though families differ from business organizations in how individuals become members and in the nature of leadership, many quality concepts are applicable to both...

Quality Pioneers in Education Provide Immeasurable Value to Students

by Cullotta, Pam; Gonzales, Hope

Koalaty Kid training has brought quality management principles and a student-centered approach to the Avon Elementary School. Avon, along with Abbott Laboratories and the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Northeastern Illinois Section, thus become the...

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...

VIA Rail Puts the Brakes on Runaway Operations

by Bemowski, Karen

The empowered employees (known as colleagues) of VIA Rail Canada Inc. have reduced costs and improved customer service since Terry Ivany became president and chief executive officer. From 1992 to 1995 VIA has reduced its federal payments for train...

A Case for Koalaty Kid

by Green, Donna

Quality tools and self-directed learning have fostered improvements at the Madison Street School of Basics Plus in Ocala, FL. Under the Koalaty Kid program, staff of this kindergarten through fifth grade school have received training and other support...

Seven Ways to Make Money from ISO 9000

by Scotto, Michael J.

There are bottom-line benefits to preparing for ISO 9000 registration. Tools for these money-making opportunities include information for increasing organizational efficiency and for understanding and subsequently improving processes. Improvements in...

Putting Fear to Flight

by Sulzer-Azaroff, Beth; Harshbarger, Dwight

Performance management is the application of behavior principles to the needs of individual organizational cultures. At the Wongpaitoon Footwear Company (WFC) in Bangkok, Thailand, performance management has excised fear and helped employees improve...

ISO 9000 Preparation: The First Crucial Steps

by Zaciewski, Robert D.

To improve an organization's quality system, first use the appropriate ISO (International Standardization Organization) 9000 standard for a gap analysis. Integrating ISO 9000 into the organization is helpful even if there is no third-party registration...

Hospital Sets New Standard as Closure Approaches: Quality Is Continuous

by Dasch, Martha L.

A same-day surgery (SDS) unit improved itself through long-term commitment to quality. At the Naval Hospital Orlando, a survey of patients and staff had revealed problems in pre-admission, scheduling, and physical layout. A self-directed SDS...

How to Become a Quality Person

by Cary, Mark S.

You are your own primary customer. Your personal improvement is the most important factor in kaizen or continuous improvement. A five-step plan for personal improvement is based on the plan-do-check-act cycle. First, identify what is important. Do...

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