Tools & Resources

The New Voices of Quality

Jim Akers

Jim Akers

Title: Quality Engineer.

Rockford, IL.

Jim Akers knows a thing or two about customer service and customer satisfaction. And he wants to make sure everyone around him knows about it, too.

“Some people like to just complain about a service they received,” Akers said. “I try and provide an understanding to the business of how the error occurred and what steps they can take to reduce the risk of the error occurring in the future.”

The 38-year-old quality engineer has plenty of opportunity to practice this message at Woodword Inc., which designs, manufactures and services energy control systems and components for aircraft and industrial engines and turbines. But Akers also makes sure he preaches it.

He handles customer quality for Woodward Inc.’s largest customer, so he knows what it takes to anticipate customers’ needs and keep clients happy.

“I use quality tools and concepts to make a difference by working very closely with our customers to see how we can improve and provide more value to our customers,” Akers said. “Our customers specify value, but as a good supplier we must introduce improvement ideas before the customer asks for them.”

That outlook and philosophy goes beyond just the job. Akers, who is an ASQ-certified quality engineer, reliability engineer and Black Belt, shares his knowledge through his numerous teaching stints at universities and colleges in Illinois and Wisconsin, incorporating valuable employment skills into the curriculum so his students aren’t completely blindsided when they enter the workforce.

“I especially look forward to showing how traditional quality concepts can be applied to the service industry and everyday home life activities,” he said.

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