Category: News

Welcome 2015… Maintain Quality Resolutions

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As the first Monday of the New Year has arrived and productivity once again gains momentum, so too has the responsibility for resolution follow-through.

Over the years, we have written a few articles that we think quality professionals in particular will appreciate.  We use quality tools from start to finish to ensure not only success, but continuous improvement (kaizen).

The first area of troubleshooting when it comes to making a change is effective planning. It’s not enough to say that you’ll exercise more or that you’ll start doing something about that one supplier that’s consistently late with shipments.  Strategic planning needs to take place, and S.M.A.R.T. goals should always be the result.

“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” ~ Earl Nightingale 

Getting your brain on board with change can be the biggest challenge.  It’s one thing to want something, but it’s another entirely when it comes to getting your behavior to respond accordingly.  We’re wired for short-cuts and efficiency, so real effort is required to get things rewired.  With a negativity bias also at play, it’s often too easy to give up.

World Quality Month is here… Spread the word!

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November is recognized internationally as World Quality Month.  Some interesting fun facts regarding its origin via ASQ include:

  • Japan has celebrated World Quality Month in November since 1960.
  • China originally recognized World Quality Month in September starting in 1978.
  • North America started raising awareness in 1988 and originally celebrated in October.
  • First promulgated by the United Nations in 1990, World Quality Day aims to raise international awareness of the important role quality plays in ensuring nations’ prosperity. Now it is celebrated annually on the second Thursday of November.
  • In the UK, Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) will celebrate World Quality Day with events from November 11-15. The South African Quality Institute also celebrates National Quality Week annually.

Why do we need a World Quality Month?

Standards: Ensuring Quality, Safety & Spookiness on Halloween

Line-of-pumpkins-from-iStockPhotoHalloween is approaching and is celebrated by millions around the world each year on October 31st.

At Pro QC, our teams across the globe often observe Halloween with good food, friends and festive decorations.

The history of Halloween has evolved.

“Traditional activities on Halloween include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom as well as of Australia and New Zealand.

The activity is popular in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and due to increased American cultural influence in recent years, trick-or-treating has started to occur among children in many parts of Europe, and in the Saudi Aramco camps of Dhahran, Akaria compounds and Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia.” 

Amid all of the spooky fun, we often forget to appreciate the standards, specifications and/or other quality efforts that make this holiday safe!  For example:

Who cares about noise?

“One person’s data is another person’s noise.” ~K.C. Cole

Did you know?

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the single most common irreversible occupational hazard worldwide is noise-induced hearing impairment.
  • Noise levels are commonly measured in decibels (dB). It is a logarithmic scale rather than a linear one, because the human ear can handle such a vast range of sound levels. Zero dB is the softest sound a healthy human ear can detect. 
  • Eighty-five decibels (dB) is the level above which hearing protection is recommended to avoid hearing loss from the cumulative effects of exposure to noise over time. How can you tell if the noise level is 85 dB? Here’s a quick test: If you have to raise your voice to talk to someone who is an arm’s length away from you, you are likely in an environment with a sound level of 85 dB or more.                                                                                                            (Source)

At Pro QC, we care about noise. Our quality engineers perform special testing to ensure that product being produced and sold meets specifications and ultimately customer expectations.

Facebook goes dark… When good quality goes bad

It happened without warning.  I went to check the Pro QC Facebook page for comments about our August holiday schedule and recent 30th anniversary photo from our team in Vietnam, but I was denied.

Sorry, something went wrong.

We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.

Jump over to Twitter and #facebookdown is already among the top trends. Around the world, work has stopped for those few minutes that it took for Facebook to come back up.

Good job Facebook!  When users are so surprised and shocked at a service outage such as this, it means you’ve been meeting or exceeding expectations.  That’s Six Sigma perfection…