Category: News

Remembering Philip B. Crosby… “Quality is free”

June 18th would have been Philip B. Crosby’s birthday. He lived through 2001 and is internationally recognized for his ideas on quality management practices.

Crosby was an engineer at heart. As a quality engineer developing the Pershing Missile, he conceptualized the idea of Zero Defects.

Quality is Free likely sits on the bookshelves of many across the world.  Although it was originally published in 1979, it remains relevant and inspiring in today’s global marketplace as well.

Crosby’s response to the quality crisis was the principle of “doing it right the first time” (DIRFT). He also included four major principles:

Social Accountability – SA8000 2008-2014 Comparison

Every five years SAI revises the SA8000 standard in order to ensure its continued relevance and adoptability. This process is conducted in accordance with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards (the Code).

Social Accountability International recently discussed this process and offered a side-by-side comparison (2008-2014) for general review.

Aside from general and minor verbiage changes, other observations include:

  • The term “company” and “employer” has been replaced by “organization” in many areas.
  • The Guidance Document is now available for download rather than previously requiring a  “small fee.”
  • An “Introduction” referencing “Management System” and “Intent/Scope” replaces “Purpose and Scope” as the first item listed in the Contents.
  • Night hours are no longer excluded in regards to hiring young workers.

Closing out World Trade Month

“World Trade Month in May stems from World Trade Week, which was established as a way to promote local businesses. It has since grown into a month-long initiative to highlight US trade relationships and local and national trade events. As the WTCDC, part of the mission is to facilitate and enhance the exchange of goods and services in the international marketplace. Through events, the building fosters international dialogue and raises public awareness of the economic benefits that can be realized through trade.” 

The WTO issued a press release in April regarding world trade expectations in 2014.  The gist:

World trade is expected to grow by a modest 4.7% in 2014 and at a slightly faster rate of 5.3% in 2015. 

Other interesting insights include:

  • The WTO’s forecast of 4.7% growth in world merchandise trade for 2014 is below the average rate of 5.3% for the last 20 years (1993–2013) and also below the pre-crisis average rate of 6.0% for 1990–2008. The average rate of trade expansion in the three years since 2010 is 3.42%. Forecasts for 2014 and 2015, if correct, would raise the average to 4%, but this rate is insufficient to narrow the existing gap.
  • World merchandise trade is expected to post a 4.7% increase in 2014, with developed economies growing 3.6% and developing economies and the CIS advancing 6.4%. We expect that exports from Asia will grow faster than those from any other region (6.9%). Asia should be followed by North America (4.6%), South and Central America (4.4%), Europe (3.3%), and Other regions (3.1%), an aggregate that includes Africa, CIS and Middle East.

Two interesting graphical data representations include:

A new Prime Minister for India… Sourcing & manufacturing opportunities expected from positive economic impact

A gentleman from India recently raised a discussion during a class that concerned the newly elected Prime Minister Modi. For many unaware, the recent election in India was considered a “a landslide victory for opposition leader Narendra Modi.” This particular student was drawing the connection regarding the expected economic impact on the region.

The media isn’t short on coverage for this international event, but Forbes did indicate two interesting reasons why something like this would move the Sensex index up 4.5%, which was the highest in five years.  It’s expected to continue to increase, and here’s why:

1) Modi’s platform focused on pro-business economic development.

2) “It would appear that the National Democratic Alliance, a group that is led by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party, is going to take over 300 seats, which would mean a government that would not have to solicit coalition partners and the compromises that would necessarily go with doing so. India has often been impeded by policy paralysis caused by unstable coalitions and this would help the new government to act more decisively – although the long-standing issue of deadlock between federal, state and local governments isn’t going away (nor should it, really, in India’s sophisticated democracy).” ~Forbes

The Wall Street Journal connected the election to the international economy as well, indicating

“In most industries, quality has never mattered more.”

During the flight to Dallas for the World Conference on Quality & Improvement recently, I had an opportunity to catch up on some reading.  As I cracked the cover of the April Harvard Business Review, my eye immediately went to “Creating a Culture of Quality.”

They had me at the first sentence… “In most industries, quality has never mattered more.”  As a third-party quality assurance organization, we see this first-hand. The companies we assist who value quality are those that claim the competitive advantage and more often outperform their counterparts.  This is true.

Of course, this message is consistent within quality related publications we keep up with,  but it is refreshing to see similar context included in a publication such as HBR as well.

Researchers conducted a “culture of quality” survey that yielded interesting results.

  • Roughly 60% of those surveyed said they work in an environment without a culture of quality.
  • Many of the traditional strategies used to increase quality – monetary incentives, training, and sharing of best practices, for instance – have little effect.
  • For every 5,000 employees moving from the bottom to the top quintile would save a company $67m annually.

In the article, there are Four Essentials of Quality identified that the researchers concluded “actually predict a culture of quality”:

  1. Leadership Emphasis
  2. Message Credibility
  3. Peer Involvement
  4. Employee Ownership

For additional information, check out the full article.