Pass the exam! Certification study tips…

We place significant value on industry certifications and actively look for engineers that have various quality related designations. I recently volunteered to assist others during a local ASQ certification exam study session and noted the following tips to help ensure success: Take the pre-test. Assess your strengths and weaknesses ASAP. Most certification exam study guides offer example tests. Taking this as early as possible provides a realistic assessment of what you know and don’t know. It’s easy to be overconfident about how much you think you know, or get caught in the trap of focusing your studies on what you’re …

Best Practices For Minimizing Global Supplier Risk

We were just reading through an article posted by Supply Chain Management Review that discusses Four Best Practices for Minimizing Global Supplier Risk.  As a third-party quality engineering and consulting firm, we get questions about this often and have written a handful of articles related to the topic. We like the SCMR’s four best practices, but did want to add some additional comments. 1) Make routine site visits. It can be quite costly to manage routine site visits, whether your supplier is domestic or abroad.  All of the benefits discussed in the article can be achieved by partnering with a …

3 Ways to Use Defect Data to Drive Improvement

Our quality engineers collect data from supplier locations all over the world, and we encourage our clients to get as much value as possible from our reporting to drive overall improvements and support successful supplier partnerships. Consider the simplified example of conducting weekly pre-shipment inspections of one product at a single supplier site.  The information provided in the product specification determines the defects and whether they are major, minor or critical, which the quality engineer checks for on-site when evaluating the random samples.  An accept, reject or on-hold determination is made for each inspection based on the AQLs and other …

Quality Tools for Quality of Life

Celebrating Chinese New Year (Gong Xi Fa Cai!) has us thinking about resolutions again.  Pro QC’s Communications Director met with local quality professionals recently through the American Society of Quality’s network in the Tampa Bay area and discussed the application of quality tools to quality of life. Highlights from this discussion reveal a compelling case for both employers and employees: “75% of our job success is predicted not by intelligence, but by our optimism, social support network and the ability to manage energy and stress in a positive way.” (Happiness Advantage) “Increasing your optimism can improve your productive energy by 31%.” …

3 Ways to Improve Communications with Suppliers

Developing and maintaining strong supplier partnerships depends on a solid foundation of successful communication. In our thirty years of experience at the table with clients and suppliers around the world, we’ve seen a range of outcomes where communications are concerned.  The impact is quite often more substantial than you may think, with some arguing that communications are the primary reason for a partnership’s success or failure. Certainly, there is no shortage of recommendations out there for improving communications.  However, our three recommendations focus on suppliers and our observations over the years. 1. Recognize that communication is about understanding.  In order …