Selecting the best quality tool to meet your objectives

We love our quality tools!  In fact, the Quality Toolbox is never too far out of reach.  But, the choices can seem overwhelming at times.  Here are some suggestions for picking the right tool based on what you want to accomplish: If you want to keep track of your facts… Use a check sheet or line graph. If you want to represent data visually… Use a histogram, line graph, or pareto diagram. If you want to group your ideas… Use a lotus flower diagram, fishbone diagram or affinity diagram. If you want to figure out how ideas are connected… Use …

Language translation challenges for businesses

Business News Daily captured our attention this morning with a post discussing things you should know about language translation. As an organization that does offer translation services for documents such as product specifications, instruction manuals or CAD drawings, we also recognize the challenges from an internal perspective as well.  From internal documentation of processes and procedures to global marketing, offering services in over thirty countries means multiple languages must be available.  Their accuracy is salient. As the article notes… A good translation can make a huge difference in how content is received.” Ian Henderson, chief technology officer and chairman of global …

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 …