To the quality gurus…

At the recent ASQ conference, there was a Quality Guru Quiz available that matched up your responses to a series of questions with which guru you aligned best with.  There were several life size versions of these guys where you could capture the moment with a quick photo opportunity.  I took the quiz and aligned with Deming, of course. I also learned of the passing of Taguchi earlier this week and started thinking about those we call the “gurus” and their contributions to the field of quality and overall passion for continuously making things better.

Below is a collection of quotes that encompasses their passion and thoughts regarding quality:

Dr. W. Edwards Deming – 

“Quality is everyone’s responsibility.”

“All anyone asks for is a chance to work with pride.”

“If you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”

“It’s not enough to do your best; you must know what to do and then do your best.”

“Learning is not compulsory.  Neither is survival.”

“We are here to make another world.”

Dr. Joseph M. Juran – 

“Without a standard, there is no logical basis for making a decision or taking action.”

“Goal setting has traditionally been based on past performance. This practice as tended to perpetuate the signs of the past.”

“Quality means those features of products which meet customer needs and thereby provide customer satisfaction. In this sense, the meaning of quality is oriented to income. The purpose of such higher quality is to provide greater customer satisfaction and, one hopes, to increase income. However, providing more and/or better quality features usually requires an investment and hence usually involves increases in costs. Higher quality in this sense usually “costs more”.

“Quality means freedom from deficiencies-freedom from errors that require doing work over again (rework) or that results in field failures, customer dissatisfaction, customer claims and so on. In this sense, the meaning of quality is oriented to costs, and
higher quality usually costs less.”

Philip Crosby – 

“Quality is the result of a carefully crafted cultural environment. It has to be the fabric of the organization, not part of the fabric.”

“If anything is certain, it is that change is certain. The world we are planning for today will not exist in this form tomorrow”

Armand V. Feigenbaum – 

“Total quality control is an effective system for integrating the quality development, quality maintenance, and quality improvement efforts of the various groups in an organization so as to enable production and service at the most economical levels which allow full customer satisfaction.”

“Pursuing excellence, deep recognition that what you are doing is right, is the strongest motivation in any organization and is the main driver for true leadership qualities.”

Dr. Genichi Taguchi – 

A scientific or technical study always consists of the following three steps:
1. One decides the objective.
2. One considers the method.
3. One evaluates the method in relation to the objective.

An excellent review site can be found here.  There’s also an interesting discussion within the ASQ LinkedIn Group talking about personal favorites.   So far, Deming is in the lead…

Can jet lag be avoided?

Attracting the attention of Pro QC’s Managing Director, Ed Sanchez, was an article relating to avoiding jet lag.  As a frequent flyer visiting our offices in over thirty countries, it is understandable why!  Also, many of our clients are well aware of jet lag too, frequently visiting factories or operations abroad.

Jet lag (AKA desynchronosis) is described as “extreme tiredness and other physical effects felt by a person after a long flight across several time zones.”  While not everyone suffers from jet lag, it can certainly make travel unpleasant for others.  Interestingly, “the condition is not linked to the length of flight, but to the trans-meridian (west–east) distance traveled. A ten-hour flight from Europe to southern Africa does not cause jet lag, as travel is primarily north–south. A five-hour flight from the east to the west coast of the United States may well result in jet lag.” (Source)

The article forwarded to me by Mr. Sanzhez was interesting.  The recommendations of the blogger, Chris Kilham, a frequent traveler himself, are sound:

  • Start out rested.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Drink plain water.
  • Drink little or no alcohol.
  • Meditate on flights for at least a few minutes.

In addition, Kilham offers supplement suggestions that include melatonin and ginseng.

The travel editor for TODAY, Peter Greenberg, added the importance of restricting food on the flight.

Molly Ogorzaly, with Travelsmart, offers twelve steps to avoid jet lag.  Suggestions include the importance of moving to avoid DVT and setting your clock to the destination time at the beginning of the flight.

Reaching out to a couple of Pro QC’s key team members that travel often, they shared the following advice:

“Just go through the day.  No matter when you arrive, hold on and sleep with everyone else.  I also believe that frequent overseas travelers can adjust faster than non-frequent overseas travelers.” ~Fernando Rodriguez, Account Manager

“My remedy to jet lag is more or less the same as the one described by Fernando. I usually try to sleep as much as I can on the plane and I immediately adjust to whatever time it is at destination. If I arrive in the early morning spend the whole day without sleeping and if I arrive at night I go to bed at the time I would go to bed back home. In any case, it is best not to sleep before 11:00 pm. I have had the experience to fall asleep around 4:00pm~5:00pm but that has resulted in me being jet lagged for the next 5 days or so and waking up in the middle of the night within able to fall asleep again. Also, as soon as I arrive I follow the local breakfast/lunch dinner pattern. This helps the body adjust faster.” ~Bruno Singier, Sales & Marketing Director (Europe, Middle-East & Asia)

“I do several things to minimize jet lag, including trying to adjust my schedule at least a week in advance, eat and sleep on the destination schedule en route and minimize alcohol consumption.” ~Michael L. Hetzel, VP/Americas

Recap: ASQ’s World Conference on Quality & Improvement 2012

As we wrap up the ASQ conference here in Anaheim, CA, I’m left with an empowering sense of passion for the quality community and their sincere commitment to spreading the word and making the world a better place.   As an ASQ Influential Voice, I was fortunate enough to help spread the word throughout the conference via our social media network.  I was also fortunate enough to meet several other Influential Voices that are doing their part to “raise the voice of quality.”

The conference was packed with over 100 sessions to choose from.  From “Answering Today’s CEO Challenges to Quality” to “Integrating DMAIC Controls in the Outsourcing Life Cycle” to “Cost of Poor Quality: Dimensions  for Failure Analysis,” I’ve certainly added value to my body of knowledge where quality is concerned and will incorporate what I’ve learned into our operations at Pro QC.

The keynote speakers did a fantastic job! James Albaugh, CEO at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, made an excellent point when he noted that “people need to understand the consequences of not doing something right.” He also noted something particularly close to home for the Pro QC team, which is that “making the right decisions is not enough.  You have to have the right culture.”   We have worked very hard to create a culture of quality, and it’s certainly a competitive advantage we are proud of.

Carletta Ooten, VP & Chief Quality, Safety and Sustainable Operations Officer at Coca-Cola, addressed their strategic focus areas and 2020 vision.  She hit the target by noting their objective is to “protect the brand through strong quality governance and driving continuous improvement through quality excellence.”  I also appreciated her comment that “sometimes the simple things are best.”

Simon Sinek, noted author, gave an inspirational keynote that touched on organizational and personal leadership.  “It’s not about what we do.  It’s about what we believe.” And, he inspired the audience to realize that “it’s not what you do, but why you do it.”

As the conference comes to a close today, I look forward to reviewing my notes and posting additional insight and knowledge learned from my time with the quality community.

Managing quality in long distance supply chains

Michael L. Hetzel, Pro QC’s VP/Americas, partnered with GlobalAutoIndustry earlier today to share some insight and recommendations regarding managing quality in long-distance supply chains.

The seminar, which was hosted by GlobalAutoIndustry.com, touched on a wide range of quality challenges unique to those engaged in international procurement.  Michael reviews the cost issues and various considerations for selecting capable and ethical suppliers.  In addition, he incorporates important quality tools necessary for assessing and verifying conformance.  He discusses the considerations for using local staff or 3rd party quality providers as a way to monitor and ensure continuous improvement.

After the seminar, one of the questions asked was what he would consider the number one challenge in international supply chain management.  Michael didn’t hesitate to cite cultural issues and followed up with the importance of “becoming an expert on the country, target area, and culture.”

In his closing remarks, it’s clear that sourcing risk can’t be eliminated.  But, the goal is clear in that there are several ways in which you can reduce the risk as much as possible.   “The foundation of a good outcome is in the preparation.”  Michael also tells us to assume nothing and abandon all preconceptions.

The presentation materials can be downloaded here: Hetzel Slides – Managing Quality in Long Distance Supply Chains – GlobalAutoIndustry.com 5-16-12.

If you would like additional information, contact Michael directly at mlhetzel@proqc.com.

Top 3 – Key factory audit components

Performing factory audits to assist in supplier selection or throughout the production cycle is a primary contributor to a reduction in both sourcing risks and cost.  While specific standards often apply, such as the ISO series, factory audits do have several key components in common.

1) Management 

Who is the management and what management style is generally supported within the corporate culture?  Through observation and interviews, an audit reveals attitudes and general values that serve as indicators of the overall organization’s realized performance.

“One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned over the past couple of decades, from a management perspective, is that really when you come down to it, it really is all about people and all about leadership.” ~Steve Case

2) Metrics –

Show the data.  Suppliers should be able to back-up any claims with supporting data that can be reviewed and verified.  The specific metrics vary depending on a number of factors, but identifying those factors and making sure suppliers are following through with documentation and review is critical to any industry.

“90% of making the correct decision is gathering information.”

3) Corrective Action

No one is perfect.  But, the difference lies within how an organization handles nonconformities, or any service affecting issues that may occur.  Having paperwork on-hand is an excellent start, but suppliers should demonstrate through training and observation that staff consistently follows through with procedures.  Also, how is the supplier tracking trends and making necessary process improvements?

“For every failure, there is an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.” ~Mary Kay Ash