Jun
16

Quiz: How Passionate Are You About Quality?

UntitledAre you a Quality Aficionado?

Use the Likert-type scale below to answer the 20 questions, and then total up your score. Download a copy here for a template to write directly on and/or share with your colleagues and friends!

 

Strongly Disagree>  1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5  <Strongly Agree

  1. You notice non-conformances in products when you go shopping. You may or may not speculate what the root cause could be.
  2. You notice inefficiencies in the processes of various organizations you interact with outside of work. You often identify how you would do it better.
  3. Customer ratings have a significant weight on your personal purchase decision-making process.
  4. You notice the word “quality” whenever it’s referenced in a company name or other commercial message.
  5. You love data (metrics).
  6. You’ve had more than one conversation with family and friends about the importance of quality.
  7. You have an appreciation for “quality quotes” and have shared them on social media.
  8. You enjoy problem solving.
  9. When you set goals, they’re SMART.
  10. You know what it means to be a “quality guru” and can identify one or more of them.
  11. You’ve said “quality over quantity” out loud more than once.
  12. You think of Toyota as more than just a car manufacturer.
  13. You see continuous improvement as a way of life.
  14. You would wear a shirt out in public that said, “I love quality.”
  15. You believe quality is everyone’s responsibility.
  16. You work in a quality-related field.
  17. You have taken one or more workshops, webinars, etc. related to quality and have enjoyed them.
  18. You are or have been a member of ASQ or another quality-related association.
  19. You have or have thought about obtaining a quality certification.
  20. You have no problem paying more for something if it’s a better quality product, or if it’s from a socially responsible organization.

Almost done…

Now, total up your scores and match below:

0-40 Quality Indifferent  – You wouldn’t consider yourself a quality expert and don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. You have no particular interest in quality and find yourself to be generally unconcerned. Find a Quality Aficionado and spend some time with them right away!

41-79 Quality Enthusiast – You’ve certainly got an appreciation for quality and apply it to both your work and personal life. You recognize the significance of quality in everyday life and incorporate it some of the time. You find yourself highly interested in the topic and seek to learn more. Don’t stop learning!

80-100 Quality Aficionado  – You are a cheerleader for quality. You love it and have integrated it almost seamlessly into your personal and professional life. You influence others around you and truly believe continuous improvement is a way of life. Quality is ingrained in who you are, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

At Pro QC, we work with Quality Aficionados that have a passion for the industry and for what they do. We have over three decades of experience and offer quality consulting and engineering services in over 39 countries. Contact us for more information!

Jun
09

ISO 9001:2015 Transition Video Posted

Don’t miss our latest video discussing the ISO 9001:2015 transition process and questions we’re frequently asked:

Also, be sure to download our free gap analysis! Or, check our previous post discussing our Top 5 Tips.

Contact us for additional information, or to schedule a complimentary consultation.

May
24

World Trade Month Wrap-Up

World Trade Month is observed each year in May.  The objective of this recognition is to create awareness, identify trends and drive market opportunities.

World Integrated Trade Solutions offers extensive data related to world trade.  The same site offers interesting visualization options such as the word cloud referenced below.

Untitled

In a 2015 ranking of the top 20 export countries worldwide via Statista, China ranked first in exports with an export value of about 2.28 trillion US dollars.

That same report went on to indicate:

The value of goods exported from China grew immensely between 2002 and 2014. In 2002, China’s exports were valued at about 327 billion US dollars. China’s export value grew to 2 trillion US dollars in 2012, the first year in which China exported more than 2 trillion US dollars worth of goods. Year over year export growth remained above 17 percent between 2002 and 2012, except in 2009 and 2012. In 2004, export value grew by over 35 percent. In 2011, China accounted for about 10% of global merchandise exports and about 4% of global service exports.  China’s greatest export product categories in 2011 was machinery and transport equipment, of which they exported 902 billion US dollars worth. In 2012, China exported 159 billion US dollars worth of clothes and clothing accessories.

At the community level, Pro QC’s Tampa team attended the International Town Hall event hosted by the Tampa Bay Export Alliance.  We heard from local leadership supporting trade initiatives throughout the region. And, we saw local companies highlighted for their successful sourcing and supply chain initiatives.  Jabil Circuit had a particularly interesting keynote presentation related to their supply chain visualization and Intelligent Control Tower.

To learn more about world trade, we recommend these sites:

To learn more about reducing the quality risks and cost associated with global trade, contact us! 

Apr
29

Verifying Suppliers… What You Want To Know

Verify-SuppliersAs a follow-up to an an article we posted in March, we wanted to go into more specifics regarding on-site supplier verification.

As noted, it’s not always cost effective to do a comprehensive ISO based or general QMS audit for each supplier you’re considering working with. But, there are basic questions looming that you need to make the right decisions…

One option for supplier verification is a basic on-site check.

What you find out:

  • Factory information
    • Type of ownership, address & contact information
  • Production Capacity (Annual Basis)
    • Category, total capacity, units shipped & % capacity
  • Export Markets
    • U.S., EU, South America, etc. & % volume
  • Key Clients (Past Year)
    • Name, product description & % volume
  • Key Personnel
    • Title, name, history & contact information
  • Number of Employees
    • Management, general office, production, quality, etc.
  • List of Major Equipment (Machines)
    • Description, model, quantity & condition
  • List of Major Gages (Equipment)
    • Description, accuracy, quantity & condition
  • List of Sub-Contractors
    • Name, process & location

Photos assist in the process of evaluation as well.

How do you evaluate you potential suppliers? One of our older blog posts that may be of interest is the use of a grid analysis for supplier selection. The categories listed above would help in deciding important variables and respective weights.

Contact us for more information, or to schedule an on-site supplier verification.  With local expertise and an unbiased assessment, supplier selection is less risky and cost-saving in the long-run!

Apr
12

Top 5 Best Practice Tips: Implementing or Transitioning to ISO 9001:2015

–Guest blog post by Robert Jasper–

The well known magazine manufacturingnews.com and the Dallas Business Journal indicate that 85% of ISO registered firms report external benefits like higher perceived quality, greater customer demand, better market differentiation, greater employee awareness, increased operational efficiency, and reduced scrap expense. Results like 30% reduction in customer claims, 95% improvement in delivery time, reduced defects from 3% to 0.5%, 40% reduction in product cycle time, 20% increase in on-time delivery are achievable after correct implementation of an ISO 9001 based quality management system.

For those considering implementing ISO 9001:2015, or for those in the 2008 transition process, here are five best practice tips:

Tip 1: Conduct a Gap Analysis Audit

It is important to consider everything can be implemented quickly, with not many resources involved and of course ending in an successful ISO 9001 certification within reasonable cost and time frames. The best tip is to plan out your implementation/transition project right from the start in effective and efficient ways by conducting a 100% compliance Internal Gap Analysis Baseline Audit against all the existing requirements of the international quality management standard in relation to your existing quality management system. And, it does not matter whether you are an ISO 9001:2008 certified company or organization, as this approach will always provide you with the exact planning requirements for your implementation or transition project. A clear implementation structure based on how to close gaps in your existing quality management system with clear responsibilities and due dates for gap closure and ISO certification readiness always helps to keep projects of this importance on track and on time.  These findings and “gaps” will also give you project opportunities to reduce costs and improve your bottom line profitability. This way, you start to make your QMS work for you right from the start!

Tip 2: Create Process Compliance

Documenting all of your core processes is a way of describing current state and anticipated ISO 9001:2015 compliant future state will create compliance to existing ISO 9001:2015 requirements for having implemented a sound process approach. It may also create the first “A Plus” in the eyes of your Third Party Registrar later on during your ISO Certification Audit, as Registrars are required to audit organizations on detailed documentation of how the organization has created process compliance to the new ISO 9001:2015 standard requirements. This is a direct requirement the Registrars have by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

Tip 3: Document Development Data Mining and Definition of QMS Objectives

Also not directly required anymore by the new ISO 9001:2015, it makes sense to structure out a Quality Manual reflecting your Quality Policy, as well as listing all your Standard Operating Procedures to run your QMS. Well developed goals and objectives for your QMS are quantitative numbers that you set in order to measure your QMS performance along the way. Many firms collect data, but it’s what you do with it that gives you your best“Bang for the Buck” for your QMS! Don’t just collect data for the sake of collecting data….make it mean something to your firm!

During this stage of development, you should look thoroughly at the Risk Plans for your firm; in case of global supply chain a “holistic” global oriented Continuity Risk Plan but also think about a local Contingency Plan will cover the new “Risk Based Thinking” requirements of ISO 9001:2015 best. Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) alone cannot cover all operational risks, therefore any kind of sufficient developed Risk Plan/Register which covers also operational and management risk, might do the job much better – to keep you safe during Third Party Audits.  Changing the mindset from product risk to overall risk management is required here, which may save you cost in the long run anyway – right?

Tip 3: Training and Implementation Roll-Out

The KEY mistake that most firms make is the training and reporting of the ISO process only to all employees. Only with buy-in from the TOP of the org-chart, all the way down to all part-time and contract employees, ensuring complete understanding and participation is needed to make your system work for your firm. During this phase, you want to educate your entire staff on the ISO program and how their job functions affect the QMS. Defining objectives and goals for departmental managers to implement projects and action taking for improvements and corrective actions is a good thing to have in place as well. This is where you see the payback!

Tip 4: Readiness “Mock Audit” and QMS Management Review

Okay, you’ve worked hard and come a long way towards getting obtaining your ISO certification. At this phase, you should complete a full round of internal audits on your QMS and assign documented corrective actions on any findings that may have been transparent in the earlier reviews. These are good because they act as a guide for your measurable metrics defined in your QMS. Anything you find internally is a bonus for your QMS continual improvement process! Once the cycle is complete, it’s time to conduct your QMS Management Review. This is where Top Management will review the progress, goals, objectives and inter-company metrics of your entire quality management. Total Management support of the QMS is vital for the success of making your QMS system work for your organization, and not YOU work for the quality system.

Tip 5: Final Preparations 

You’ve come a long way, and you worked hard. Now it’s time to show what you have done as a team and obtain that recommendation for ISO Certification given by the Third Party Certification Registrar! Wrap up any outstanding customer complaints, non-conformities or audit findings. Celebrate your business success. You’re on the path towards making your company a benchmark for other companies to set their standards higher… GOOD JOB!

Robert Jasper is the author of the upcoming book “HIGH PERFORMANCE QMS™”, which elaborates how organizations of all sizes can use the new ISO 9001:2015 standard principles and requirements to create organizational performance improvement (Release summer 2016). Robert is a certified International Auditor and ISO Consultant/Trainer for ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems. He is specialized in result-based Quality Management Consulting and holds regular seminars/workshops on ISO 9001 matters. Robert has trained and consulted organizations of all sizes and various industries to develop, implement, and certify their QMS systems successfully by Third Party registrars. His QMS training style is effective, collaborative and focused on simplification of all ISO matters. Robert is a certified ISO 9001:2015 transition trainer, based on training provided by EXEMPLAR GLOBAL (formerly known as RABQSA), an international recognized authority body in all ISO matters providing professional credentialing programs and training certification programs.

 

For more information regarding our ISO consulting and auditing, or to discuss your 2015 transition process, please contact us. 

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