A. P. Porter’s default image

By: A. P. Porter

The quality of my telephone experience has deteriorated over the years. As a teenager, I spent hours on the telephone when being on the phone meant being tethered to a wall. High-tech was a 25-foot cord. If I called a friend, he’d only answer if he were at home. If someone was on the telephone when I called, I’d hear the same busy signal we hear now.Telephone services have come a long way.

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

American Airlines’ CEO Gerard J. Arpey’s letter to the editor (Quality Digest, January 2006) shows exactly why the U.S. airline industry is in trouble: “We carry about a quarter of a million people every day,” writes Arpey.

Craig Cochran’s picture

By: Craig Cochran

Last year I had the good fortune of doing some consulting with B&C Specialty Products in Hopeulikit, Georgia. B&C does light manufacturing, primarily plastic molding and assembly, and they distribute imported products produced by companies in the Far East. They have about 150 employees and are by far the biggest employer in Hopeulikit. B&C was a perfect place to learn about managing and quality.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Manufacturing products produces waste that ranges from overproduction, waiting time, and transportation costs to overprocessing, excess inventory, unnecessary motion and scrap. By eliminating these wastes, production time and cost of goods sold (COGS) are reduced, and quality is improved. COGS reduction is one of the fundamental drivers of a lean manufacturing initiative.

John Geary’s default image

By: John Geary

The challenge of responding to the threat of cheap offshore labor isn’t new to North American businesses. Nearly a hundred years ago, Henry Towne wrote about the need for increased efficiency and productivity in a foreword to Frederick Winslow Taylor’s 1911 paper, “Shop Management”:

Craig Cochran’s picture

By: Craig Cochran

Last year I had the good fortune of doing some consulting with B&C Specialty Products in Hopeulikit, Georgia. B&C does light manufacturing, primarily plastic molding and assembly, and they also distribute imported products produced by companies in the Far East. They have about 150 employees and are the biggest employer by far in Hopeulikit. B&C was a perfect place to learn about managing and quality. Every day presented a new lesson. Usually, the lessons were hard-learned, but those are the ones that really stick with you.

Denis Leonard’s default image

By: Denis Leonard

I developed and validated quality management diagnostic profiles through research conducted on 77 companies. These profiles are just one in a suite of strategic and dynamic tools that recognize that quality management is dynamic, complex in nature and can’t be easily represented in a sequential or linear manner as described by current models. Five elements make up the quality management diagnostic profiles (see Figure 1):
1. Lack of senior management commitment
2. Lack of operational influence

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Kanban, e-kanban and digital kanban aren’t the same. Kanban is a Japanese term that means "signal." It’s one of the primary tools of just-in-time (JIT) systems. It signals a cycle of replenishment for production and materials, and it should maintain an orderly and efficient flow of materials throughout the entire manufacturing process.

Mike Micklewright’s picture

By: Mike Micklewright

Our company’s quality manual must mirror the ISO standard, must be between 25 and 40 pages in length and must be customized to our business. After the initial approval of the quality manual, no one within the company ever reads it again. The manual is a nonvalue-added element and it flies in the face of lean philosophy and a lean documentation system.

The requirements
According to subclause 4.2.2 of ISO 9001:2000, an organization should establish and maintain a quality manual that includes:

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