Continual Improvement

January 14, 2015
Leadership Dont Compromise Quality

Leadership Notes – Don’t Compromise on Quality

To all my colleagues and fellow executives, If you have not made a New Year’s resolution, here is my humble advice for one, from a cohort who also has a company to run...
September 5, 2014

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicators.  When collecting a lot of data over a period of time, it may be difficult to get a clear picture of what’s going on...
January 21, 2014
farmington nights

Farmington Nights – API Spec Q2 Certification: Not for the Faint of Heart

On a beautiful January afternoon in Houston, I prepare to go to Farmington, New Mexico, a town of 45,000 that most people have never heard of. It’s 60 degrees and sunny in Houston...
April 16, 2013
Customer Satisfaction

Who is in Charge of Customer Satisfaction? Quality or Sales?

If your company is ISO certified or thinking about becoming ISO certified, you may already know that meeting customer requirements and achieving customer satisfaction is paramount to the certification ...
October 20, 2012

So When Exactly Should I Use a Corrective Action?

No matter how much we try to meet the continual improvement requirements of the standard, when it comes to corrective action, there are times when we are not sure when to call an issue corrective action or not ...
July 25, 2012

Document Review: Do I HAVE to?

Deciding how to control your documents can be difficult. ISO 9001 requires you to maintain accurate and up-to-date procedures, but doesn’t give a lot of guidance on how to get there. Between the requirements and the implementation lie grey areas and confusion. Let’s take a look at the difference between what is required and what ...
May 15, 2011

Are Training Attendance Sheets Appropriate for Measuring Training Effectiveness?

So you’ve heard about measuring training effectiveness but are unsure about how to do this. You have been filling training attendance sheets for as long as you can recall and so far they have served the purpose. So what is this new question all of the sudden a topic of discussion and what exactly is ...
March 11, 2011

What Suits Your Schedule Best: Conduct Root Cause Analysis 1 Hr. Daily or Fight Fires 8 Hrs. a Day?

There is not a bigger vicious cycle in this world than that of problems which constantly re-occur because there is no time to stop and solve them correctly. Although we all would like for this cycle to stop, Managers can’t afford letting employees waste time with too much researching and employees don’t have the time ...
June 25, 2010

Are You Sure the Procedures Your Organization is Using Represent Your Organization’s Processes? Using Process Mapping Concepts to Develop Accurate Procedures

To work properly, procedures have to match the company processes, and each organization must have their own set of processes which should be different than that of their neighbor. Even when companies build or perform similar activities, each of them has different culture and details that will make them unique and therefore they will have ...
May 28, 2010

We are Just a Service Company, Why Do They Need Us to be ISO 9001 Certified?

Are you a service provider selling project management services, engineering or IT services? Have you been asked more than once whether you are ISO 9001 certified and wonder what is all that about? Before you tell your prospective client they have an error on their forms, see why more and more organizations are demanding their ...
April 16, 2010

Combining ISO 9001 with C-TPAT Requirements: A Simple Approach to Building an Integrated Quality Management System

Sweet Challenge I was called to a prospective client to help them implement ISO 9001. They seemed very interested at improving their processes in order to increase their quality and revenues. After contract negotiations, we were given the green light and quickly began process mapping the company’s main functions. As we moved from process mapping ...
January 22, 2010

What’s the Difference? Series: Goals vs. Targets vs. Objectives vs. KPI’s vs. Metrics

A Game of Words As an auditor I always ask employees to tell me whether they are familiar with the company Quality Objectives or not. Obviously I may not ask that as a straight question but rather something like this: How do you know if you are doing a good job? Has your company established ...
November 27, 2009

Continual Improvement… It’s Not So Easy, a Caveman Could Not Do It!

When I started my career nearly 20 years ago, the world was a little different. People were still smoking in the workplace, Dilbert was in everybody’s desk and the quality program of the month was the joke du jour. Many things have changed since then for the goodness of the world and the quality of ...
October 30, 2009

ISO and Other Quality Initiatives Can Improve Our Processes, But Can They Improve Our Sales?

When a quality management system is implemented, results are evident immediately: reduction in warranty cost, reduction in rework, reduction in scrap, higher profit margins, etc. Would you agree that ISO and other quality initiatives such as Lean, Six Sigma, 5S can significantly improve any company’s processes -if requirements are correctly implemented? Why, if you know ...
October 16, 2009

When Top Management Believes, Breakthroughs Can Happen

Ok, so we’ve been certified to the ISO 9001 standard for the longest. Yes our processes are better, we have gotten new customers over the years because of the certification, and yes we track our objectives and customer satisfaction. But is there anything else left to be extracted out of our program and its recurrent ...