Bytes and pieces: News you can use

Risk management: Liability insurance for directors and officers may be something that companies need (pg. 14).

PQ at conference: Stop by PQ Systems’ booth #212 in the exhibit area to say hello to Jim and Scott, and try out new product releases at ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement May 1-3 in Charlotte, NC.

Food safety and culture: Communications, company vision, and emergency preparedness help to establish a culture of food safety.

Great design: The five best-designed products of all time are reviewed.

Quality quiz (April 2017)—and March’s quiz winners!

Winners of last month’s quiz and a copy of Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Volume 1 are Kevin Knierim (L & L Machine, Inc. of Edon, OH); James Pickelsimer (Sanmina Corp. of Turtle Lake, WI); and Anna Anderson (Crown Equipment of New Bremen, OH). Congratulations! For this month’s quiz, and a chance to win a copy of Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Volume 1, submit your response by April 28.

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Data in everyday life: Tie-breaker–March Method or Madness?

Beth SavageI just completed my NCAA tournament bracket. In the unlikely event that I would tie another entrant for the win (I’m usually out of the running by the Sweet 16 round), I need to pick a number for the total points scored by both teams in the final game.

Scores start swimming in my head. Will this year’s final be a high-scoring game like the 1990 finals when UNLV shot 61% in their 103-73 win over Duke? That game netted 17 more points than the previous year’s overtime championship. Or will defense prevail as it did in the 2011 battle between Connecticut and Butler? Three teams in the history of the tournament have scored more points on their own than the 94 total points scored by both teams in that matchup.

What is an average tournament point total? To answer that question, I plotted the score totals on the following SQCpack individuals and moving range chart.

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Bytes and pieces: News you can use

Diesel investigation: Fiat Chrysler has indicated that government agencies are widening their investigation of violations of emissions standards in the manufacturers’ autos.

Remote inspection: RVI (Remote Visual Inspection) can be a valuable tool in examining hard-to-reach internal parts.

Carbon tax: The Canadian Tooling & Machining Association looks at long-term gains from Canada’s approach to reducing emissions.

Buy American? Examining the options when it comes to the choice to buy American-made objects—and to produce goods in this country.

Trend prediction: Connections with customers matter

Barb ClearyAmong the “Ten top business trends that will drive success in 2016,” reported in an end-of-2015 Forbes article by author and consultant Ian Altman, was the point that “Top performing companies will focus on connecting customers.”

Citing examples that include Uber, Airbnb, Kickstarter, and others, Altman notes that these companies may own no real estate and have no funds to invest, and yet they are among highly successful firms in 2016. He attributes their success, in part, to the fact that in the case of Uber, for example, “they excel at connecting riders with drivers.” Baker predicts that “The most valuable companies will connect buyer to seller, or consumer to content.”

Does this signal a return to customer service as a priority?

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Quality quiz (March 2017)—and February’s quiz winners!

Winners of last month’s quiz and a copy of Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Volume 1 are Woody Skaggs (Linamar of Florence, KY); Jessica Nelson (Three D Metals of Valley City, OH); and Brian Atkins (Amfine Chemical of Hopkinsville, KY). Congratulations! For this month’s quiz, and a chance to win a copy of Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Volume 1, submit your response by March 31.

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