Bytes and pieces: News you can use

Millennials and manufacturing: As a career choice, manufacturing comes in seventh in a list of preferences for millennials. This may be because they have misconceptions about the manufacturing industry.

Food recall: Tyson has recalled bags of chicken nuggets sold at Costco nationwide after customers found small pieces of plastic in contents.

Motivation, Maslow, and Deming: Demotivating forces in the workplace correspond to Deming’s Seven Deadly Diseases of Management, this article asserts.

Common mistakes in Measurement System Analysis: These two common errors can be avoided to improve accuracy in measurement systems.

Data in everyday life: Telecommuting

Drew LeisenWhen many of us are rushing to get ready for work, a small but growing number of workers are still in bed, sleeping soundly. While most of us are trekking through the morning commute, these well-rested few are still donning pajamas in the comfort of their own homes. Both of these groups of people are going through typical morning routines. However, the latter is taking advantage of the growing trend of telecommuting.

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Are you bluffing quality?

Beth SavageBluffing in poker, if used wisely, can increase your chances of winning. Bluff too much though, and your opponents are on to you. Bluffing quality isn’t so different. Whimsical changes decreed from the top in the form of new quality teams, control charts displayed on large screens, and new buzzwords for everyone to learn might present a confident quality front to customers, employees, and auditors at first. These tactics might even, in some cases, result in improvements and cost savings.

At some point, though, your customers, employees, and other stakeholders will catch on. Unless significant changes in the way the organization operates are made, the gains will eventually slow to a crawl or stall completely. Why? Because the decrees at best temporarily change behavior, but the organization that created the quality issues remains fundamentally the same. When the “heat and light” that was used to alter the behavior is removed, the organization reverts to its former behaviors.

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Data in everyday life: Online sales – Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

Drew LeisenFollowing a day of family, football, and food, many Americans shrug off their turkey-induced comas to prepare for America’s second favorite pastime – Christmas shopping! Some shoppers avoid the long lines and late nights often found at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday and choose to shop online or participate in a mega-event the following week, coined Cyber Monday. Online Christmas shopping has more than tripled over the past six years as this means of shopping is more accessible and convenient and comes with a far reduced risk of being trampled by the stampede of shoppers racing to get their hands on the latest craze!

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Bytes and pieces: News you can use

Our World Quality Month promotion winner is Gene Barnard (Heath Manufacturing Co., Michigan). He will receive a package of PQ products, with our congratulations!

Conference themes announced: The 2017 World Conference on Quality and Improvement, with focus areas of risk and change, customer experience, and the competitive advantage of quality are among themes for the May 1-3 conference in Charlotte, NC.

Global food recalls: International companies have been notified of food recalls related to bacterial contamination and other issues.

Culture of quality: Here are signs that indicate that a culture of quality improvement is not in place in an organization.

Coordinating back and front: Preventing silos in company processes demands harmony between front and back office operations.

Data management means better timing and an understanding of the wider system

Barb ClearyAs World Quality Month celebrations are replaced with attention to holiday celebrations and November’s focus fades into the distant past, facing a new year in the darkness of December may represent an opportunity to pay attention to issues related to developing and managing technology and contemplating the future of a company or organization.

Last month’s issue of Harvard Business Review, with a cover story related to “What really keeps CEOs awake at night,” addressed the timing of innovative technologies in an article authored by Ron Adner and Rahul Kapoor (https://hbr.org/2016/11/right-tech-wrong-time). We all know of technological innovations that have been released too late and missed the revolution (the article cites Blockbuster’s failure to address the shift from rentals to streaming, for example), as well as those that have been ready too soon, falling into a market that does not perceive their value.

To avoid the “right tech, wrong time” scenario, Adner and Kapoor suggest looking more closely at the ecosystems that support technologies. Understanding the competition between the new and the old ecosystems can help to assure more accurate predictions about the timing of transitions, and to render decisions about allocating resources more effective.

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