World Quality Day 2019: Leading Quality for 100 Years

World Quality Day – November 14 – provides a forum to reflect on how we can implement more effective processes and systems that positively impact KPIs and business results.

Each year, the second Thursday of November is set aside to reflect on the way quality management can contribute to our work and our lives. Led by the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) in the United Kingdom, World Quality Day provides a forum to reflect on how we can implement more effective processes and systems that positively impact KPIs and business results — and celebrate outcomes and new insights.

This year’s theme marks the centennial of the CQI’s efforts to grow and expand attention to quality across the United Kingdom and in Europe.

We usually think of quality as an operations function. The quality system (whether we have quality management software implemented or not) helps us keep track of the health and … Read more...

Root Cause Analysis and the Tools You Need to Drive Continuous Improvement

Root Cause Analysis is part of an ecosystem of tools and techniques you can implement to help your organization harness the value from their EHSQ integrated management systems. Improving your organization’s processes requires identifying a methodology and approach that can spur innovation through evidence-based analysis.  

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is one of several methodologies in your toolkit – including Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA), Control Plans and Corrective Actions (CAR or CAPA) – that can be used to uncover the reasons for safety incidents or near misses, occupational health issues, environmental issues like repeated violations and quality events like recalls and nonconformances. Implementing a framework that incorporates multiple analysis tools to achieve a desired outcome can result in measurable results.  

Top Five Tools for Continuous Improvement

These tools can be extremely valuable for performance when used proactively — and in conjunction with one another. Here’s how they might be used together:   

  1. Identify potential failure modes through a Process Failure Mode Effects
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Ensuring Food Safety with Quality Management Software

Food safety characteristics have a very close connection to food quality characteristics, and while all food safety characteristics relate to quality, not all food quality characteristics relate to safety. Food quality, according to Alli (2016), relates to ensuring that products meet the established requirements for food characteristics. Garvin (1987) describes eight dimensions for measuring the characteristics of food quality: performance, features, reliability, conformance, durability, serviceability, aesthetics, and perceptions. Food safety, which relates to the characteristics that have the potential to be harmful to human health by causing illness, falls under the performance and reliability dimensions of food quality. Food safety characteristics are therefore specific kinds of food quality characteristics.

By recognizing that food safety and food quality have an integrated relationship, organizations can bring quality methods and tools to bear on the difficulties of navigating food safety regulations in their FSMS (Food Safety Management System). With food supply chains now … Read more...

Using QMS Software to Tame the Complexity of Food Regulations

Not many safety failures hit the headlines quite the way those in the food industry do. With high-profile incidents like the 2013 horse meat scandal in the EU, the listeria contamination at Maple Leaf Foods in 2008, and the seemingly constant cadence of recalls involving leafy greens, food safety failures have the potential to create foodborne illnesses that cause serious harm to human health and significant financial damage to the organizations at the heart of them.

Global supply chains for food products have only increased the complexity of the compliance requirements for food safety. Organizations in the international marketplace must consider standards and frameworks such as ISO 22000:2018, FSSC 22000, ISO 9001:2015, HAACP (Hazard Analysis and Control Points), and the many voluntary standards of Codex Alimentarius, as well as overseers such as GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative), the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and SQFI (Safe Quality Food Institute). In … Read more...

The Benefits of FMEA & QMS Software in your Organization

FMEA studies can require a huge effort. For complex processes or product designs with a multitude of systems and subsystems, you can easily end up with hundreds or thousands of failure modes.

Enhancing your Quality Management System (QMS) software with an FMEA application will enable you to store and manage risk-related information, and easily relate risk reduction to quality events for maximum benefits. In addition, you can:

  • Streamline data collection, risk assessment and reporting across sites and facilities
  • Eliminate duplicate data, improve sharing and communication, and significantly reduce study time
  • Deploy active notifications based on built-in risk reduction policies and threshold limits
  • Reducing costs through improved risk management processes, including more effectively identifying and addressing failure modes
  • Provide real-time access to corporate quality performance metrics
  • Create control plans and control plan templates to follow through

In Intelex’s latest video, “Effectively Mitigate Risk with Intelex’s FMEA Software!” we show you … Read more...

Demonstrate Risk-Based Thinking to Auditors

The auditor is coming, or will be coming, to evaluate your organization. While continuous improvement and compliance helps, there are things that you can do to make the auditing process go much more smoothly (this applies to internal audits as well). Preparation doesn’t start the week before, it starts the minute you implement a quality management system or prepare for ISO 9001 certification. You need a systematic approach to audit reporting that begins with core management principles, training, traceability, and credibility.

Because risk-based thinking is more prominent in ISO 9001:2015 than in previous versions of the standard, many organizations are wondering how to demonstrate how they do it to auditors. Fortunately, most activities in the domain of quality management, if successful, serve to reduce risks. The key is to keep track of how your efforts relate to risk.

Here are five actionable recommendations to demonstrate risk-based thinking to auditors :… Read more...

Building your Organizational Culture of Quality with a QMS

A strategic culture of quality, one in which every stakeholder shares the pride, passion, and initiative to deliver the highest quality products and services, should be built on a quality management software solution (QMS) that integrates an organization’s people, processes, and tools. The world’s leading quality organizations, such as Toyota, know that implementing a QMS that creates an environment in which all employees can thrive, and which incorporates data-driven decision-making using statistical methods and continuous improvement, will be foundational to innovation and success.

Many industries face fundamental challenges in building a culture of quality. Construction projects often feature diverse teams of architects, designers, engineers, and builders who come together temporarily and bring with them their own unique perspectives on quality culture. In healthcare, rigid hierarchies can hinder effective communication and lead to more frequent instances of infection and negative patient outcomes. In hospitality, tight schedules and difficult physical conditions can … Read more...

How Risk-Based Thinking Can Have a Significant Impact on Brand Equity

By Nicole Radziwill & Sonduren Fanarredha

For an organization to deliver high-quality products and services consistently, it must be able to create and sustain long-term value. An organization’s brand therefore consists not only of its name, but also its logo, its overall image and how it is perceived. “Brand equity” is the additional value a brand acquires because of its reputation or prestige in the marketplace. Brand equity takes time to build and, since it can have an impact on buying decisions over time, it is a significant part of an organization’s brand recognition and value. Losing this equity because of brand damage can also have far-reaching negative consequences.

As powerful as it can be, brand equity is also fragile. There are many forces that can threaten it, including:

  • Industry environments that are more uncertain and competitive.
  • Consumers that are increasingly empowered and have a stronger idea of what they
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What’s Your Quality 4.0 Strategy?

In ISO 9001:2015, quality is the “degree to which a set of inherent characteristics of an object fulfils requirements.” (3.6.2) Quality 4.0 describes the technological innovations that will help us more quickly assess compliance and customer satisfaction and optimize business processes through systems integration — whether the object we’re working with is a process, a product, a person or an intelligent software system.

Quality 4.0 systems are:

  • Connected— electronic, networked, and capable of communicating in real time with people and systems.
  • Intelligent— autonomous, reactive, proactive, social and/or adaptive to new data or new environmental conditions.
  • Automated — able to carry out instructions with or without human participation.

As a result, Quality 4.0 strategies emphasize real-time visibility, intelligent decision support, and improved communication — between people, systems and machines.

For example, Nikon’s recently announced Quality 4.0 strategy focuses on real-time measurement: improving and automating measurement systems, automating inspections and … Read more...

Your Data is Your Most Valuable Asset: Getting Started with Quality 4.0

Data science and machine learning have surged in prominence over the past few years, and digital transformation seems to be on everyone’s agenda. Have you ever wondered why? Even though quality engineering has long been a data-driven pursuit, we now have the potential to get even deeper insights from our data because of several recent innovations:

  1. Computing power per dollar has increased steadily (e.g. through adoption of GPUs).
  2. Open-source software packages with powerful machine learning algorithms are freely available, reliable, robust, and well-maintained.
  3. Infrastructure for data storage and management is readily available and cost-effective.
  4. Cloud-based software, platforms, and infrastructure helps companies focus on their core competencies and scale rapidly when needed.
  5. Algorithms are often more revealing when Big Data is available.

It’s easy and cheap to collect data but using it to generate actionable insights can be more challenging. Think, for example, about the digital displays available to a production … Read more...