COVID-19 Delta Variant: 42% of Workers Are Worried about Returning to the Workplace

Due to the Delta variant of COVID-19, more workers than ever are concerned about returning to work.

As the Delta variant continues to proliferate and workers head into the Labor Day weekend, 42 percent say they are worried about returning to the workplace for fear of contracting COVID-19. This marks a substantial jump from June 2021, when only 24 percent had that concern.

“With headlines about the rise of the Delta variant, breakthrough cases among the vaccinated, and an overburdened healthcare system in much of the country, COVID-19 concerns that were subsiding just two months ago have risen,” said Rebecca Ray, PhD, Executive Vice President of Human Capital at The Conference Board, a think tank.

Conducted in August by The Conference Board, the new survey captured the thoughts of more than 2,400 U.S. workers on topics including return-to-work anxiety, factors driving them to pursue new job opportunities, opinions about … Read more...

Meet Ethan Cushing, Who Is Introducing the APAC Region to Intelex’s Powerful Platform

Our new series of blog posts invite you to “Meet the Intelexian.” In this case, it’s Ethan Cushing, who’s focusing on building our global footprint in the APAC region.

Ethan Cushing is Strategic Account Director, Intelex Technologies. He started with Intelex in 2011; his 10-year work anniversary will be in December. He currently manages the APAC sales team, which he started in July 2021. In addition to being responsible for our revenue targets in the APAC region, he supports our new team members in a pre-sales capacity, ensuring they have product knowledge and support as they work through the sales cycle with prospects and existing customers.

I (virtually) sat down with Ethan recently to find out more about him and his role at Intelex.

Intelex: Can you tell us a little about your professional background and what attracted you to Intelex/technology?

Ethan Cushing (EC): I have been in technology since 2006 after … Read more...

Quality Professionals Need to Address the Serious Threat of the Delta Surge for the Normal Office Return

The biggest threat in underestimating the Delta surge comes from the normalcy bias. This dangerous judgment error leads us to underestimate the likelihood and impact of disruptive events.

With the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus surging and vaccine effectiveness against it dropping to 39% after 6 months, quality professionals need to help their organizations recognize that we are not yet ready for a safe return to the office. Make no mistake about the danger: the Delta surge is forecast to grow much worse in the next few months. Indeed, the CDC is asking vaccinated people to wear masks and moving toward recommending booster shots. 

Yet many large companies and mid-size firms, along with the federal government, are still planning to bring employees back to the office, despite the fact that those employees successfully worked from home during the height of the pandemic by using cloud-based technology that facilitates remote work. Over a third have already returned, and most of the rest are slated to return by the end of summer or early-mid autumn, when the schools will reopen and Delta … Read more...

The Human Tragedy of the Cost of Poor Quality

From vaccine production errors to technology failures during a season of dangerous forest fires, quality management is frequently a factor that determines whether first responders can help people in need using reliable, resilient equipment and resources.

The world is full of regular reminders that risk is hiding everywhere and that failure to follow quality principles can produce errors that aggregate into disasters. From vaccine production errors to technology failures during a season of dangerous forest fires, quality management is frequently a factor that determines whether first responders can help people in need using reliable, resilient equipment and resources.

When we think about the cost of poor quality (COPQ), we usually think about things like rework, brand damage, lost sales opportunities or lost customer loyalty. Sometimes, however, the cost is much more severe. In some cases, a grieving family is left to mourn the loss of a loved one, while the … Read more...

Quality Management Can’t Be Optional Anymore

Here is an unfortunate truth: the story of the COVID-19 pandemic is one of epic quality failures in almost every area imaginable.

While there have been some admirable successes, such as the food and beverage organizations that have ensured the continued safe delivery of food supplies to most regions, failures both large and small have caused an untold amount of damage to the infrastructure of society and business. Arguably, these quality failures have worsened the impact of the pandemic, including economic devastation and even a higher death toll. 

Here are just a few of the quality failures that will become prominent themes in the narrative of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PPE Shortages and Quality Failures 

Almost immediately after the start of the pandemic, healthcare organizations worldwide faced a critical shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as the crucial N95 respirators that would protect doctors, nurses and other frontline workers from infection. There were … Read more...

How Quality 4.0 is Changing the Future of Business: Part 5

Quality 4.0 holds the potential to provide innovative new business models, particularly for smaller firms. (Radziwill, 2020). While the financial investment in technology will be a constraint for some organizations, the reality for most is that the customers and end-users will increasingly expect businesses to respond to their needs for customization and enhanced customer experience. Ibarra et al (2018) suggest several different approaches for new business models. 

Service-Oriented Approach 

Organizations should move from a product-focus to a service-focus of which products are simply one component. The Product-Service System (PSS) is a framework that integrates product development and offerings to provide customizable solutions that meet specific customer needs and are co-created with the customer.  

Network-Oriented Approach 

As demonstrated by Logistics 4.0, organizations must look beyond vertical integration and embrace both horizontal and vertical integration across the value chain. This integration will blur the line between one organization and the … Read more...

HelloFresh Is Using Technology To Take a Huge Bite Out of a Multitrillion Dollar Industry

When families are counting on you for dinner, an unreliable supply chain is not an option. HelloFresh focuses on every step of the farm-to-door journey, shipping meal kits to millions of Americans, each filled with all of the ingredients necessary to prepare three to five different meals.

I recently found out how HelloFresh is using technology to reduce waste, improve quality processes and streamline supplier relations, all while doubling orders and revenue year-over-year.

It’s estimated that 40 percent of the food supply in the United States goes to waste because of over-portioning and wasteful distribution. Because of the attention to correct portioning, HelloFresh reduces the dinner food waste of its customers by at least 21 percent, resulting in a staggering reduction of food waste each week.

The company has over 2,500 employees in the United States who provide millions of meals that are carefully planned, carefully sourced and delivered … Read more...

What Is a Quality Management System (QMS) and Why Do You Need One?

A quality management system allows an organization to link business objectives with customer expectations, provide data that supports evidence-based decision making by leadership, reduce waste and prevent rework, and ensure transparency at each stage of the supply chain.

The cost of poor quality can be high for many organizations. Expensive waste, product rework or recalls, supply chains that lack accountability, and lack of insight into your customer requirements are symptoms of a quality management problem. If you’ve thought about implementing quality practices in your organization, you’ve probably heard the term “quality management system” or its acronym “QMS” and wondered what it means. Is it a software application? Is it a group of people? How can I learn about it? 

This short guide will help you to understand the basics of a quality management system and where to find the best guidance to get started on the path to continual quality improvement in your organization. 

What is a

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