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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Topic of the Week: Quality Around the World

In the U.S. we tend to think that the way we do business is the same no matter where you go. It's an interesting phenomenon called "self reference criterion". However, it could not be further from reality.

In China one of the biggest issues is the protection of intellectual property. Everything from patents down to copying business processes. In other areas of the world governments are very involved in the common business and there are no anti-trust laws protecting anyone.

View the video below about quality in Africa.

It's all something very interesting to think about given that many U.S. businesses these days are in business in more than just the U.S. market. Are Quality professionals prepared to address these issues in their organizations?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Quality at the Pump???

Well, it's that time I guess. When gas prices soar so high that people revert to cutting corners. Check this out:

Quality News Today (a publication of the American Society for Quality) reports that gas stations are reported to be cheating the public by substituting ethanol for regular fuel.

ABCs of QA Models: Theory of Constraints

The theory of constraints is best applied to manufacturing but it can also be used in a service environment. Invented by Dr Eliyahu Goldratt this model focuses on an organization as a series of processes.

Generally speaking, this model has to do with analyzing the variations in a process with a particular focus on amount of material batched through production, the variation in the process, and JIT delivery from suppliers balancing holding costs with set-up costs. Overall, it has to do with how fast or slow material is put through the plant and what processes are the "bottleneck".

Here is a good site for further research:

Quality Around the World...