Friday, November 5, 2010

Quality: Is it becoming assumed?

 Quality is something that is a given in almost all products and services. Quality is what makes or breaks a company. If you are not going to provide your customer with a quality product or service will you even have a customer at all?

I feel that in the eyes of the customer, quality is an assumed and rarely considered aspect of the product or service being purchased. When a consumer goes to purchase an item it is usually not noticed that a company is ISO certified or that there were Six Sigma Black Belts working on the project to create such item. For the most most part customers care if its faster, cheaper, better and in most cases the color they prefer when purchasing an item. I also feel that this assumed quality is not only implied by the customer but also by the managers and supervisors on a facility floor.

This may be a mistake. Quality is an aspect of design that requires a great deal of work and effort to implement it correctly and without fail. Due to this producing a quality product is not normally a cheap or easy process to implement. It can require a great deal of time and money and even the training and educating of employees. Yet it is a very important aspect of producing anything whether it be a simplistic product like a flashlight or a complex product like a car.

There is assumed quality in everything you see around you and this needs to be realized and noted that although costly and time consuming, quality is something you cannot get around and something that you cannot take short cuts to produce.

By: SW

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Winners and Losers

Upon reading an article titled "Baldrige Benefits", I realized something very remarkable about the Baldrige process as a whole. As stated in the article "its not about winning or losing but how you played the game", to me this quote spoke volumes.  I found this quote to be very eye opening to the fact that not all companies that are examined by a Baldrige team of examiners are "winners" yet all gain the knowledge that the examiners find and conclude.

Based on this reason I would find it safe to say that all companies that enter into the Baldrige program are "winners" from the beginning just for being open, honest to expose them selves to the world or as Sandy Feola likes to say,  "open up their kimono". As an individual I would be nervous to have an examiner poke and prod as they searched through all my deep dark secrets and judged me bases of how well I do me. I feel that this is the same for companies that apply for this examination. Sure you have the opportunity to gain all sorts of insights and knowledge into your own company that can result in the positive changes and advancements that will keep you as a company in business, but at the same time is it overall worth it? I feel that in the case of a Baldrige examination it is. 

Therefore in the terms of stating your "winners and losers" for the Baldrige examination there are no such titles. It is not so much about being the best as it is about continuous improvement and recognizing that you can get help in evaluating and making your company better. Sure there is a fee involved and an "open Kimono" policy, but if you are willing to put up the the slight draft and the payment your job is a little easier. After everything is said and done all you have to focus on is the improvement and working towards the ultimate goal of being the best out of the best, being a Baldrige WINNER!

By: SW


If there is something I have learned while I have been in school over the past four years at the University of Dayton, it is that you can never experience too much and you can always learn from an experience be it a good experience or a bad experience. This is something my mom always told me but I typically never listened and dragged my feet when there was something I did not want to do.

My goal this year was to jump into any opportunity that I could to learn. Therefore I took the opportunity Sandy had given our class to attend the ASQ Dayton Chapter meeting. I would be lying if I said I was entertained the whole time, understood everything, and it was the best experience I have ever had. However, I did enjoy the overall experience. It gave me an idea of how I can still be involved with a group once I graduate. Also, the group of individuals that I was able to meet and connect with gave me great insight into what they do, how they got there, and where they are going with their career. I am always asking questions about people around me and their career/life journey.

Not only did it give me personal experience but it gave me a connection point for class. I was able to see how my quality and lean management class are used in the workforce outside of the examples given by my professors and textbook. The presentation given was about six sigma and how it can benefit people if it is used correctly. In class we talk about how it is so beneficial but I never thought about how it may be learned by individuals in a company and look great a ones personal title, but they may in fact not be executing it once they have earned their belt.

For me I tend to find most experiences a breath of fresh air. A way to see things in a new light. It gives me the opportunity to find what I think I want to do, what I know I never want to do, and what I never considered doing.