100 Customer Service Tips by Larry Williams’s picture

By: 100 Customer Service Tips by Larry Williams

There are times when we make decisions at work that are more personal in nature. To us, they may seem harmless because they are not intended to interfere with our day-to-day activities on the job. Although sometimes done with the best of intentions, these decisions can also hamper our efforts to deliver great customer service. The following tips will help you stay focused on your customers.

Don’t invite friends to work

It might seem innocent enough, but most supervisors frown on socializing at work. There are several things at play here that could damage your reputation. For starters, it is simply not within your authority to grant permission or to invite people to visit your place of work. You would be hard-pressed to find an employer who would encourage this sort of invitation.

The presence of a friend can contribute to a social atmosphere in the workplace. Most employers expect you to concentrate on work and not on conversations with friends. This, in turn, would give your superiors cause to question your priorities and dedication.

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest


eginning last week with “This Year in Quality, Part One,” the editors of Quality Digest Daily took a look at its stories and news articles throughout 2010 and collected what we thought were the most remarkable in the world of quality. From precision measurement to 3-D scanning, from Six Sigma to quality standards, from lean to customer satisfaction, we hope this three-part wrap-up (see part three here) will give you some perspective and insight on what next year holds for the quality industry.

By: Chris Draska

Digital pen technology is an efficient data management solution that offers better operational visibility, enabling manufacturers to react quickly to the production process and respond to issues via immediate data access. Hyla Soft’s FactoryScribe is a lightweight web application built around Anoto digital pen technology. It helps streamline all business processes that revolve around paper by quickly capturing free text handwriting from paper documents and converting it into electronic data. The technology is best described by breaking it down into four areas: write, transmit or interpret, validate, and integrate.   

Nikon Metrology Inc.’s picture

By: Nikon Metrology Inc.

(Nikon Metrology: Brighton, MI) -- Process Sciences Inc. (PSI), a process engineering resource center, runs X-ray inspections to trace connectivity issues in electronic circuitry that otherwise remain hidden to the eye. Using intuitive, real-time X-ray imaging, PSI collaborates with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and contract assemblers nationwide to reveal and resolve weak points in their printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing processes.

Hidden electronic defects that remain undetected at first are often the topic of heated discussions between electronic designers and production engineers. As a consequence, additional prototype rounds are needed to sort out uncertainty about electronic system behavior and robustness. To avoid process delay and extra fabrication cost, electronics assembly suppliers and original equipment manufacturers rely on PSI to quality-proof their PCB prototype and production samples. PSI can inspect, troubleshoot, and repair PCBs at a fraction of the cost for a new, fully functional PCB prototype.

Insight into electronic connectivity issues reduces prototyping manufacturing costs

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

A new year always brings new hope, new plans, and new perspectives. While looking ahead is the most direct route to progress, looking back is essential to understanding the present. After all, the past creates the consequences that will shape the future.

With this in mind, the editors of Quality Digest Daily took a look at its stories and news articles throughout 2010 and collected what we thought were the most remarkable in the world of quality. From precision measurement to 3-D scanning, from Six Sigma to quality standards, from lean to customer satisfaction, we hope this three-part wrap-up (see parts two and three here) will give you some perspective and insight on what next year holds for the quality industry.

Best wishes for a prosperous 2011.

Craig Leising’s default image

By: Craig Leising

icromachining and micromolding are fabrication technologies used for developing devices and components at the micro-to-macro scale. To provide quality control at this scale, manufacturers must be able to inspect various surface measurements, including roughness, area, and dimension. Surface measurement is a crucial step during the microfabrication process, even before production in large quantities begins. Precise measurement and evaluation of a surface can lead to the best selection of process and control measures.

Micropart topography is vital to understanding and controlling a component’s use. The technique relies on quantifiable, reproducible, and reliable measurements of a part’s surface topography and dimension. For this process, the Nanovea 3-D noncontact profilometer is ideal. With its chromatic confocal technology, the profilometer can provide reliable data regardless of surface variation, angle, and reflectivity.

In this application, the Nanovea ST400 is used to measure the features of a plastic nozzle plate (figure 1). Several surface parameters can automatically be calculated, including average surface roughness, step height, area, and many.

Minitab LLC’s picture

By: Minitab LLC

ResMed is a global manufacturer of medical devices. The company’s products help people with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and other respiratory disorders. Characterized by the interruption of normal breathing patterns during sleep, an estimated 18 million people in the United States suffer from SDB symptoms.

Dedicated to discovering innovative solutions, ResMed invests 7 percent of its net revenues in research and product development. The company has more than 3,000 patents and design registrations granted or pending. In its ongoing quest for continuous improvement, ResMed trusts Minitab Statistical Software to perform the data analysis necessary to make the best decisions for product improvement, and uses Minitab macros to execute real-time statistical process control.

Barbara A. Cleary’s picture

By: Barbara A. Cleary

Signs in factories or on the back of long-range trucking rigs sometimes proclaim “X days since our last accident” or “No on-the-job injuries since 1964.” Extending the stretch between such accidents may be motivated by this announcement alone, but there are better ways to diminish or prevent rarely occuring events by using data analysis and process improvement tools.

Simply keeping track of tragic but rarely occuring events may seem like an ineffective way to prevent future tragedies. In fact, however, data analysis that focuses on the intervals between such events can help to diminish their recurrence by analyzing special cause and common cause variation. It can also help to evaluate whether an improvement step that has been taken is working. A statistical approach includes the use of g-charts and t-charts, control charts that are enjoying expanded application in health care and crisis management organizations.

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

Recently, Industry Week (IW) announced the 10 inductees to its 2010 Manufacturing Hall of Fame, a “lineup of industrial superstars whose collective careers have had an immeasurable impact and influence on U.S. manufacturing.”

Included in the list of IW’s manufacturing “dream team,” alongside businessman and author Larry Bossidy and computer magnate Michael Dell, is Norman Bodek, a name that those of us in the quality world have long been familiar with. Bodek is co-founder of the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence and is responsible for bringing scores of books and articles on kaizen blitz, single-minute exchange of dies (SMED), total productive maintenance, quality function deployment, hoshin kanri, poka-yoke, and the visual factory to a U.S. audience. And as anyone who has ever listened to Bodek speak can attest, he is as entertaining as he is informative.

In an interview with Quality Digest Daily, Bodek tells us what the Industry Week honor means to him and his views on the future of the quality profession.

Maribeth Kuzmeski’s picture

By: Maribeth Kuzmeski

Consider the following scenario: It’s 8 a.m. and you’re in an upscale hotel in Times Square—part of a well-known chain you regularly frequent—getting ready for a crucial business meeting. As you turn on your hairdryer, the power goes out. A bit nervous but not yet panicked (it’s just a blown fuse, after all), you call the “At Your Service” number and are told that “someone is on the way.”

Fifteen minutes pass, then 20. All you can think about is the hotel’s constantly looping “At Your Service” message assuring you staff will get you anything you need, anytime, anywhere. Your meeting is drawing closer, and your hair still hangs in wet strings. Twice more you call, anxiety turning to anger, both times getting the same (evidently rote) response from the “service” person. 

Finally, the power comes back on, followed by a knock on the door. It’s the maintenance man explaining that it wasn’t his fault but the front desk’s. At no time does anyone acknowledge your inconvenience—or apologize for taking 35 minutes for what should have been a five-minute fix.

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