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By Chris Watts

During the last 30 years, giant steps have been taken to repair the damage done to the environment by industry. In the United States and elsewhere, rivers that were once dead and filled with toxic pollutants now support fish and are being used for recreation. Humankind’s attitude toward and relationship with nature has drastically changed.

Similarly, government bodies across the globe are planning for future needs and, through legislation, helping to prevent pollution from troublesome chemicals such as lead and cadmium. Companies have figured out ways to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals from their products or manufacturing processes but face new challenges in trying to replicate performance in environmentally friendly ways.

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By Mike Richman

Cummins Inc. designs, manufactures, distributes, and services engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions, and electrical power generation systems. Cummins serves customers in more than 160 countries through its network of 550 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 5,000 dealer locations. Cummins reported a net income of $739 million on sales of $13.05 billion in 2007.

 

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series looking at how companies can share best practices such as Six Sigma across the supply chain. The first part of this series, which focused on heavy-duty truck manufacturer PACCAR, appeared in Quality Digest’s October 2008 issue. You can view that article online at www.qualitydigest.com/magazine/2008/oct/article/partnering-change-part-1.html.

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By Gwendolyn Galsworth

Excellence is a part of life, and we must strive for it, especially if our mistakes create problems for others. Mistakes are costly; they hit the bottom line. Some are costly enough to put us out of business.

The code word for a mistake-free state is quality. The process for achieving that begins long before gauges and calipers arrive on the scene. It’s a route with many stops, any of which can determine whether the final destination will be quality or the scrap heap.

The many stops look so routine and ordinary: choosing the right raw material, correct chemical formula, precise temperature, exact amount, specific tools, proper assembly procedures. The timely output of quality outcomes depends on each of these transactions. How can we ensure that they will all happen accurately and completely? The answer for me is visual thinking, which leads to visual devices and systems.

Visual devices ensure that each stop on the road to quality is executed perfectly, on time, and safely. A visual workplace doesn’t just minimize problems and mistakes; it can eliminate them completely for both final product quality and every transaction along the way.

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By David C. Myers

There is no single more important job or initiative in this company than performance excellence.”

These are the words that Ronald L. Nelson, CEO of Avis Budget Group Inc. (ABG), chose when he addressed an assembly of ABG’s top 70 senior executives, asking them to join him in leading every location, operation, and department down the road to performance excellence.

Nearly one year later, ABG is on track to exceed its financial savings goals by more than $10 million. More important, perform-ance excellence has become the way ABG does business, and has positioned the company to meet business challenges more effectively than ever before.

Background

Avis Budget Group’s operating divisions include the vehicle rental operations of Avis Rent A Car System LLC, Budget Rent A Car System Inc., and Budget Truck Rental LLC. ABG operates these brands in the Americas, the Caribbean, Australia, and New Zealand.

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By Scott Paton

It's hard to imagine a place more magical than Walt Disney World. The central Florida theme park continues to thrill, delight and exceed its guests' expectations more than 25 years after its opening.

Walt Disney World's recent 25th anniversary celebration provided Quality Digest with a sneak peek behind the scenes. A peek that provided the answer to the secret of Disney's success--one that Disney is now willing to share with outsiders through its new Disney Institute.

The secret to Disney's success isn't magic pixie dust; it's much easier to replicate. It's a well-trained, enthusiastic and motivated work force. It's a secret that Walt Disney himself realized years ago. "You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world--but it requires people to make the dream a reality," he said.

Let's take a ride through the inner workings of Walt Disney World to see how the company creates service quality, Disney style. We'll start with how Disney selects, trains and motivates its people, and conclude with how Disney is sharing its secrets with the rest of the business world.

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By Jay LeCoque

Quality by Design and RMM: Helping Manufacturers Balance Quality and Speed to Market

Today’s drug development companies face a difficult challenge: balancing the need for product quality and safety while speeding time to market. Championed by the FDA, EMEA, and other global regulatory agencies, quality by design (QbD) represents a systematic approach to building quality into product and process design and development right from the start. QbD and rapid-detection RMM go hand-in-hand, because both share the same goals--to ensure a high-quality manufacturing process that is lean, efficient, and reliable.

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By Quality Digest

 

Download directory

Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2008 SPC Software Directory featuring 93 companies that responded to our requests for information. These companies produce or distribute software applications assisting with ANOVA, capability analysis, control charting, data mining, DOE, FMEA, gauge R&R, regression analysis, reliability analysis, and similar functions. If provided, descriptions of their products can be found at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides .
As with all Quality Digest guides, the 2008 SPC Software Directory is in no way meant to endorse or exclude any specific organization. Rather, it should be used as the starting point in the data-gathering process. Readers are encouraged to contact these companies directly for more information.

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By S. Bala

The United States spends 16 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care, more than any other nation. Although that investment has produced medical experts and breakthroughs envied the world over, a great majority of U.S. citizens are unhappy with the end results. When the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund conducted a poll of U.S. health care consumers last year, 69 percent expressed strong dissatisfaction with the current health care system. In a 2007 survey, the same group found U.S. respondents twice as likely to support a complete overhaul of their system than those from Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Great Britain, and Australia--all nations that spend half as much GDP as the United States on health care.

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By S. Bala

Delivering systemic change to a large institution requires more than sound organizational reengineering or optimizing the operating process. Change must be identified, energized, and directed. Potentially sympathetic but undecided hearts and minds must be won, and opposition, whether open or covert, must be understood, met, and overcome. Ultimately, most stakeholders must see change as not just possible, but preferable to the status quo. To paraphrase a slogan from President Obama’s campaign, large coalitions must be given change they can believe in. In that respect, regardless of what you think of his governing agenda—and thoughtful detractors are legion—it’s hard to argue with Obama’s success in campaigning for change he believes in.

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By Eugene M. Barker

Representing the first international effort to formulate a quality management system standard for the aerospace industry, the two-year-old AS9100 is beginning to show its long-term value. The standard supplements ISO 9001 by addressing the additional expectations of the aerospace industry. Already, reports along this complicated manufacturing chain attest to–among other benefits–AS9100's contribution to more consistent verification methods and fewer verification audits.

 Initially released in October 1999 by the Society of Automotive Engineers in the Americas and the European Association of Aerospace Industries in Europe, and shortly thereafter by standards organizations in Japan and Asia, AS9100 was a cooperative effort of the International Aerospace Quality Group. As such, it combines and harmonizes requirements outlined in the SAE's AS9000 and Europe's prEN9000-1 standards. Recently, AS9100 was revised to align with ISO 9001:2000.