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Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2009 Gauges Buyers Guide, which features more than 140 manufacturers and distributors of gauges. Each listing contains the company’s address, telephone and fax numbers, and a web address (if provided). Many of these companies supplied a list of the types of gauges that they provide, selected from a predetermined list of 35 gauge types. Please refer to the abbreviations key for these types.

We encourage you to visit our online buyers guide database at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides  for detailed descriptions of the gauge manufacturers’ and distributors’ products, if this information has been provided to us.

The products listed in this guide have been neither evaluated nor endorsed by Quality Digest . Only those companies that responded to our requests for information are listed. We hope this resource will help you find the right gauge for your specific needs.

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Manufacturers of all kinds depend on the accurate measurement of products and parts to ensure that they conform to the needs of their customers. Whether for size, shape, weight, length, or depth, proper dimensional measurement can mean the difference between a happy customer and a lost contract.

The three guides in this section will help you ensure proper dimensional measurement. The 3-D Measurement buyers guide provides a listing of major companies offering high-tech coordinate measurement machines and other 3-D measurement equipment. Companies listed in the Optical Dimensional Measurement Systems buyers guide and/or the Vision Systems buyers guide amplify the power of sight for product inspection and approval.

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By Thomas Harpointer

Whether you’re a retailer or a supplier to retailers or other businesses, this article is for you. This is the time of year when retailers look at making their web sites more customer-friendly, building traffic and getting them tweaked and tuned for the Christmas season. But the same rules apply to business-to-business operations. We all want our web sites to help us make money, and the methods that work for online retailers will work for nonretailers as well. Consider that according to comScore, $29.2 billion was spent online during the 2007 holiday season, marking a 19-percent gain vs. the same period the year prior. According to a recent National Retail Federation survey, more than 40 percent of shoppers say that they will start the 2008 holiday shopping before Halloween.

Retailers are already deeply involved in the 2008 holiday shopping season. The fourth quarter is vital to a retailer’s overall yearly success, with anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of sales coming during this time frame. Considering that business-to- business sites look for steady income all year long and not just during the holiday season, the following tips are even more relevant.

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By S. Bala

 

Enterprise resource planning (ERP), and the multimillion-dollar technology platforms that have become synonymous with it, are the stuff of which out-of-this-world management ambitions are born. The excitement generated from testing the technical boundaries of ERP is admirable, if only for what it implies about a company’s passion for innovation. Often, however, the excitement short-circuits rigorous analysis of whether such innovations may be appropriate targets.

My years as a process-reengineering consultant have revealed the danger in this impetuous overreaching. I’ve personally analyzed best-in-class ERP systems that have been online for more than a decade. Each instance--a half-dozen, all told--involved billion-dollar global enterprises, all of which were focused on very different industry sectors. In all those cases, heavy investment in ERP failed to deliver the initial liftoff in organizational transformation that was anticipated.

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By Kevin Cacioppo

“The gulf between satisfied customers and completely satisfied customers can swallow a business.” —Harvard Business Review, November/December 1995

As markets shrink, companies are scrambling to boost customer satisfaction and keep their current customers rather than devoting additional resources to chase potential new customers. The claim that it costs five to eight times as much to get new customers than to hold on to old ones is key to understanding the drive toward benchmarking and tracking customer satisfaction.

Measuring customer satisfaction is a relatively new concept to many companies that have been focused exclusively on income statements and balance sheets. Companies now recognize that the new global economy has changed things forever. Increased competition, crowded markets with little product differentiation and years of continual sales growth followed by two decades of flattened sales curves have indicated to today's sharp competitors that their focus must change.

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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 Praveen Gupta

For almost 100 years of our quality journey, we increasingly pampered our customers by giving them what they wanted. Customers now assume that quality is a given. Further, in our present information age, customers are more aware of competitive suppliers, as well as suppliers with poor performance. Quality performance has peaked globally, and the faces of quality have moved from the line worker to the corporate executive. Activities that improve quality hardly yield significant benefits anymore. So what else can be done to improve business performance and delight customers?

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Registering to the appropriate quality management stand­ard—and maintaining that registration—is probably the best way to ensure that your organization is serious about improvement. There are standards for practically every industry in the world, in manufacturing as well as service environments. The path to registration can be a long one; fortunately, there are professionals to make the journey a bit easier.

The following section contains two directories. The Registrar buyers guide will help you find the right company to register and audit your organization’s compliance to various standards. These organizations can ease your journey toward the successful implementation of standards for quality management, social accountability,
environmental management, FDA requirements, and others. This section also includes the ISO Standards Consultants buyers guide, which can help you find the right consultant to lead you through the often-complex registration process, particularly for ISO 9001, the world’s most recognized quality standard.

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By Lorri Hunt, Denise Robitaille, and Craig Williams

Editors note: The following is an excerpt of The Insiders’ Guide to ISO 9001:2008 , which was published November 1 by Paton Professional.

As users get their first glimpse of ISO 9001:2008, the question on everyone’s mind is, “What, if anything, will our organization need to do differently?” ISO 9001:2008 focuses on changes that organizations might make to better comply with the spirit of the standard without adding, deleting, or altering its requirements. It should not result in an extensive change to existing quality management systems (QMS). The changes are minor in nature and address such issues as the need for clarification, greater consistency, resolution of perceived ambiguities, and improved compatibility with ISO 14001, which relates to environmental management systems ( EMS).

What does this mean for users? Requirements in the standard are frequently referred to as “shalls.” For the purpose of this amendment, ISO 9001:2008 provides improvements for users without adding to or removing any of the “shalls.”

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Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2008 Vision Systems Directory, featuring information for organizations that manufacture or distribute vision-/optical-based measurement equipment. This guide presents an alphabetical listing of 121 companies that responded to our requests for information, including the company’s contact information (address, phone number, fax number, and web address). Descriptions of their products can be found at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides .