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Aceva Technologies Inc., a developer of working capital management solutions for global enterprises, has increased use of Six Sigma methods by its enterprise clients seeking to improve financial process work flow to optimize working capital management.

To document its work, the company has released an executive research paper chronicling the effort, "Six Sigma Methodologies to Optimize Working Capital Management." The paper notes that as a strategy for securing business process improvement, Six Sigma has been proven to free up working capital for strategic investments. Six Sigma creates clear and measurable deliverables and produces high rates of process improvement in quote-to-cash, vendor manage inventory, procure-to-pay and working capital life cycles.

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By: Quality Digest

Instantis, a provider of software solutions for managing enterprise performance initiatives has established a Six Sigma executive advisory board.

Instantis created the board with hopes of bringing together key practitioners to define the company’s future direction and advise Instantis in supporting enterprise deployments with software solutions. The advisory board represents decades of Six Sigma knowledge and implementation expertise.

"We are delighted and honored to begin our engagement with this elite group of Six Sigma specialists," says Prasad Raje, CEO and founder of Instantis. "We look forward to leveraging their insight in perfecting our solutions and enhancing our capability to service customer needs. This relationship with Instantis by such a well-respected group of leaders in the Six Sigma business is an unmatched endorsement of our company."

The newly announced Six Sigma Executive Advisory Board members are:

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By: Quality Digest

Following a wave of financial institutions implementing Six Sigma, WCBF will convene its Successfully Implementing Six Sigma in Financial Services summit on June 23 and 24 in New York.

The forum, which will feature leaders in Six Sigma deployment and finance, also features preconference workshops on June 22 that can be booked separately. Topics of discussion at both the workshops and the two-day forum include:

  • Applying Six Sigma in a small environment
  • Translating customer satisfaction into bottom-line benefits
  • Governance: running and sustaining Six Sigma
  • The application of lean and DFSS methodologies to finance
  • How to realign a Six Sigma program

"The whole idea of Six Sigma is to align your business processes with what your customers want," says Joe McDaniels, executive vice president of ABN AMRO Mortgage Group.

The forum will feature speakers such as Guillermo Kopp of TowerGroup, Joe L. Valasquez of Bank of America, Kamran Jahanshahi of Citi Cards, Robin Royals of GE Employers Reinsurance Corp. and Laura Rakers of CNA Insurance.

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By: Quality Digest

Lean manufacturing certification, which helps manufacturers achieve the benefits of lean principles, has been launched by R. Michael Donovan and Co.

The certification program illustrates lean manufacturing principles and an action plan to achieve certification. It provides a numerical score that shows manufacturers how lean their company is, and lays out specific actions required to achieve more effective lean manufacturing performance.

"When asked if their companies are getting lean, most executives say ’yes,’" says Mike Donovan, a consultant at R. Michael Donovan and Co. "Very few of these companies have actually made significant progress in implementing lean manufacturing principles to the extent they could and should, however."

Donovan estimates at least 90 percent of manufacturers are missing opportunities to lower costs, increase customer service, decrease defects, reduce inventories and shorten lead times--all of which can boost profits and create a competitive advantage.

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By: Quality Digest

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the National Quality Forum are accepting applications for the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards.

The Eisenberg awards recognize individuals and health care organizations that make significant contributions to improving patient safety. The awards are the namesake of the respected leader in health care who passed away on March 10, 2002. Eisenberg spearheaded government efforts to reduce medical errors and improve patient safety as director of the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

"John Eisenberg made a lasting impression on health care in his commitment to improving the quality and safety of care delivered to patients," says Kennety W. Kizer, president and CEO of NQF. "The John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards program is our tribute to his life’s work."

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By: Quality Digest

In response to increased demand for information about ISO 14971:2000 and the concept of risk management for medical device manufacturing, BSI Management Systems has launched its Overview of ISO 14971 Webinar.

The Webinar will cover the basic principles and concepts of risk management as defined in ISO 14971:2000 in an interactive, two-hour class in which participants will learn about:

  • The clauses of ISO 14971:2000
  • Statements of applicability
  • How ISO 14971:2000 applies to ISO 13485:2003
  • The basics of risk management and how it relates to the medical device industry
  • Management involvement with ISO 14971:2000 implementations
  • The affect of ISO 14971:2000 implementation on medical device organizations

The Webinar will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. EST on April 23. The cost is $199.

For more information, click here.

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By: Quality Digest

Beta LaserMike, a global manufacturer of precision measurement and control systems, has received accreditation under ISO 17025.

ISO 17025 is an international standard that assesses the technical competency of calibration laboratories and ensures properly trained personnel, and controlled test methods and procedures. The standard covers laboratory management, including calibration procedures, testing proficiency, report generation and record-keeping. Beta LaserMike is the first laser diameter gage manufacturer to receive accreditation to the standard.

"Beta LaserMike is proud to obtain this internationally recognized accreditation, which demonstrates our commitment to providing customers with the highest quality service," says Dan Doster, president of Beta LaserMike. "This new standard sets requirements for continuous, proactive improvement, a natural fit with Beta LaserMike’s corporate culture and utilization of Six Sigma."

The accreditation was awarded by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation. For more information about Beta LaserMike, click here.

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By: Quality Digest

The sixth annual International Dimensional Workshop will be held May 10-14 at the Nashville Marriott Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

The workshop will open on May 10 with the National Requirements Day for Dimensional Metrology, co-hosted by the Oak Ridge Metrology Center and NCSL International. Various laboratories, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and industry representatives will attempt to complete a plan describing the future of dimensional metrology.

The program features an eight-hour class, Surface and Form Metrology, taught by Mark Malburg. The cost of the class is $300 and isn’t included in the cost of registration for the workshop itself. The workshop begins with the theme of Dimensional Metrology for Functional Control, featuring a keynote address by Malburg. In addition to Malburg, 15 speakers will present papers on various subjects including gear measurements, accreditation, laser scanning and more.

The cost to attend the workshop is $275 in advance and $325 at registration. SME members receive a $50 discount. For more information, click here.

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By: Radley M. Smith, Roderick A. Munro and Ronald J. Bowen

Under QS-9000, suppliers relied on the Supplier Quality Requirements Task Force for guidance and direction in dealing with questions related to the standard’s requirements. With the global application of ISO/TS 16949:2002, a globalized group was needed to offer the same direction that was given under QS-9000. This group is the International Automotive Task Force and is made up of the SQRTF as well as representatives from European automotive organizations.

The IATF has developed three companion documents for ISO/TS 16949:2002:

  • Quality Management System Assessment Check-List Based on Process Approach Audit (also known the Checklist to ISO/TS 16949:2002)
  • IATF Guidance to ISO/TS 16949:2002
  • IATF Automotive Certification Scheme for ISO/TS 16949:2002, Rules for Achieving IATF Recognition

We will examine each of these documents, touching upon their contents and how your organization should use them to ensure that you and your registrar are meeting ISO/TS 16949’s requirements. The goal of these three documents, in conjunction with ISO/TS 16949 and customer-specific requirements, is to assist organizations in achieving continual improvement in meeting customer requirements and thereby customer satisfaction.

IATF Checklist to ISO/TS 16949:2002

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By: Quality Digest

The 2004 APICS International Conference and Exposition, slated for Oct. 10-13 in San Diego, will feature a three-session interactive educational event focused on supply chain network competition.

The sessions will focus on five principles that govern the success of a company’s supply chain network. "The sessions will address how to win by being faster, doing things right, communicating better, measuring the right things and creating value throughout the company’s network," says William T. Walker, CFPIM/CIRM event developer. "Attendees take on the roles of the customer, shareholder, employee or supplier, learning how to collaborate and adapt to compete."

In addition to the "Competing Through Networks" sessions, APICS will present more than 100 educational sessions on tools and essentials for supply chain management, enterprise quality management, lean strategies, project management, small business issues, emerging trends and personal and professional development.