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Pilgrim Software Inc. announces that Blood Systems successfully implemented its SmartCAPA deviation and nonconformance management solution at 35 sites across the United States.

SmartCAPA is a fully integrated part of Pilgrim’s Microsoft .NET-based SmartSolve Integrated Compliance Management suite. It can be rapidly deployed and centrally managed from Blood Systems’ Scottsdale, Arizona, headquarters and allows secure, real-time access to data, tasks and reports through a Web browser.

“We are very pleased with the successful go-live of Pilgrim’s SmartCAPA system across our organization,” says Mike Rangel, corporate quality assurance manager for Blood Systems. “It gives us one standardized system for managing corrective and preventive actions that we can use across our entire organization. This gives us in-depth visibility into potential trouble spots so we can focus resources where they are needed to eliminate the root causes of problems and prevent their recurrence.”

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Sypris Test & Measurement plans to move its Franklin, Tennessee primary standards lab to its headquarters in Orlando, Florida, the company recently announced.

The new Orlando lab will feature enhanced capabilities and equipment, and NIST-traceable calibration. Mobile service offerings will be unaffected by the relocation. The move is scheduled to be complete by Oct. 1.

“The Orlando lab will offer our customers some of the most advanced capabilities in the industry,” says Derrell James, general manager of Sypris’ calibration division. “In Orlando, we will have 25 percent more standards lab capacity. This supports our initiatives to significantly upgrade our capabilities and equipment. We then will be able to improve our turnaround time to our customers. The value we deliver will continue to be based on our precision, technical expertise, NIST-traceability and A2LA-certified performance.”

The new Orlando standards lab will feature a variety of capability enhancements, including:

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Two new resources from Pivotal Resources promise to streamline operations for quality professionals.

nLighten is an interactive e-learning course that teaches foundational Six Sigma concepts and process improvement. The Flash-based program introduces the principles that drive Six Sigma and links the methodology to business improvement initiatives. The 90-minute training session highlights Six Sigma benefits and best practices through interactive simulations and scenarios, with everyday language and even humor. The program is available online and through CD-ROM.

In addition, the company’s new Oaktree program is also designed for Six Sigma professionals. It’s a comprehensive online reference guide developed to provide DMAIC project leaders and sponsors with tools to support business improvement initiatives. It provides users with a data repository of more than 120 Six Sigma tools and resources via a Web-based interface.

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Breakthrough Management Group opened its European headquarters in London recently, raising the performance improvement training and consulting firm’s international profile.

With offices on five continents, BMG reports the expansion enables the company to be physically closer to its international customers and improve its market share in Six Sigma training, process improvement, design and innovation.

“This marks the opening of the company’s 12th international office since BMG’s inception,” says David Silverstein, BMG president and CEO. “The opening of our UK office will enable BMG to continue meeting the needs of our fast-growing European customer base.”

Mark Lansley, BMG’s marketing director, will be responsible for all European market operations. Prior to joining BMG, he was the global head of performance optimization for APV Performance Optimization, an international Six Sigma consultant firm. BMG was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Longmont, Colorado.

For more information, visit www.bmgi.com.

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Representatives from last year’s Baldrige Award-winning companies will address two upcoming conferences for quality professionals.

The conferences will be held in Oak Brook, Illinois, and San Antonio, Texas, on Sept. 10 and Sept. 30, respectively. Representatives from 2003 Baldrige Award winners Medrad Inc., Boeing Aerospace Support, Caterpillar Financial Services Corp. U.S., Stoner Inc., Community Consolidated School District 15, Baptist Hospital Inc. and Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City will provide insights into their companies’ Baldrige journeys. Recipients of previous year’s Baldrige Awards are also expected to attend.

Senior leaders of the award-winning companies will make presentations and answer questions about the seven Baldrige criteria categories. The conferences will also feature a combination of plenary, concurrent and town hall-style presentations that provide a dynamic and interactive environment where attendees can maximize learning and networking.

Attendees will receive a conference bag containing award-recipient videos, application summaries for the 2003 award recipients, presentation visuals and other Baldrige materials.

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WCBF will hold a Six Sigma conference in Las Vegas this October, the company recently announced.

“Successfully Implementing Six Sigma in Service and Transactional Environments” will be held Oct. 19-21 at the Venetian. It is being billed as the premier conference for expert advice supported by practical case studies on Six Sigma deployment for the service and transactional fields.

WCBF estimates that upward of 200 senior executives will attend the conference. It will feature a keynote address from John Maar, director of Six Sigma services at Motorola University, along with presentations and workshops by dozens of Black Belts, Master Black Belts, CEOs and quality consultants. Topics to be covered include the integration of lean principles into a Six Sigma methodology, sustaining ongoing improvement efforts and establishing a corporate culture that nurtures the Six Sigma approach.

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A book published this month details how organizations can use lean management tools to improve productivity by 400 percent.

In The Complete Lean Enterprise: Value Stream Mapping for Administrative and Office Processes (Productivity Press, 2004), authors Beau Keyte and Drew Locher contend that much of the untapped potential for improvement in an enterprise’s productivity lies in its nonproduction areas. Most companies that use lean principles, they say, do so only in their manufacturing sectors, resulting in productivity increases of up 35 to 40 percent over several years. However, the authors say that 90 percent of waste-eliminating opportunities are outside of the shop floor. When lean management is applied enterprisewide, Keyte and Locher say, lean goals can be expanded to a 400 percent improvement in 10 years.

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A new partnership between NCQA and the GeoAccess division of Ingenix will provide consumers with a comprehensive listing of quality health care.

A searchable database, available on NCQA’s Web site, allows visitors to search for a physician by area of expertise, location and other criteria. Physicians with dual areas of expertise—diabetes and cardiology training, for example—are clearly identified, along with a practice history, education, office hours and other important information. To earn recognition on the site, physicians must meet rigorous quality and performance standards.

“For the past 100 years, people have chosen their doctor based on reputation, location, word-of-mouth, even last name—everything except objective data on the quality,” says Margaret E. O’Kane, NCQA president. “That era is coming to a close. NCQA physician recognition data are rapidly being incorporated into the physician directories and Web sites people use to select their doctors. As a result, you’re going to see people making better choices and gravitating toward recognized doctors.”

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Fluke Corp. is teaming up with educators to bring the latest test and measurement expertise into the classroom.

The new Fluke Education Partnership Program includes colorful graphics and a step-by-step orientation to solving real-world problems for students. The tools are combined with a theoretical curriculum, labs, demonstrations and hands-on experiments, and are available in two- to four-year educational settings and apprenticeship programs.

The curriculum is available in several modules for easy access for educators. Modules include an overview planning aid, ready-to-use classroom PowerPoint presentations, lesson materials for students and visual aids to enhance student learning.

The program is accessable on the Internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Enrolled educators receive a 25 percent discount on Fluke’s tools for use in the classroom.

For more information, visit http://support.fluke.com/educators.

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The International Federation of Standards Users will meet in Amsterdam this fall to discuss managing international standards and related topics.

Now in its 11th year, the IFAN conference will focus on boosting awareness of and compliance to international standards. More than 300 participants from around the world are expected to attend the event to exchange knowledge and share their experiences in the field of competition and standardization in a global context.

Speakers at the conference include representatives from Shell, Paccar, the World Trade Organization, the European Commission and the International Organization for Standardization. The official conference language is English.

The Netherlands Standardization Institute is hosting the event, which will be held Nov. 11-12. For more information, visit www.ifan2004.com.