2014 Lowcountry Quality Conference

April 24th-25th, 2014 (plus bonus tour on 26th!) Lowcountry Quality Conference

ASQ Charleston is hosting the 2014 Lowcountry Quality Conference. The host for the conference is ASQ Section 1122, which represents the greater Charleston, South Carolina Metro Area. Conference news, speaker status, agenda and other details will be posted on our website at http://asq.org/sections/mini-sites/1122/index.html.


Before April 1, 2014: $159 for both days, $79 for Thursday only, $99 for Friday only After April 1, 2014: $179 for both days, $89 for Thursday only, $129 for Friday only


*Fees include: breakfast and lunch on Thursday + breakfast, refreshments, full buffet lunch on Friday

Tour Options:

  1. Clemson Wind Power Turbine Testing Cell (Thursday afternoon)
  2. Charleston Water Systems Treatment Facility (Thursday afternoon)
  3. Carnival Fantasy Cruise Ship (Saturday)



Guests coming in from outside of the area are encouraged to book a room at our discounted rate of $129/night using group block name "American Society for Quality - ASQ" at the time of making reservations. Each individual guest must make his/her own reservation by calling 843.744.4422 by 3/27/14. All reservations must be accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed with a major credit card.

Crowne Plaza YouTube Video & Online Hotel Booking

Attendees will receive 0.7 RU’s per day

Standard Blitz

Want a quick exercise for initial auditor training or a refresher for your veteran audit team members? This quick and simple "ISO scavenger hunt" will help your auditors quickly locate key requirements. Exercise:  In a small group, locate each of the following requirements or keywords in ISO 9001 & ISO/TS 16949.  Record the number of times the keyword is mentioned, the clause numbers and the title/description on easel pads. It is also recommended that you record all of these findings using the table of contents in the front of your standard.

Standard Blitz Table






*4.2.1/4.2.2 (mentions requirements)
Control of Documents (4.2.3)
Control of Records (4.2.4)
Training (
Internal Audits (8.2.2)
Control of Nonconformities (8.3)
Corrective Action (8.5.2)
Preventive Action (8.5.3)
*Several mentions of record in general prior to 4.2.3) - Engineering specification changes
5.6.1 - Management review records
6.2.2 (e) - Education, training, skills & experience
7.1 (d) - Product & realization processes evidence (plan vs. actual)
7.2.2 - Product requirements review (feasibility)
7.3.2 - Design & development input
7.3.4 - Design & development review
7.3.5 - Design & development verification
7.3.6 - Design & development validation
7.3.7 - Design & development changes
7.4.1 - Supplier evaluations & actions
7.5.2 - Validation records
7.5.3 - Product identification & traceability
7.5.4 - Lost, damaged or unusable customer property
7.6a - Basis for calibration (in case of no standard method)
7.6 (under e) - Calibration & verification records
7.6.2 - Calibration & verification records
8.2.2 - Internal audit records - Significant process events - Records of effective dates of process changes
8.2.4 - Product conformity & person(s) releasing records
8.3 - Nonconforming material (nature, actions, concessions)
8.3.4 - Expiration date or quantity authorized under concession
8.5.2 - Results of corrective actions - Records of rejected product test/analyses
8.5.3 - Results of preventive actions
EFFECTIVE(NESS)(LY) (ISO = 26 & TS = 36)
0.2 – Introduction - Process approach (twice)
0.2c – Introduction - Process approach
0.3 – Introduction - Relationship with ISO 9004
1.1b - Scope - General
4.1 – General requirements
4.1c – General requirements
4.2.1d - Documentation requirements – general
4.2.4 – Control of records
5.1 – Management commitment
5.1.1 – Process efficiency
5.3b – Quality policy
5.5.3 – Internal communication
5.6.1 – Management review – General
5.6.3a – Management review – Review output
6.1a – Provision of resources
6.2.2c – Competence, awareness & training
6.3.1 – Plant, facility & equipment planning (& Note)
7.2.3 – Customer communication
7.3.1 – Design & development planning
7.4.1 – Purchasing Process (Note 2) – Preventive & predictive maintenance (twice) – Service agreement with customer
8.1c – Measurement, analysis & improvement – general
8.2.2b – Internal audit – Manufacturing process audit
8.2.3 – Monitoring & measurement of processes (Note) - Monitoring & measurement of manufacturing processes
8.4 – Analysis of data (twice)
8.5.1 – Continual improvement
8.5.2f – Corrective action – Rejected product test/analysis (Note)
8.5.3e – Preventive action
EFFICIENT(CY) (3) – None in ISO 9001, but 3 in ISO/TS 16949
 5.1.1 - Process efficiency - Preventive and predictive maintenance - Customer satisfaction — Supplemental
0.2 - Introduction - Process approach (twice)
1.1b - Scope – General
5.2 - Customer focus - QMS performance
6.1b - Provision of resources
8.2.1 - Monitoring & Measurement – Customer satisfaction - Customer Satisfaction - Supplement
8.4a - Analysis of data
BUSINESS PLAN (2) - Quality objectives - Supplemental - Quality management system performance
None in 9001 however… ISO 9004, Introduction – General (0.1)
COST (5)
3.1.9 - Premium freight - Quality management system performance - Product design input - Manufacturing process design input - Monitoring (Note)
RISK (7)
0.1a - Introduction - General
0.4 - Compatibility with other management systems
6.4.1 - Personnel safety to achieve conformity to product requirements - Organization manufacturing feasibility - Multidisciplinary approach - Manufacturing process design input - Design & development review - Monitoring

Writing a Nonconformance (NCR)

NCR can find broken processes and really help with profit improvement "A problem well stated is a problem half solved." - Charles F. Kettering, American Inventor & Social Philosopher

The first step in solving a problem is to ensure you fully understand what the problem actually is. I regularly see horrible examples of this in practice inside some of the companies I work with. One classic example was in Atlanta, GA a few years ago. Here is the scenario...

Operations Manager: "What the h@!! is going on? Logistics has dropped the ball again! Our #1 line is down because they can't get their heads out of their a$$e$ and keep up with ordering the resin we need. This is our biggest customer!"

The scenario, at least in the mind of the Operations Manager, was that the Jack-Wagons working over in the Logistics Department simply couldn't count. I didn't buy it. In this case, as in most cases where suppositions seem a bit unlikely, I decided to do something I typically do during an audit - walk the audit trail by following the process upstream. This seems like such an obvious move... 1. There's a problem. 2. Walk the trail to find out the source. 3. Ask questions and "show me, show me, show me". HOWEVER, in many organizations, the minute an employee crosses the line into another department he/she is outside of their home turf. A defensive culture will likely breed a departmental approach (staying in your own neighborhood) versus a process approach. If you are not familiar with the process approach, you can learn more about this methodology here from a March 2011 post.

After walking the trail and crossing the territorial boundaries of Production into Scheduling and on to Logistics, I was able to trace back the material in the ERP system with the status "On Hand" and location "Op 120" -  which was the Molding Operations where I had started my hunt. After circling back around to the Operations Manager and hearing another string of Logistics bashing, I started to do some real snooping in the surrounding areas.

Standing at what I'd like to call the base camp of "Mount Unknown Product", I rolled up my sleeves like a eager bidder on Storage Wars and sifted through stacks of components, raw materials and residual miscellaneous. No luck there, although I noted the lack of control and visited that area later in the audit. After asking several questions of several Molding Operators, one of the ladies jumped in with "Oh yeah, that's probably that skid over there in the corner." Sure enough, the skid we were looking for was off in the corner with a simple 2"x2" yellow sticky label on it marked "BAD PRODUCT".

After pointing out to the Operations Manager that the source of the problem was likely one of his team members as opposed to those fools in Logistics, I asked him to consider a better solution. I then pointed out how I would be writing a Nonconformance Report for this finding, and how my nonconformance statement would clearly define the problem at hand. I jokingly stated, "If you want, I can write this NCR in a similar way as that sticky note? I can simply write 'Bad Process' and let you try to remember what I actually meant." He didn't think it was funny.

There were several missing links to the materials and inventory control process I observed during this audit; none that included someone coming to work deliberately trying to screw things up. Links that were obviously broken were the identification of product, controlling suspect or known nonconforming product, use of approved documentation and recording the instance of a nonconformity. An important transactional control was also missing, which was the signal used to notify Logistics that the parts were now unavailable. That signal should have been an ERP move from "Op 120" to "Op 120 Hold". That move to Op 120 Hold would have signaled the Logistics group to order another batch of components in order to keep the customer's order moving forward.

At the end of the day, the use of a simple 1-page Nonconformance Report (NCR) that forces the Originator to follow a simple process checklist (i.e. Yes/No - Did you move product out of IN PROCESS into a PRODUCT HOLD Operations?) may have prevented a late shipment. By the way, the company's poorest performing KPI (key process indicator) was "% On Time Delivery". This KPI was also tied to their variable compensation profit sharing process.

Nonconformance Report (NCR)

Here is an example of a simple NCR Form that may be useful in improving YOUR bonus payout. Click on the image to launch the product and view the PDF or download the native version. Who would have thought a simple form could make your customer and your wallet happier?


Jim Blog Signature

White Paper: Strategic Planning

Download our latest White Paper Keys to Competitiveness using Strategy. In this paper you will learn the tools to begin to developing an organization strategy plan and use it as a foundation for setting your organization up for success. Here is an excerpt:

How important do you feel planning is to remain competitive? Do companies routinely take time to plan? Typically…no. (Ain’t nobody got time for that!) It is far more exciting to be reactive – to be the hero that solves the problem at the time of crisis. Whatever adrenaline rush you get from this, it is a poor way to run a business. Many of your competitors ARE planning. This puts you at a distinct disadvantage. However there are some companies are not planning. So applying this discipline gives you the competitive advantage over others.

It all starts with strong leadership.

Great leaders inspire others to greatness. They get more energy and creativity from their staff than complacent managers. They help create vision, urgency, discipline, and accountability – many keys to successful strategic planning. Leadership is needed for strategic plan development, strategic plan implementation, and strategic plan systematization.

You need to ask yourself this one question… Are you a strong leader that is ready for the strategic planning processes? 

To read the entire White Paper: Keys to Competitiveness Using Strategy you can download it here.

2014 Training Schedule

Lead Auditor Training, ISO 9001:2015 & Management System Academy

Sick of this crazy winter weather? Why not plan a trip to sunny Charleston, SC all while gathering the skills needed to improve customer satisfaction and the process performance? We have just released our 2014 dates for classes, forums & our NEW Management System Academy. As you make your 2014 organizational and professional development plans, we hope that you will consider us as a partner in helping you reach the next level of performance. Be it in a public class, onsite or via an online course, we hope that you will join us in 2014!

Register and pay by Friday, February 14th and save BIG on our March ISO/TS 16949 Lead Internal Auditor Course. Pre-pay by February 14th using promo code "3FOR2" and when you SEND 2 STUDENTS, THE 3rd STUDENT IS FREE!

2014 Public Classes

March 11th-14th  |  Charleston, SC  |  8am-5pm ISO/TS 16949:2009 Lead Internal Auditor Training (32hrs)

Eventbrite - ISO/TS 16949:2009 Lead Internal Auditor Training (32 hrs) 

March 21st  |  Charleston, SC  |  9am-12pm Forum on expected changes to ISO 9001:2015 (Part II)

Eventbrite - ISO 9001:2015 Forum March

September 19th  |  Charleston, SC  |  9am-12pm Forum on expected changes to ISO 9001:2015 (Part III)

Eventbrite - ISO 9001:2015 Forum September

September 23rd-26th  |  Charleston, SC  |  8am-5pm ISO/TS 16949:2009 Lead Internal Auditor Training (32hrs)

Eventbrite - ISO/TS 16949:2009 Lead Internal Auditor Training (32 hrs)

December 9th-12th  |  Location TBD  |  8am-5pm ISO/TS 16949:2009 Lead Internal Auditor Training (32hrs)

Eventbrite - ISO/TS 16949:2009 Lead Internal Auditor Training (32 hrs)

Custom-fit educational solutions based on your specific needs

We believe that customizing your training plan should be simple and completely suitable to your specific needs. We developed the Management System Academy with this in mind. Based on budget (time & expenses), you pick the courses & learning method that works best for you. Itsyour professional development. Make the most of it. Let us help you build the right plan for you and your team. Contact us today to learn more about Management System Academy.

CHOOSE YOUR LEARNING METHOD 1-on-1 Personal Training Onsite Consultation & Mentoring Web-based Classes Video & Tele-Conference Onsite Classes & Workshops Public Classes & Workshops Purchase Course Materials for Self-Study or Train-the-Trainer

Top 3 Tips for Quality Professionals

Top Tips for Career Advancement for Quality Professionals2014 marks my 20th year as a Quality Assurance professional and devout practitioner. I frequently refer to my career path as a "genetic mutation put to good use”. No matter where I go or what I’m observing, be it personal or professional, it is difficult for me to shut off the portion of my brain that always wants to make things better. Let’s dub this phenomenon “Chronic PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) Syndrome”.

Chronic PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) Syndrome

Our strengths as quality professionals can also be the very attributes that prevent us from being all that we can be. Just as our “mutations” give us worth in industries requiring attention to detail and the ability to visualize perfection, it is this same attribute that can cripple the forward progress of a thriving business.

Top 3 Tips for Quality Professionals3 Career Tips for the Quality Professional

Using Pareto’s 80/20 Rule (see The Pareto Principle), I’ve narrowed down my long list of lessons learned into the following 3 tips:

  1. Avoid Delayed Perfection
  2. Don’t Take It Personally
  3. Keep Moving Forward

Tip #1 - Avoid Delayed Perfection - Also referred to as “analysis paralysis”, this first tip requires us to walk right up to the edge of a pitfall while being careful not to fall in. Some of the most incredible talents in music, art, writing and product development are started in some dude’s basement because he didn’t want anyone else to see his work until it was perfect. To be honest, I’ve been that dude. I’ll be that dude again many, many times before I’m done.

If you and I owned competing lawn-mowing businesses, and we both had an entire block to mow before sundown (you on one side of the street while I’m on the other), I’m pretty sure that you’d be finished with your 10th and final house while I’m still manually cutting each blade of grass on house #3. Now, assuming that the customer requirements were the same (i.e. mow the yard for $30/yard), we can assume that my efforts would result in the loss of future business.

Quality is nothing without a gig. You can’t do a quality job if you don’t have a job. You won’t have a job for long by only completing 30% of the lawns while your competition is sitting in the truck sipping a cold PBR whilst laughing at you. In this example, you’re probably still in business and I’m probably not.

Note: As I write this blog, I’ve already changed the “1.” to “#1” to “1)” and back three or four times. DANG IT Tip NUMBER ONE!

Tip #2 - Don’t Take It Personally - Being a quality assurance professional comes with the tough duty of trying to convince people, who often times don’t report to you, to execute a process in a specific manner (i.e. best practices, standard work, response to data, etc.). Not only is it difficult to win over the trust of your colleagues at a similar organizational level, but it becomes increasingly difficult the further up you go.

Math is math and facts are facts. But have you ever had a fight with your spouse or other loved-one, presented all of the facts that show you were “right”, while still coming out the loser? Methodology and timing are just as important as facts. If there is a better way to execute a process, reduce waste or protect the customer, stick to your guns. Sometimes a great idea isn’t so great if the timing is off. Its extremely hard to think in terms of improvement when you’re struggling to get through the day. Recognize what is important to the company, as well as the customer, and stay persistent. Don’t give up on your role of taking organizational performance to the next level simply because Mrs. Director of Materials didn’t come to your meeting. Don’t take it personally.

Tip #3 - Keep Moving Forward - The third and final tip is my favorite. I don’t have any tattoos, but if I get one, this would be on the short list (which is why I don’t have any tattoos). In the spirit of improvement and the perpetual PDCA Cycle, you MUST continue to move forward. Competition and stakeholders will always drive the need for improvement. “Improvement” is not going anywhere. Congratulations… the quality profession has a bright future. However, avoid being hypocritical by demonstrating improvement, both personally and professionally.

All 3 words in this tip are extremely important and work hand-in-hand with tips 1 and 2. Do not post-pone movement due to imperfection. Move towards perfection. Do not take it personally when others fail to embrace change with open arms. Change is hard. Remember that. Do not stop. As a quality practitioner, others are looking for you to make it easier to serve the customer and improve the “ease of doing business". Keep moving forward in your quality role. Keep learning. Keep trying new methods and share what you’ve learned with others within your organization.

Even though I make it sound easy, these are not easy tips to implement. Perfectionism is a double-edged sword because while you want to strive for the best quality and to do better and move forward that same perfectionism can paralyze that movement because you’re never ready for the world to know about that thing because its not perfect. Are you a perfectionist? Which of these tips resonates with you the most and how to you plan to implement them?


Jim Blog Signature

p.s. Interested in more advice or personal training for your career development? Contact us to see how we can customize a personal training catered to your specific needs.

To Grow, You Must Get Out Of The Way

About this time each year, I do a lot of reflecting on things gone right and things gone wrong over the past 365.25 days… or so. Today was no different. Actually, it was much more intense than years past. The reason, I suspect, is due to the amount of downtime I had during this holiday break or the burning desire to… get back to work. Huh? While at my office on my first day back, I kicked off the new year by giving last year’s resolution one more pull of the trigger - which was to “take time to celebrate the positive moments, the small accomplishments and just let BE”. (I completely stink at doing this. My approach is more along the lines of “Ok… you did it, but you’re miles behind where you should be on the next goal.” All the while, I realize how stupid it is to stay motivated going into the next project when you already feel like you’re way behind where you should be. Truth is I could easily list off WAY more failures in the past year than I could accomplishments. Don’t judge... I’m working on it.)

Reflecting on 2013

Anyway... as a means of narrowing down the self-fulfilling “Atah Boys” I intended on giving myself for the sake of making the year 2013 happy, I actually challenged myself to look back at the last 10 years and recall an accomplishment that is still alive and kicking today. The most obvious subjects were my two beautiful daughters, Mady & Katelyn. In an attempt to challenge myself a bit more, I spent some time brainstorming ideas using the parameters of “fun” and “sustainable”. Besides, those who know me know that I frequently use the phrase “It’s hard to kill a kid”. Let’s just say that choosing my kids as my reflective kudos would have been the easy way out, hence the mental move onward.

Using the parameters “fun” and “sustainable”, the first accomplishment to come to mind was an outdoor music festival that I founded nearly 10 years ago called the “Greenstock Music Festival”. Although the original name and concept was a little different than what it has become today, Greenstock still continues to bring quality entertainment, camping, music, outdoor sports and innovation to hundreds of event-goers each year; with an eco-friendly and environmentally “off the grid” twist. (Note: that the first adjective used here was “quality”.) This high-quality annual event still thrives today in the backwoods of Brown Country, Indiana - bigger and better than it ever could if I were still at the helm. 2014 marks it’s 10th anniversary.

The smartest thing I did for Greenstock, the most important step in this accomplishment, was to get out of the way.

To grow, personally or professionally, you need to have an exit plan.

I will never forget the bittersweet moment on my last Saturday evening of the festival in mid-August 2009. I love this little festival. My baby. However, trying to run a music festival that you live 700 miles from is something I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. In now my second year visiting the festival, traveling all the way from Charleston, I knew this was either the last night of a 5-year festival or the moment I needed to trust my baby in the hands of others. I hated to see the festival, and all of that work that dozens of us had put into it each year, come to an end simply because I had moved. On the other hand, my ego had trouble processing the thought of someone else raising my baby. What if they fail and blame it on me? What if the new parents are better at raising my baby than I am? What if I’m not even missed? What if they succeed and forget about all of the blisters, backaches and late-nights that have paved the way?

After much thought, and a greater interest in the festival living on rather than dying at the hands of my own ego, I introduced my partner, the Proprietor of the festival grounds, to the next family. The next family was a team of band members and management that I knew, without a doubt, would take my baby to the next level. At the moment of making the introduction from one party to the next, I realized two things. First, my real passion in life is not only putting things together that make people’s lives better, but putting people together in an organic and completely unselfish way. I absolutely love making connections. I’m a matchmaker, no doubt about it. The second realization was the feeling I had after making the connection. It was much more like breaking up with a girlfriend, introducing her to the new kid in town, and then sitting back while they make out for the first time. Damn that was hard!

Greenstock ImageToday, I not only remembered that moment 1237 days ago as if it was yesterday, but I also recalled that I had taken a picture of the very moment. I may have seen that photo one other time, but it was sitting there waiting for me today. Until today, I haven’t shared this very emotional moment with anyone. Looking at that picture, remembering that very moment, once again brought intense feelings that can only be described as bittersweet.

So what did all of this teach me today? And how is this story relevant to the New Year, or my profession as a quality expert? To me, this moment is a reminder that to grow - either personally or as an organization - you need to have an exit plan. You need to continue to work yourself out of a job. You need to understand when to get the hell out of the way. Regardless of how important you think your skills or knowledge might be if you’re not moving forward then you’re likely moving backwards. Whether your responsibilities are a festival, climbing the corporate ladder or working your way through academia, you need to ask yourself… how long do you really want to repeat the same day over and over again? Groundhog Day anyone?

In this New Year, and in the words of the great Kenny Rogers, I pledge to improve myself, my company and others around me by knowing when to hold ‘em and knowing when to fold ‘em. Although Kenny was here first… as a Quality professional, I feel compelled to lend more credence to lessons that are accompanied by acronyms (that’s a whole other blog). One of the simplest principles I’ve learned in my professional career is known as “The A.C.E. Principle". In order to improve effectively, you must remember A, C and E or "ADD, CHANGE and ELIMINATE”. In 2014, I challenge you to focus on the “E”. In order to realize the true value of your contributions, you must ask yourself to step aside in order to evaluate the true quality of your work. Leave a comment and let us know what are you going to eliminate in 2014?

All the best in 2014!


Jim Blog Signature

p.s. Interested in more advice on having the best year ever? Check out a previous blog acommoncenter.com/bestyearever for more tips in making 2014 awesome.

Improving Your Corrective Action Process

If I had to pick one area to focus on within all of the hundreds of management systems I’ve audited over the past 19 years, I would definitely choose the corrective action process. From my experience, and the war stories I hear from other auditors and quality professionals, most organizations just don’t get it. What makes this circumstance even worse is when management insists on “More audits! More Audits! MORE AUDITS!!!” while doing little to nothing about the previous audit findings, repeat customer complaints or piles of supplier issues. That would be similar to handing out tickets for traffic violations with no means of collecting money for fines. (Note: I’m not suggesting that auditors are Police officers.) Here are 10 questions you may want to consider to help improve your procedure for handling nonconformities (actual or potential) and corrective actions as first steps to improving your corrective action process.

1. Are the roles within your corrective action process defined? The following list of roles is a good place to start. Document these roles, ensure these roles are clear and understood, and document them in your written procedure.


  • Originator
  • Assignee
  • Sponsor or Process Owner (if different than Assignee)
  • Problem solving group team members
  • Review Board
  • Approver
  • Evaluator or Effectiveness Checker


2. What are all of the sources of your nonconformities? List them out using the following categories as a guide (think “CIS” with a stutter):


  • Customer complaints – External Customers (includes campaigns, field returns, warranty issues, service reports, etc.)
  • Customer complaints – Internal Customers (sister plants, corporate office, etc.)
  • Internal Product Nonconformities
  • Internal Process Nonconformities (all management system processes apply, not just production)
  • Suppliers – Internal Suppliers (sister plants, corporate office, etc.)
  • Suppliers – External (goods & service)


3. How are these various nonconformities initially captured?


  • Is there a single depository for collecting all types/sources of nonconformities (recommended)?
  • Are there multiple tracking tools for capturing the various types/sources of nonconformities (not recommended)?


4. How are nonconformities reviewed and ranked in order to analyze severity, trends or systematic failures?


  • How severe is the occurrence of a single nonconformity (1X)?
  • How often does this nonconformity occur (1X, 15X, 23056X)?
  • If nonconformity X “snuck into your facility”, how likely would you be to detect its presence vs. passing it along to the next process or customer (1X = easy to detect and 10X = impossible to detect)?
  • Note: Some organizations use a formal ranking system for severity, occurrence and detection to provide an actual score for how risky or significant the nonconformity is or could be. Want to learn more about this approach? Read our FMEA blog.


5. When are nonconformities escalated in order to eliminate the cause to prevent recurrence of the issue via a formal corrective action request or a project (i.e. formal CAPA, major capital project, 6S project, Problem Solving Group, Value-Stream Mapping, etc.)? How does this escalation process work? Who studies the business impact of X and decides which course of action should be taken?


  • Do you have a Nonconformity Review Board (NRB)?
  • Is the escalation automatically based on a scoring system (see item #3 above)?
  • How do you ensure there are not duplicated efforts or assignments? (18 CARs issued to the Purchasing Manager for the same issue is like telling your kid she’s grounded 18 times. One “grounding” should cover it.)


6. What type of progress tracking mechanism is used to ensure clear assignments, appropriate deadlines, progress tracking, etc.? At a minimum, this progress-tracking tool should include:


  • Serial # (unique identifier)
  • Source of the nonconformance
  • Assignee
  • Short description of the issue
  • Expected due date
  • Date done
  • Progress indicator (i.e. % complete)
  • Additional comments field


Ensure the tracking tool is visible and highlights those items that are on schedule, approaching a due date or past the expected due date. (Note: I like red/yellow/green indicators).

7. What types of problem solving tool(s) is/are used in order to clearly identify the root cause?


  • Does your problem solving group facilitator know how to properly use the prescribed root cause analysis tool?
  • Are there multiple root causes considered in the tool being used?
  • Can data be captured to support the root cause(s) analysis conclusion such as % of contribution (i.e. P-value, Pareto, Histogram, etc.)?


8. How are necessary actions determined and assigned during the problem solving process?


  • How is progress reported? (Note: Generally, I would recommend a macro view and top 3 micro view weekly in a top management meeting.)
  • How are assignees of action items notified?
  • Is there a process for acknowledging the action assignments in a timely manner?


9. How is corrective action(s) taken reviewed to ensure it has been effectively addressed?


  • Verification by the assignee or the applicable Process Owner (must be done first)
  • Verification by the Assignor, Originator or via the Internal Auditing Process (must be done second)
  • How is long-term effectiveness evaluated? Consider giving each incident an “effectiveness grade” based on the overall method and evidence. The grade level should be directly proportional to your confidence level in the failure mode never showing its ugly face again.


10. How is the problem solving process documented and recorded for future reference?

Has the initial tracking tool described in item #2 been updated?

Are results of the “Lesson’s Learned” available and shared with other areas, sister plants, stakeholders of similar goods, services or processes within your organization?


  • Has the action to prevent future occurrence been monetized?
    • What is the cost of this instance of the failure mode X (CoPQ or cost of poor quality)?
    • What is the estimated total historical cost of X since inception?
    • What is the value of cost avoidance based on historical costs and future forecasts?
  •  Note: Validate these financial figures by getting input and approval from your CFO, Controller or other Financial Leader.
  • Keep in mind the key to record retention is record retrieval. A good tracking tool with specific codes for each failure mode (i.e. X, Y and Z, etc.) makes future analysis of data much more likely.


Check out The Ultimate CAPA Report below to help you drive the right behavior. Stay posted to future blogs regarding corrective action tools and templates. These will be available on our products store. We also offer CAPA training.

Ultimate CAPA Report


The Use & Misuse of the FMEA

problemThe term “FMEA” is an abbreviation for the failure analysis tool referred to as “Failure Modes & Effects Analysis”. The purpose of this tool and methodology is to analyze failure modes and the effects of each failure mode. For example, a failure mode of loading a blank envelope into the printer would be “loading envelope upside down”. The effect would be “printing Ship To address on wrong side of envelope”. All things considered, printing a single envelope upside down is no big deal. The overall cost and time to re-print is relatively low. But what if your company is a printing company? What if you load the envelopes incorrectly and print 15,000 envelopes on the WRONG SIDE? The potential effects of this extreme scenario would likely cost you hundreds of dollars and several hours of lost production time. The effect on your customer may be a delayed shipment on critical marketing material related to an upcoming major trade show. Congratulations! By not adequately addressing this failure mode, you have added stress, cost and time to a profit margin that was already very slim. Formal use of the failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) tool began in the 1940s, where it was first used to study failures, defects or malfunctions by reliability engineers in the US Military. The tool was used to anticipate each possible failure and the consequence of each failure as a means of mitigating risk. Since then, this risk prevention tool has been used by various industrial and government entities from NASA to the EPA, and later Ford, GM and Chrysler. Today, the FMEA is used in various functions as a means of error-proofing or designing defect detection mechanisms into machines (MFMEA), processes (PFMEA), material movement or logistics (LFMEA) and product designs (DFMEA).

FMEA - Failure Modes & Effects Analysis Template 4th Ed

Severity (1 to 10) x Occurrence (1 to 10) x Detection (1 to 10) = Total RPN (1 to 1000) How bad would it be? x What’s the likelihood? x How hard would it be to detect and contain? = RPN

The following list provides further guidance on the use and misuse of the failure modes and effects analysis tool:



  • inventory of known OR potential failure modes
  • part of contract agreement used to assess & report risk
  • connects with Control Plan to illustrate mitigation or reaction to each known or potential failure mode
  • helps prioritize order of importance based on risk priority number (RPN)
  • captures "lessons learned" about failures or potential failures from similar situations, products or processes as a means of minimizing risk
  • ensures that all failures are considered from prototype to pre-production and through launch of full production
  • helps to define actions and responsibility for cross-functional teams
  • increases profitability by reducing overhead expense such as rework, repair, sorting and scrap




  • typically used at the time of process signoff or approval from the customer, then archived ("tossed aside") therefor failing to be properly update and communicate to team (dormant vs. evergreen)
  • not connected as an OUTPUT to CAPA process (CAR or PAR should nearly always reduce S, O and/or D); with every corrective or preventive action taken, the S, O and/or D SHOULD be lowered or the action taken was ineffective
  • opportunity lost in risk reduction by stopping at customer sign-off
  • increases waste through reliance on redundant systems (i.e. detection mechanisms no longer needed)
  • higher level management reliance on a poorly conceived or misleading FMEA rankings
  • intentionally ranking failure modes lower than true risk in order to avoid required improvement activities
  • misrepresentation of the true risk of a process that is then benchmarked for future product and process design


Would you like to learn more about the use of the FMEA tool? Contact us here.

Do you need an FMEA Template that includes guidance on template usage as well as individual tabs for guidance on properly ranking severity, occurrence, and detection level? Visit our online products store here.


Forum on changes to ISO 9001:2015

Calling all Quality Professionals | Forum on Changes to ISO 9001:2015

Quality Professionals from Charleston, SC and the surrounding region are invited to attend an open forum on expected changes to the ISO 9001:2015 International Standard. This forum will be the first in a series of updates from local subject-matter experts aimed at assisting regional organizations in their preparation of the upgrade to the new standard. The panel of experts will include veterans from various sectors such as automotive, aerospace, environmental and information security to discuss the potential impacts on various industry-specific standards (ISO/TS 16949, AS9100, ISO 27001 and ISO 14001).

Let the voice of your organization be heard

We will also be joined by Denise Robitaille, core member of the United States TAG (Technical Advisory Group) to discuss the latest Committee Draft, global feedback thus far and the next steps in the updating process. Her participation in this forum also allows each participant to voice their questions, comments or recommendation related to proposed changes.

8:30am    Check-in & Networking (Light breakfast buffet included)
9:00am    Introduction
9:15am     Keynote presentation by Denise Robitaille from US TAG
10:00am  Overview of significant changes
10:15am   Industry-specific breakout sessions
11:00am  Participant Voice of Customer (VOC) feedback for US TAG
11:15am   Recommendations for action moving forward
11:30am  Adjourned (end of forum in conference space)
Noon        Lunch discussion with panelists (interested attendees are invited to an open lunch at their own expense in the restaurant)
Harbor Breeze (next to Omar Shrine Temple)
176 Patriot's Point Blvd
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 606-2110

Denise Robitaille HeadshotAbout the Keynote Speaker:  Denise Robitaille is the author of The Corrective Action Handbook and The Management Review Handbook, as well as numerous articles on quality. She is a consultant, writer and trainer.  Denise is also a RAB Certified Lead Assessor and CQA.  Much of her work involves assisting companies implement and maintain ISO 9001 systems.  An international speaker, she has given talks on a variety of quality issues. Denise is a member of the executive committee of ASQ Boston Section and an instructor for the ASQ Boston Education Program. Her work has encompassed companies in a variety of markets, including machine shops, printed circuit board industries, bio-pharmaceutical devices, packaging industry, distributors, navigational instrumentation, and power transmission manufacturing. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Eventbrite - ISO 9001:2015 Forum

TSLA August 2013

TWO Sessions August 27-30, 2013  |  Columbus, IN & Charleston, SC

ISO/TS 16949:2009 Internal Lead Auditor Training (32hrs):  $1495*

SummerSpecialThe courses will be held at the new Harbor Breeze on Patriots Point in beautiful Mt. Pleasant, SC (Charleston). Students attending our Indiana course will be catered to by our great friends - who always receive outstanding hospitality reviews - at Tre Bicchieri in downtown Columbus.

Register online here or by calling 843.469.8279.

Description:   This advanced internal auditing course caters to the full spectrum of auditor responsibilities – from process auditing to audit program management. This course will teach you the fundamental tools necessary to conduct audits using the automotive process approach while providing vital strategic information to top management. Case studies and scenarios make this course fun. If you are looking for a Lead Auditor course for internal processes or supplier quality development, look no further. This course is for you. NEW: We will also discuss the CD1 draft of the proposal ISO 9001:2015 standard and it's potential effects on your management system implementation.

Designed for:  Audit Program Managers, Lead Auditors, Advanced Audit Team Members, Supplier Quality Engineers & Managers, Process Improvement Managers, Quality Directors, Continuous Improvement Managers, Organizational Development Directors, Management Representatives

This course meets or exceeds the training requirements for:

  • Ford Customer-specific Internal Quality Auditor requirements
  • General Motors Customer-specific Internal Quality Auditor requirements

Length:  4 days/32 hours   CEUs:  3.2    A certificate will be given upon successful completion of all course requirements.

*Price include training materials and training facilities for each student.  SEND TWO STUDENTS & THE THIRD STUDENT ADMISSION IS FREE!  Promo Codes: 2for3 for multi-student early registration

All of our instructors are accredited with extensive industry expertise in the respective course(s) they teach.  CVs/Resumes can be provided upon request at any time. Register online here, contact us by email at info@cmsicharleston.com or by calling 843.469.8279.

Day 1
▪    Introduction & Welcome
▪    Gathering of Student Goals & Expectations (CSRs)
▪    Overview of ISO 9001 & ISO/TS 16949 – Part I
▪    Selling QMS to Top Management
▪    The Automotive Process Approach
▪    Overview of ISO 9001 & ISO/TS 16949 – Part II
Day 2
▪    Use of Turtle Diagrams for Process Mapping
▪    ISO/TS 16949 Requirements – Clause 4.0, Quality Management System
▪    ISO/TS 16949 Requirements – Clause 5.0, Management Responsibility
▪    ISO/TS 16949 Requirements – Clause 6.0, Resource Management
▪    Overview of AIAG Core Tools (APQP & CP, FMEA, MSA, PPAP & SPC)
▪    ISO/TS 16949 Requirements – Clause 7.0, Product Realization
Day 3
▪    ISO/TS 16949 Requirements – Clause 7.0, Product Realization
▪    ISO/TS 16949 Requirements – Clause 8.0, Measurement, Analysis & Improvement
▪    Audit Objectives & Auditor Attributes
▪    Process Auditing Breakout
▪    Writing Audit Findings – NCRs & OFIs
Day 4
▪    Reporting Audit Findings
▪    CAPA – Corrective Action & Preventive Action
▪    Closing Out Audit Findings
▪    Closing the Audit Cycle
▪    Evaluating Audit Effectiveness
▪    Final Review/Q&A
▪   Student Goals & Expectations (Reviewed)
▪   Course Examination

ISO 9001:20XX Forum

SAVE THE DATE | Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Concentric will host a panel of experts to discuss potential changes to come with the next release of ISO 9001, expected sometime in 2015. The panel of experts will also include veterans from various sectors such as automotive, aerospace, environmental and information security to discuss the potential impacts on different industry standards.

We will also be joined by a core member of the United States TAG (Technical Advisory Group) to discuss the latest Committee Draft, global feedback thus far and the next steps in the updating process.

Stay tuned and save the date. This event will be free of charge and include refreshments and a light breakfast.

Kind regards,

Jim Thompson, President - Concentric Management Systems, Inc.

p.s. To read more about some of the initial significant changes, read our latest blog here: acommoncenter.com/iso-9001_20xx

Development of ISO 9001:2015

With ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 currently in the development stages for what could be rather significant changes, quality and environmental professionals gather on the fringes to get a sneak peek of what's to come. Before speculating on projected changes, let's first review the process for the development of ISO standards. Stages of Standard Development

  1. New Work Item (NWIP)
  2. Working Draft (WD)
  3. Committee Draft (CD) - Often times there may be CD1, CD2, etc. for multiple drafts
  4. Draft International Standard (DIS)
  5. Final Draft International Standard (FDIS)
  6. Published International Standard (IS), Technical Report (TR) or Technical Specification (TS)

ISO Standards Development SequenceThe current stage in which the ISO 9001 sits is at "ISO/CD 9001" as of June 3rd, 2013. This means that the document is at "CD" Stage (#3), with a due date for submission of comments and votes on this draft by September 10th, 2013. Significant chatter typically means that there could be a second or perhaps even a third round within the committee draft (CD) stage. While the expectations for release in the "IS" phase is in the year 2015 - hence the frequently referenced ISO 9001:2015 - the final release depends directly upon the voting member bodies. Publication as an "International Standard" requires approval by at least 75% of the member bodies casting a vote.

Stay tuned to the updates by registering to attend our free ISO 9001:2015 Forums.

K. Bird, Head Communication & Content Strategies for ISO posts, "Experts continue to meet to discuss any problems or questions highlighted, until a Draft International Standard is published. The draft then goes out for public comment. Anyone who is interested can contact their national member body with feedback on the draft standard. This is likely to take place during the first half of 2014."

With regard to your current use of ISO 9001:2008, Bird continues by saying "We expect to publish the new version of ISO 9001:2008 by the end of 2015. At that point there will be a transition period (usually two years) before ISO 9001:2008 officially becomes out of date."

So what are some of the projected changes that may be significant to you and your organization?

  1. The replacement of the term "product" with "goods and services". For years, service organizations (like Concentric) have felt a bit left out due to the constant use of the word "product". What if you don't have a physical product? This potential change in terminology could help service organizations better understand how ISO 9001 requirements pertain to them.
  2. Context of the term "the organization". There may be requirements to better clarify what "the organization" means as it pertains to the intent of it's offerings, the context of it's offerings, what an interested party might expect from it's goods and services, and how customer needs are defined.
  3. Process approach. This addition may require subscribers to better adopt the process approach by adding requirements that actually use the words "process approach" rather than hiding this intent in a preface or supplemental document such as ISO 9004. No one cares about how great your department is. We only care about how great your process output is.
  4. Risk vs. preventive action. This is the change that we're rooting the most for - with spirit and banter! Most folks don't really understand what the hell "preventive action" is anyway. However, "risk" is fairly well understood. Most companies we work with have hundreds of corrective actions (reactive), but very little evidence to show deliberate and methodical steps for risk reduction/mitigation or emergency preparedness (proactive). In my opinion, this change is welcome and long overdue. It would also allow for a better integration with standards in health, safety, environmental and responsible care management systems.
  5. Documented information. The terms previous referred to separately as "document" and "records" may be replaced by a single term referred to as "documented information".
  6. Control of external provision of goods and services. This potential change may not be as significant to some sectors such as automotive and aerospace, as the requirements for controlling outsources processes have been backed into ISO/TS 16949 and AS9100 for some time now. This potential addition to the ISO 9001 standard would require controls to be in place for all forms of external influences on goods and services. In short, it may be harder to say "Hey... it's my suppliers fault!" once the new standard is released.

Whatever changes do finally come from the ISO 9001 updates, we here at Concentric are very hopeful that the standard encourages organizations and practitioners alike to bridge the gap between the priorities of top management and management system implementers. Developing systems that maximize the potential of any organization is depend on a unified approach to managing individual processes. Having multiple systems, conflicting objectives and a "silo" approach to management is still one of the great challenges of our generation. I am confident that the next release of ISO 9001 will continue to improve management system structure as organizations worldwide continue to strive towards excellence.

Stay tuned to the updates by registering to attend our free ISO 9001:2015 Forums.

BOGO Summer Special on Training Courses!

Summer BOGO Special 2013BOGO Summer Special!

Any Public Training

Register Before 6/27

Summer is well on its way and with things heatin' up we thought it was a good time to run a summer special. And not just any old summer special. A BOGO summer special! What's a BOGO? Buy one, get one free. Yep, FREE!

Register for any 2013 Public Training Course from now until June 27th at 7pm and you can send a second person for FREE. No strings attached and no hoops jump through. Just register you and someone else for any 2013 Public Training Course and enter the promo code BOGO2013.

Our next course is coming up in August and it will be here before you know it. So register now while you can get this great deal. You visit our Trainings page to register or here is a listing of all our upcoming trainings.

August 27-30 ISO/TS 16949:2009 Lead Internal Auditor (32 hours) Charleston, SC

August 27-30 ISO/TS 16949:2009 Lead Internal Auditor (32 hours) Columbus, IN

September 26-27 ISO/TS 16949:2009 Standard Overview for Process Owners (16 hours) Charleston, SC

October 8-11 ISO/TS 16949:2009 Lead Internal Auditor (32 hours) Charleston, SC

October 22-25 AS9100C Lead Internal Auditor Training (32hrs) Charleston, SC

November 4-8 Problem Solving Workshop (32hrs) Charleston, SC

November 12-15 ISO/TS 16949:2009 Lead Internal Auditor (32 hours) Columbus, IN

You can see our full list of offerings on our website at acommoncenter.com/what/trainings/. This deal won't come around again so you need to register before 7pm on June 27th. And don't forget to tell your colleagues about this deal!

And while we are on the subject of FREE. Don't forget to check out our FREE resources on acommoncenter.com

Turtle Diagrams

A "Turtle Diagram" is a quality tool used to visually display process characteristics such as inputs, outputs (expectations), criteria (metrics) and other high-level information to assist in the effective execution and improvement of key business processes.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Concentric a Nominee for Small Business of the Year Award

Ronii Bartles Concentric (843) 452-5259 ronii.bartles@cmsicharleston.com acommoncenter.com

Concentric a Nominee for Small Business of the Year Award Concentric Recognized by Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

Charleston, SC, May 15, 2013 — Concentric today announced that they are a nominee for Small Business of the Year Award. The Small Business of the Year is awarded by Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. Persons have to be nominated by a peer and then have to meet a string of criteria from demonstrating a commitment to good business practices to contributing to the community. Nominations and criteria are submitted and then voted on. Jim Thompson, Founder at Concentric, said of the nomination, “That’s great that we have been recognized as a nominee.”

The nominees will be honored at a reception at the Business Expo on Thursday, May 21st at 3:30 P.M. The winner will be announced in August.

For additional information or to schedule an interview with Jim Thompson, please contact Ronii Bartles at (843) 452-5259 or e-mail Ronii at ronii.bartles@cmsicharleston.com.

Concentric is a group of quality experts that believe in fostering lasting relationships with our clients. We are essentially a firm of independent subject matter experts that help organizations perform better through process design, management system architecture, risk & waste reduction, problem solving and international certification. Our group is built up of experts in Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, ISO standards, business law, marketing, strategic planning and intellectual talent management.

# # #

ASQ Lowcountry Quality Conference 2013 & Management System Architect

The 12-Piece Blueprint This past week was a very successful week indeed - full of signs of spring and new opportunities. A major catalyst of our excitement to bring Concentric's story to the Charleston community was the ASQ Lowcountry Quality Conference organized by our local ASQ Section 1122 volunteers. This 2-day conference featured an amazing array of speakers and Quality Professionals who gave attendees their foresight into the future commercial needs of the region. In addition to the great line-up of speakers from various industries across the spectrum, nearly half of the participants were treated to an extended tour of the new Boeing South Carolina campus. It is rare to hear a planning committee genuinely pumped up after the conference ended saying , "Count me in for planning this thing in 2014!" This statement, above all other metrics, was the most impressive indicator of a successful conference with a bright future in 2014.

Concentric was well represented during the conference. It was jokingly stated at various points throughout the conference that "Concentric has provided 7 speakers - 2 actual guest speakers, 1 on standby as a contingency plan and 4 audio speakers. (We donated our A/V equipment.) Robert Jenkins spoke about the leap that is required for an organization to jump from ISO 9001 certification to AS9100C - the latest aerospace quality management system international standards - while I spoke about a new concept I refer to as "The Management System Architect".

The Management System Architect uses stories and real life examples to introduce change agents to simple tools for the purpose of visualizing activities that take place within an organization. Like a traditional architect, the Management System Architect must put together components that ultimately satisfy the needs and expectations of the customer. Unlike a traditional architect, the Management System Architect is challenged with managing elements of an organization that can not be seen by the naked eye. Rather than physical components such as lumber, hardware and fasteners, the Management System Architect must use simple documents such as flowcharts, maps and other visual representations of action to illustrate how activities within an organization fit together.

The Management System Architect

Throughout the next several months, I encourage you to stay tuned to the progress of my first attempt at authoring a real book. The end product will be a book and a workbook. The book will be an in-depth roadmap for management system implementers and process owners on how to use twelve tools over the course of twelve months. These tools will guide "architects" as they build the fundamental framework of organizational flow and interactions. The accompanying workbook will be a supplement of dozens of downloadable tools and templates allowing you to customize the tools to fit the functions and branding of your specific operations.

We are all extremely busy. Writing a book has been on my bucket list since my mid 20's. Although I failed to make that goal by 30, there is still time to write a book by the time I'm 40. (Dr. Leah Jackman-Wheitner reminded me that just because I missed the 30-year mark, that doesn't give me an easy way out. "There's still plenty of time to write your dang book!") Like any good engineer, having deadlines, metrics and a good plan is what will drive my behavior. By adding accountability to the formula, there is nowhere to hide. I'm asking for your participation. I'd like you to help me by being my accountability partner.

Here are the major milestones: May 17th, 2013 - Management System Architect Toolbox featuring 55+ tools & templates (eWorkbook) May 31st, 2013 - Management System Architect Toolbox (Hardcopy Workbook) June 28th, 2013 - Free Chapter available for download to our blog subscribers November 30th, 2013 - Completion of First Edition of The Management System Architect (eBook) December 21st, 2013 - The Management System Architect Bundle (Hardcopy Book & Workbook with download code for eBook & eWorkbook)

As our gift to you as a subscriber, here is a link my ASQ Conference slideshow: Http://www.acommoncenter.com/architect

Do you know someone else that may be interested in following my progress? Simply forward this blog post and ask them to subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/f0Swn

And the Winner is...

Congratulations Glenda Montgomery of Charleston, SC!

Glenda Montgomery


Glenda Montgomery Quality Assurance/Continuous Improvement/Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt/Project Management Professional Charleston, SC




Thank you everyone for following and submitting answers! We had a great time getting all the answers and hearing from everyone. Here are all the questions and answers:

1. Why can’t investigators start root cause analysis steps for the missing Malaysian Flight 370? The problem has not yet be defined... or identified. You have to know what the problem is before finding a root cause(s).

2. What does PDSA mean? Plan, Do, Study, Act

3. Which two international standards does ISO 19011 support? ISO 9000 Quality Management and ISO 14000 Environmental Management

4. ISO/TS 16949 is frequently referred to as “TS”. What does TS mean in TS 16949? Technical Standard

5. What does FMEA mean? Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

6. Complete this sentence. “A problem well stated is a problem half _____ .” - Charles F. Kettering Solved

7. Which SC-based automotive OEM just announced a $1 billion investment in expanding? BMW. You can read about here.

The Charleston Section of ASQ (American Society for Quality) will hold its annual quality conference on April 24th & 25th. The Lowcountry Quality Conference is a fun, local, 3-day event aimed at improving the quality of your products and/or services. The conference consists of a blend of technical workshops, 3 options for an in-depth tour of some of the best of Charleston, social networking events, and talks from some of the most profound quality practitioners in the world. This year features a dozen talks and/or workshops, 3 VIP Tours at the new Clemson SCE&G Wind Power Turbine Testing facility, Charleston Water Systems Treatment facility and Carnival Fantasy tour & luncheon. The Keynote will be given by Dr. George Benson, President of the College of Charleston and long-time quality supporter through his membership on the board of directors of The Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. This year's theme is Quality in Practice and will give attendees an opportunity to learn how quality practices can improve their organizations bottom line.

For more information about attending any portion of this years Lowcountry Quality Conference, visit http://asqcharleston.org or call 843.469.8279.

Quality Challenge: Day 7 Question

Quality Trivia Challenge Day 7 Question


Which SC-based automotive OEM just announced a $1 billion investment in expanding?

If you answer correctly you get one entry into the drawing for a ticket to ASQ Charleston's Lowcountry Quality Conference on April 24th & 25th. There are several ways to enter; leave a blog post comment, reply by email, leave a comment on Facebook, reply on Twitter or reply on LinkedIn. If you have the answer just get it to us. The full details of the challenge are below.

Good luck and we hop to see you at the Lowcountry Quality Conference!


Challenge Details

ASQ Charleston is hosting the Lowcountry Quality Conference on April 24th & 25th and we are proud to be participating this year (You can get more information on the conference here). With all the excitement around the conference for all the great speakers and fun tours, we want to give away a FREE ticket to the conference to one lucky person.

Lowcountry Quality Conference

Prize One Ticket the Lowcountry Quality Conference April 24-25, 2014 (A $179 Value)

Logistics One question a day. One entry per correct answer. You can answer over any platform – Blog Comment, Email reply, Twitter with #LCQ2014, Facebook Comment or LinkedIn Comment. Play along from Friday, April 4th to Thursday, April 10th. We'll announce the winner on Friday, April 11th. Happy Weekend!

Timeline Now: Get Excited! Friday, April 4th: We will announce, email, post, give you the first Quality trivia question. Then a new question each day after that until Thursday, April 10th. Friday, April 11th: We will announce the winner April 24th-25th: Enjoy the Lowcountry Quality Conference

The theme this year for ASQ Charleston's Lowcountry Quality Conference is Quality in Practice. This year the conference will include great speakers, workshops, exhibitors and 3 VIP Tours. The tours will be of the Clemson Wind Power Turbine Testing Cell, Charleston Water Systems Treatment Facility and Carnival Fantasy Cruise Ship.

You can check out all the details at the conference website.

Quality Challenge: Day 6 Question

Quality Trivia Challenge Day 6 Question


Complete this sentence. “A problem well stated is a problem half _____ .” - Charles F. Kettering

If you answer correctly you get one entry into the drawing for a ticket to ASQ Charleston's Lowcountry Quality Conference on April 24th & 25th. There are several ways to enter; leave a blog post comment, reply by email, leave a comment on Facebook, reply on Twitter or reply on LinkedIn. If you have the answer just get it to us. The full details of the challenge are below.

Good luck and we hop to see you at the Lowcountry Quality Conference!


Challenge Details

ASQ Charleston is hosting the Lowcountry Quality Conference on April 24th & 25th and we are proud to be participating this year (You can get more information on the conference here). With all the excitement around the conference for all the great speakers and fun tours, we want to give away a FREE ticket to the conference to one lucky person.

Lowcountry Quality Conference

Prize One Ticket the Lowcountry Quality Conference April 24-25, 2014 (A $179 Value)

Logistics One question a day. One entry per correct answer. You can answer over any platform – Blog Comment, Email reply, Twitter with #LCQ2014, Facebook Comment or LinkedIn Comment. Play along from Friday, April 4th to Thursday, April 10th. We'll announce the winner on Friday, April 11th. Happy Weekend!

Timeline Now: Get Excited! Friday, April 4th: We will announce, email, post, give you the first Quality trivia question. Then a new question each day after that until Thursday, April 10th. Friday, April 11th: We will announce the winner April 24th-25th: Enjoy the Lowcountry Quality Conference

The theme this year for ASQ Charleston's Lowcountry Quality Conference is Quality in Practice. This year the conference will include great speakers, workshops, exhibitors and 3 VIP Tours. The tours will be of the Clemson Wind Power Turbine Testing Cell, Charleston Water Systems Treatment Facility and Carnival Fantasy Cruise Ship.

You can check out all the details at the conference website.