The Power of Nothing, by Adela Crandell

Maybe it’s because of all those Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales ads. Or Cyber-Monday e-mails for 70% off all my purchases. Maybe it’s just my long commute and plenty of time to let my mind wander. Maybe my friend Bob is right, I have a mind stuck in beta wave mode. Anyways, I’ve been pondering zero lately. Yes, zero, as in 0, nothing, zed, nil, nada, zilch. Without zero, our lives would be sooo different. No 70% discount for one thing.

Counting seems natural. We must keep track of things: children, sheep, shoes, pennies, friends, enemies… If I have none of those, well, life is simple; nothing to keep track of, nothing to count. Counting starts with 1, not 0. We take zero for granted, but it wasn’t always so, especially in the western world. Stop and think a moment about trying to calculate that 70% sale using Roman numerals. Next to impossible. Wait, not next to. Impossible. Continue reading

December 13, Section Meeting: Global State of Quality and Global Quality Adventures (7:30 – 8:30 PM)

Prozessphasen CIP=Continuous Improvement Pro...

Prozessphasen CIP = Continuous Improvement Process PR = Process Reengineering (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ASQ is partnering with APQC to collect and study data on the global state of quality. APQC is a leader in research, benchmarking, process improvement developments and knowledge management. This project will aggregate data, trends, and analysis on the global state of quality. Download The ASQ Global State of Quality Research brochure for more information. ASQ is looking for partners to join in pioneering research and reporting on quality, performance excellence, and continuous improvement developments and opportunities around the world. To take part in the study, visit Initial results will be unveiled in May 2013, at ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement in Indianapolis.

Global Quality adventures: – a great presentation for seasoned globetrotters and armchair travelers alike! An amazing opportunity! Paul Borawski (ASQ CEO) and John Fowler (ASQ Director) have traveled the world, and they’ve seen the same quality problems everywhere, as well as some creative solutions.  These stories, this passion for quality, energy, wisdom, and enthusiasm will be contagious, inspiring, and re-energizing.  See a most invigorating blend of best practices that will inspire you with ideas for your business – from one story to the next. Motivational. Inspirational. WOW!

John T. Fowler joined ASQ Global as managing director in November 2010. Fowler will expand ASQ’s presence throughout the world, focusing on membership growth, business growth, and developing and implementing strategic and operating plans.  Fowler has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He has served in senior line management positions and as president and COO in both for profit and nonprofit organizations where he has focused on growth, global operations, and international expansion.

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 13th Pre-Clinic and Quality Celebration: ASQ – the Global View (5:30 – 6:00 PM)

Come celebrate quality on a global scale! In addition to presenting presents and door prizes, our speaker will present ASQ Global Quality.

John Fowler

John T. Fowler is managing director of ASQ Global with a vision and passion for Quality. He is expanding ASQ’s presence throughout the world, focusing on membership growth, business growth, and developing/implementing strategic and operating plans.  ASQ Global Quality advances ASQ’s mission to be the Global Voice of Quality. It supports quality on a global level. Its focus is building Quality enthusiasts from around the world.

Over the past decade, ASQ Global has expanded its presence in key markets, supporting members in more than 150 countries and operating offices in China, India, and Mexico. ASQ Global provides local access to professional development, certification, knowledge and information services, as well as to a membership community.  ASQ’s enthusiasm, interaction, and exchange of ideas is incredible. It represents varying ability and knowledge – as industry leaders, worldwide, to experience a higher level of inspiration and collaboration

Said John Fowler about this program, “I am pleased to join ASQ as it builds on the foundation that has been set up globally by the very committed member leaders and staff,” he continued, “I am honored to work with ASQ Global to make a positive impact on the lives of people worldwide.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

Highlighting People in Quality: Rainier Andres, by Adela Crandell Durkee

“Last year, we sent sheets to Cuba.  My wife’s grandmother had surgery, and the hospital had no sheets.”  Rainier Andres  (Ray) is an American citizen who came to these United States with his mother.  He has no brothers or sisters and his father is still in Cuba.   Ray reminds me of a documentary I saw last Fourth of July:  “Citizen U.S.A.:  A 50 State Road Trip,” by Alexandra Pelosi.  These new citizens brought tears to my eyes.

Ray was a teenager when he came to America, he was too naïve, or perhaps too filled with machismo to understand the dangers.   Ray considered the trip a chance for high adventure.    Two and a half days, in a hand-made raft, Ray and his mother journeyed from Havana to Miami.  After living in Miami for a month, they moved to New Jersey to live with an aunt.  Ray never liked the cold weather in New Jersey, so as soon as he could, he moved back to the year-round warmth.

“Cuba used to be a rich country:  sugar cane, tobacco, coffee.  Now it’s like the Dawn of the Dead.  The refineries are all dead, all the machinery is old, and the buildings are old.  Everything is dead.  It is really sad.”  Ray’s visit to Cuba in 2005 left a lasting impression.

I met Ray in Orlando.  Right away, I recognized him as a positive, helpful fellow.   Continue reading

ISO Meeting Minutes for Nov, 1212

Minutes of November ISO Support Group Meeting

Six members attended the meeting on November 1, 2012 at the Adinas in Vernon Hills. In attendance were Dave Spengler, Bill Sherman, Jan Agostinelli, Regina Fullen, Alice Chang, and Dave Taylor.

We Met at Adinas, in Vernon Hills. We had a discussion and the consensus was we would continue to meet there in the foreseeable future.

We read ISO 19011:2011 Guideline for auditing Management Systems, and finished the main body of the guidelines.. We then rated the sections of the standard as to how effective it would be in providing a good audit. The ratings are recorded by Dave Spengler and are shown elsewhere in this newsletter. Next month we will continue to review the annexes to the guidelines.

In the Round Robin:

Bill Sherman has been certified to Level one FDA auditor. Congratulations!

Dave Spengler is currently working on compliance to brazing standards. He is also revising the BOM requirements for Special Processes.

Regina has successfully passed the Certified Manager of Quality exam. Also Congratulations!

We will review the annexes to the guidelines of ISO 19011:2011 Guideline for auditing Management Systems. The meetings will be held at Adinas on Route 45, just SE of Dover Straits. Phone (847-918-9060)

As always, a pleasantly tasty meal will be served for $5.00 (free for members searching for a position), the balance being funded by ASQ section 1212 Northeast Illinois. The public is always invited and we welcome your questions about ISO or other standards. Let me know if you have particular subjects to discuss. Contact Dave Taylor at if you have any questions or need directions.

Dave Taylor

ISO Support Group Minutes by Dave Taylor

Five members attended the meeting on October 4, 2012:  Dave Spengler, Bill Sherman, Jan Agostinelli, Alice Chang, Peter Larson and Dave Taylor.

We Met at Adinas, in Vernon Hills, which proved a good location. They had live music playing, but would not have this going forward.

Continuing our study of ISO 19011 2011 Guideline for auditing Management Systems, we reviewed Section 7 Competence and Evaluation of Auditors, 7.1 General and 7.2 Determining Auditor Competence. We rated the sections of the standard on how effective it would be in providing a good audit. The ratings are recorded by Dave Spengler.

Bill Sherman is doing “road trips” in downstate Illinois. One of the problem he experiences is that some of the locations registered with the FDA are closed, but the FDA records still have them on the roster.

Dave Spengler is exploring future options with his employer as he is nearing retirement. Right now he is doing contract review and is revising the database of active parts.

Dave Taylor reported an audit conducted at an electronics manufacturer in Palatine.

Our next two meetings will be held at 6:00 on Thursday Nov. 1 and Dec. 6 2012. We will continue our study of ISO 19011:2011 Guideline for auditing Management Systems. The November meeting will be held at Adinas on Route 45, just SE of Dover Straits. Phone (847-918-9060)

As always, a pleasurably yummy meal will be served for $5.00 (free for members searching for a position), the balance being funded by ASQ section 1212 Northeast Illinois. The public is always invited and we welcome your questions about ISO or other standards. Let me know if you have particular subjects to discuss. Contact Dave Taylor at if you have any questions or need directions.

Enhanced by Zemanta

November 15, 2012 Education Program: Competitiveness

Pre-Meeting Clinic (5:30 – 6:00 PM):  Competitiveness Part 1

Presented by Jack Dye

Help your businesses compete in the growing global marketplace. Ensure you have access to international markets, protection, and assistance if you have been adversely affected by imports. Keep abreast of competitiveness tools, techniques and initiatives including numerous Federal and State programs and resources, including grants and matching funds, currently available to help your company succeed. U.S. Department of Commerce – Programs helping all – including small & medium-sized enterprises: The U.S. Department of Commerce is committed to strengthening the international economic position of the United States and developing a public policy environment that advances U.S. competitiveness at home and abroad. Since it’s inception in 1903, the Department’s mission has been “to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce” of the United States by participating with other Government agencies in the creation of national policy, through the President’s Cabinet and its subdivisions; promoting and assisting international trade.  The Department has many bureaus and administrations that work together in securing the prosperity of U.S. companies and ensuring that we remain competitive in today’s global economy. The International Trade Administration: (ITA) is here to help your U.S. businesses participate fully in the growing global marketplace. It provides practical information to help you select your markets and products and ensuring that you have access to international markets as required by our trade agreements and safeguard you from unfair competition from dumped and subsidized imports.  The International Trade Administration: (ITA) is here to help your U.S. businesses participate fully in the growing global marketplace. It provides practical information to help you select your markets and products and ensuring that you have access to international markets as required by our trade agreements and safeguard you from unfair competition from dumped and subsidized imports.  The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program (TAA) for firms is a U.S. Department of Commerce program designed for manufacturers and service firms adversely affected by imports. This program offers up to $75,000 in cost-sharing funds for projects implemented to improve the business.  Applied Strategies International, Ltd (ASI) is a non-profit organization contracted to administer the program. Currently ASI has 141 active manufacturing clients receiving assistance, and ASI has assisted over 850 companies in various industries since it began administering the program.

Jack Dye

Jack Dye is Chief Engineer and Senior Program Manager at Applied Strategies International, Ltd. He has a B.S. Engineering from Michigan State University, Cognate in Business, Marketing, & Supply Chain Management. M.B.A. with distinction from DePaul University, Concentrations in Finance, Strategy, Execution, & Valuation. Previous career experience in automotive engineering & manufacturing, telecommunication engineering, and utility consulting.

Section Meeting  (7:30 – 8:30 PM): Competitiveness Part 2

Presented by Tom Babin and John Schaefer

Keep abreast of competitiveness tools, techniques and initiatives including numerous Federal and State programs and resources currently available to help you from Department of Commerce programs as well as other interagency programs. Made in America: The Next-Generation of Innovations,, manufacturing is a matter of fundamental importance to the economic strength and national security of the United States. More than any other industry, a globally competitive manufacturing sector translates inventions, research discoveries, and new ideas into better or novel products or processes. To be sure, there are many interrelated elements of an innovation ecosystem…but without manufacturing, the economy-building, job-creating power of innovation fades…Why Focus on Advanced Manufacturing: Manufacturing stands on the threshold of a major transformation. From the digitization of equipment, processes, and organizations to three-dimensional printing (or additive manufacturing) to materials with custom-designed properties, a whole host new design, production, and business capabilities are opening the way to new types of manufacturing-referred to, collectively, as advanced manufacturing. Advanced manufacturing entails more than making high-tech products. It also includes using new, often leading-edge machines and processes to make products that are unique, better, or even cheaper. Advanced manufacturing also facilitates rapid integration of process improvements, readily permits changes in design, such as new part features or substitute materials, and accommodates customization and cost-effective low-volume production. In advanced manufacturing, product innovation and process innovation are different sides of the same coin. Scientific discoveries, new ideas, and novel engineering approaches can be converted quickly into the seeds of new products and processes. Technology-intensive and dynamic, advanced manufacturing enterprises require high-skilled workers to perform at high levels and compete globally. Advanced manufacturing provides the path forward to revitalizing U.S. leadership in manufacturing, and will best support economic productivity and ongoing knowledge production and innovation in the Nation. The Nation’s long-term ability to innovate and compete in the global economy greatly benefits from co-location of manufacturing and manufacturing-related R&D activities in the United States. The loss of these activities will undermine our capacity to invent, innovate, and compete in global markets.

The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a catalyst for strengthening American manufacturing – accelerating its ongoing transformation into a more efficient and powerful engine of innovation driving economic growth and job creation. “MEP Centers make it possible for even the smallest firms to tap top-level manufacturing and business specialists. If you are in manufacturing, don’t miss this great resource.” 100 Best Resources for Small Business. Be aware of all the breadth of programs available, get access to SBA, export assistance, banks, trade organizations, and so many other kinds of resources that can help you grow your business. MEP centers are a key component in the U.S. manufacturing infrastructure. MEP’s mission is to provide small and medium-sized manufacturers with the help they need to succeed. MEP centers in every state work directly with local manufacturers to provide expertise and solutions tailored to each company’s critical needs. These are the people guiding and instructing U.S. companies on how to excel at manufacturing. Improve your operational excellence and competitive strategy:  Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC). IMEC was established in 1996 to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturing firms. A non-profit economic development organization, IMEC is funded in part by the National Institute of Standards and Technology – Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and by fees for services paid by Illinois manufacturers. View IMEC Authored Content: From strategy white papers to capabilities profiles and success story newsletters, IMEC is a rich source of information for manufacturers looking to gain an edge on the competition. Content Partnerships with leading manufacturing publications provide Illinois manufacturers with access to best practices, tips and industry trends. Experienced staff based at eleven office locations throughout Illinois provide hands-on technical assistance and consulting services to help manufacturers innovate, contain manufacturing costs, streamline processes, and increase profits. They roll up their sleeves and get to know all facets of the business, providing solutions in areas ranging from process optimization to product innovation, quality improvement to technology integration. IMEC draws on the resources and capabilities of a network of manufacturing service providers. Alliances with state and national economic development programs, higher education institutions, specialty service providers, and the private sector ensure that IMEC is able to address critical manufacturing needs without duplication of effort. And, as part of a national system, IMEC is able to leverage the expertise of a field network of 2,000 manufacturing advisors from over 400 MEP centers. Our speakers, Manufacturing Specialist Dr. Babin and Business Development Specialist John Schaefer, will inform us about some of the Federal and State initiatives and resources available.

Dr. Thomas Babin

Tom Babin, IMEC team Manufacturing Specialist, is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt with a successful background of designing and implementing product and process improvements in highly competitive environments — domestic and international. Especially skillful at driving continuous improvements in efficiency, productivity, quality and reliability. Proven ability to identify, analyze and solve complex problems — designing workable strategies and leading successful solutions from concept to completion. Successful background of innovative leadership, project management, implementing leading-edge technology, and delivering excellent products on time and under budget — exceeding requirements and expectations. Tom is based in the Chicagoland region and works as part of high performance service delivery teams, drawing upon IMEC’s extensive state and national resources to help companies implement actions to improve their productivity and competitiveness. Tom has over 20 years of experience in manufacturing, product development, and service offering development in the telecommunications industry. He has held positions of increasing responsibility from staff engineer to director/fellow of the technical staff. He was Past Director, Motorola Solutions and earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

John Schaefer

As a member of the IMEC team responsible for expanding business in the Chicago region, John develops relationships with area manufacturers, assesses their challenges as well as opportunities, and offers IMEC’s strategy, technology, and efficiency solutions to help them become more profitable and competitive. John has over 18 years of manufacturing management experience with responsibilities that included productivity and quality improvement programs, new product and new process design, supply chain development, inventory controls, facilities and facility planning, engineering, and OSHA / Health Life Safety. Immediately prior to joining IMEC, John was an independent consultant providing AEC and Energy Conservation services to commercial organizations. John earned a B.A. from Governors State University after undergraduate studies at Loyola University. His post-graduate education and training include Industrial Engineering, Computer Aided Drafting & Design, Architecture and Project Management. John is a Past Adjunct Instructor and is based out of the University of Illinois Chicago, Center for Advanced Design Research and Exploration (CADRE).

Enhanced by Zemanta

Rocky Mountain Quality Conference 2013

 Date:              February 6-9, 2013

Location:      Arvada Center for the Performing Arts

                        6901 Wadsworth Blvd., Denver Colorado 80003

Earn a Minimum of 3.0 RUs!

25% Discount for Site and Enterprise Members

Special Discounts for Non-Profit and Government

 How to Raise Quality Awareness in a Down Economy

Featured Speakers Include: Volvo, CDOT, Covidien, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Minitab, SSD Global Solutions, QI Macros and Top Consulting Firms

Key Note Speakers

Joseph A. De Feo, President, The Juran Institute

Forrest W. Breyfogle III, President, Smarter Solutions, Inc. 

Six Informative Tracks

Leadership Development

Quality Tools

Product/Service Innovations

Healthcare/Medical Device/Biotech

Lean Government

Certification Preparation and Refresher Workshops

                All ASQ Tests are Available!

 Pre/Post Conference Opportunities (includes Lunch)
Gain additional RUs!

 Create-Learning Inc.

High Performance Quality Teams

ASQ Lean Enterprise Division Workshop

Sharpen your Lean Skills

System Service & Delivery, Inc. SSD Global Solutions
How the ISO 13053 for Six Sigma is Surprisingly “Lean”

The Best Priced ASQ Conference for 2013!

Conference Price Includes Meals, Materials and Networking Events

For Complete Details Visit:


Sponsorship Opportunities are Available 

October 18, 2012 Section Meeting: Innovation!

Presentation 1: Innovation EcoSystem, By William Beach

In today’s economy, innovation is more important than ever to survive and thrive. William Beach  director of the Heritage Foundation (a research and educational institution —a think tank) presents information from the Center for Policy Innovation (Heritage’s “think tank within a think tank”).  Units within creative companies and specific institutions that develop breakthrough ideas is the model for The Center for Policy Innovation. William Beach will focus on advancements, ideas, tools, and key forces needed to create an Innovation Ecosystem–an environment that encourages and promotes innovation. He will give an educational and inspirational synthesis of recent Innovation data, reports, and conferences/events in plain English! He will be highlighting research projects and recent findings, effective strategic planning and critical strategic goals, as well as the principles that promote innovation. Beach will comment on how today’s public policy problems affect/threaten innovation today and tomorrow. So, whether you’re a top-level executive or a person that wants your department or group to succeed, this will help you gain the latest innovation insights, strategies, and tools to position yourself for success!

Bill Beach

William Beach works for the Heritage Foundation, where he was inaugurated in April 2012 as Lazof Family Fellow. He is the think tank’s chief “number cruncher,” speaker/host for many conferences/events. Beach helps build analytical models as well as acquires them. Under Beach’s leadership, Heritage acquired one of the largest collections of privately held databases in the United States, as well as a variety of peer-reviewed analytical models. Together, these acquisitions allow the Center for Data Analysis (CDA) to produce some of the most sophisticated calculations done anywhere in the world. Because of his ability to distill complicated data into plain language with real-world examples, Beach is a reliable source for news reporters and a frequent guest on television and radio talk shows. He serves on the Economics Advisory Panel for ABC News.

Prior to joining Heritage in 1995, Beach held a variety of posts in the public, private and academic sectors. He served as a litigation economist with two Kansas City, Mo., law firms Campbell & Bysfield and Watson, Ess, Marshall & Enggas where he specialized in analyzing how antitrust legal remedies would alter product pricing and availability. Later, as an economist for Missouri’s Office of Budget and Planning, he designed and managed the state’s econometric model and advised the governor on revenue and economic issues. After a stint in the corporate headquarters of Sprint United Inc., Beach moved to the Washington, D.C., area to serve as president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. A graduate of Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., Beach also holds a master’s degree in history and economics from the University of Missouri, Columbia.  He is a visiting fellow at Buckingham University in Great Britain.

Presentation 2:  The Innovation Solution:  Making Innovation More Pervasive, Predictable, and Profitable, By Praveen Gupta

While others talk about the known innovation problem, The Innovation Solution offers a well-researched, logical, and holistic understanding of the innovation process, taught for many years at several colleges and Universities. The 21st-century requires 21st-century solutions. In his presentation, Praveen Gupta provides an easy-to-understand powerful innovation framework for anyone interested in learning about innovation and striving for success at the personal or organizational level. More than that, it demonstrates that innovation skills can be taught and learned for pursuing one’s passion and growth.  Gupta has recognized that Innovation is a learned skill, and he has applied Einstein’s revolutionary work correlating innovation as a function of ones speed of thought to develop his overall framework. Known as Breakthrough Innovation (or Brinnovation), this framework has joined strategies for success, the rule of two, management techniques, measures, return on innovation, and a curriculum to jumpstart an innovation initiative and the powerful TEDOC method (Target, Explore, Develop, Optimize, and Commercialize). Gupta has designed the Brinnovation framework to make innovation more pervasive, predictable, and profitable.

Praveen Gupta

Praveen Gupta is the author of several books including Business Innovation in the 21st Century, The Innovation Solution, A Complete and Balanced Service Scorecard, and Stat Free Six Sigma. Praveen has worked at Motorola in pioneering the Six Sigma deployment method, and taught professionals worldwide. Praveen has done extensive work in teaching and achieving excellence, and is presently focused on teaching and deploying innovation. Praveen has written about 200 monthly columns on Excellence and on innovation.  Praveen is the Director of the Center for Innovation Science and Applications (CISA) at the Illinois Institute of Technology (a collaboration between industry and academia to further develop the science of innovation with global participation).

Praveen taught Operations Management at DePaul University’s MBA program. He teaches Business Innovation at Illinois Institute  pf Technology (IIT) and University of Illinois, Chicago. Besides teaching innovation, Praveen is president of Accelper Consulting (, a Management Consulting firm helping organizations achieve profitable growth through excellence and innovation. He has consulted with about 100 Start Ups to Fortune 100 companies.  Praveen often speaks at conferences or meetings internationally on the topics of Six Sigma, Process Excellence, Business Scorecard, and Business Innovation. He is the founding editor of the International Journal of Innovation Science launched in February 2009, and founding Chair of Business Innovation Conference starting since 2008.

Enhanced by Zemanta