Friday, November 4, 2016

ASQ Raleigh Members Volunteer at Food Bank

ASQ Raleigh Members Prepare to Sort Eggs

Since 2005, members of ASQ Raleigh have volunteered on Saturday mornings once a month to support the Food Bank of Central and Eastern Carolina.

Members meet at 9 AM for sign in and Food Bank staff instruction. Jobs are completed assembly line style to prepare food for distribution from a central warehouse to smaller facilities.

The distribution of fruits and vegetables are an important Food Bank initiative. These foods are received in bulk and sorted into family-sized containers by volunteers. ASQ Raleigh members have processed eggs, grape tomatoes, potatoes and beans.

For each Food Bank event, 8-12 members sign up on ASQ Raleigh's Eventbrite post committing to work on a specific Saturday morning. Other social and employer groups from the  Raleigh-Durham area as well as individual volunteers gather on the loading dock and are given instructions. The Food Bank staff is well prepared for the volunteers, and massive amounts of food are handled in the short 3-hour shift. At the end of the work shift, Food Bank staff calculate the work completed in terms of meals. Volunteers leave feeling good for their contribution in helping the area's hungry population.

Volunteers Listen to Instructions from Food Bank Staff

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern Carolina was established in 1980. The food warehouses where ASQ Members volunteer support sister agencies and smaller distribution centers in a network covering 34 North Carolina counties to disburse food as quickly and efficiently as possible. In the 2014-2015 fiscal year 57.2 million pounds of food and non-food supplies were distributed.

In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused massive flooding in North Carolina. Many people had to leave their homes. At the time of this writing, many homes are still uninhabitable. The food needs of Eastern North Carolina are greater than usual because of the devastation from this natural disaster. Donated groceries are sorted into family boxes for flood victims. Extra sessions at the Food Bank are helping. In 2 hours, 9 volunteers and staff packed the equivalent of 3368 meals.

Click here for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern Carolina website

This article was written for posting on ASQ's Social Responsibility Technical Committee's LinkedIn page.


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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Book Review: Eat to Cheat Dementia

Eat to Cheat Dementia by Ngaire Hobbins explains the effect of diet and exercise on dementia. Dementia is the abnormal decline in thinking processes. Alzheimer's disease is a common type of dementia.

Neurotransmitters form a chemical communication pathway between nerve cells. The brain's system of neurotransmitters is unique and manufactured in the brain. The required components of amino acids (proteins), vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids must be available for assembly. Thus the influence of diet on the brain is critical.

Muscles play an important part in supplying the brain with fuel. When we sleep or between meals, the brain still requires fuel to run the body. Muscles serve as a reservoir for this fuel (proteins). As we age, the condition of our muscles becomes critical. Bouncing back and resuming exercise after illness becomes even more important.

Blood Flow
The bloodstream carries nutrients and waste materials throughout the body. Any blood flow restriction can affect brain health. Some factors are: high cholesterol, obesity, and high blood pressure. Dietary substances like alcohol and caffeine also affect blood flow.

This book offers advice and explanations for those wishing to stack the deck against a dementia diagnosis as well as those seeking a better lifestyle with that diagnosis. In her own words, Ngaire Hobbins provides an easy read from "scientific gobbledygook." This book has a wealth of helpful information and I highly recommend it.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Voice of the Customer

ASQ's Quality Mission

The customer is the driving force of organizations. Your customer may be a manufacturing plant half way around the world or a department down the hall. Nevertheless, without customers to require goods or services, organizations would not exist.

The Voice of the Customer or VOC is the customer’s requirements for goods or services. It is their description of what they need. It is of huge importance. The VOC should be used by the quality professional to establish quality parameters within which to produce the goods or services.

Use face-to-face meetings to gather VOC standards

The best way to gather Voice of the Customer standards is through face-to-face meetings followed up by written and verified specifications. In my experience, the earlier the quality professional is involved in communication with the customer, the better. A relationship is built so an exchange of quality data can flow back and forth. This foundation of trust and professionalism creates a basis for quality improvement and superior products and services.

Part of this article appeared in ASQ's April 2016 Roundtable discussion.
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Monday, February 29, 2016

Use Baldrige Performance Excellence Program to Meet ISO 9001:2015 Challenges

Terry Burns Of Burns & Associates of Richmond, Virginia recently presented "What's all the fuss about ISO 9001:2015?" to ASQ Raleigh.

Mr. Burns made a case for using the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program for meeting the new ISO 9001:2015 requirements. The Baldrige Excellence Builder is available in a free download here.

The Baldrige documents can offer direction in understanding the new standard by offering explanations of similar clauses.

ISO certified organizations have 3 years to transition to the new 2015 standard. Some of the changes are:

  • New Annex SL Format

  • 10 Clauses (from 8)

  • More easily lines up with other standards

  • "Risk-based" language replaces "preventative action"

  • Inclusion of Planning to achieve quality objectives

  • New Quality System Management model (Leadership is center)

  • Services added to Products (before it was implied)

  • Quality Manual no longer required (with some exceptions)

  • Audit top management to insure hands on involvement - drive quality management to top levels

  • Process focused

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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Quality Improvement Blog: 5 Most Read Articles of 2015

In order of popularity, the most read articles of 2015 (with links) are:

  1. Ways I Use Lean Thinking at Home

  2. 7 Practical Ways I Use Internet Technology at Home

  3. Communication from 3 Sources Encourages Studies in STEM Subjects

  4. Managing the Quality of Internet-linked Products

  5. How Company Culture Relates to Quality

I look forward to writing more articles on the subject of Quality Improvement. ASQ's Influential Voices program is changing, and they will not be assigning monthly article topics. I'll draw inspiration for future articles from local chapter activities and workplace situations. Thanks for reading my articles.

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Credits: Graphics produced by the author using Adobe Illustrator
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