Quality Mailbag: USE TOOLS WISELY

September 1, 2003
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Use tools wisely.

Dear Editor,

We are now using the communication link that drives the engine that is driving the ride of which you spoke in May 2003 (Get Off This Ride, p. 6). I have been a part of the manufacturing industry segment of business since 1961. It just so happens that I am in the midst of completing a customer survey and your question begged me to answer before I turned another page. My survey shows that those distributors who don’t see our company in good light are those that say all they want is shorter lead-times and lower prices. My response is, “What will you sell tomorrow so I can build it today?”

When I began this journey many years ago, education, journeyman training, step-by-step accountability and responsibility, reviews, research and such, all went in the investment of the work force. Not so today. Everything we need to know to manage our business and life is only a keystroke away. Because we are not really communicating with the developer of the data at hand, only two answers or options are available to us: accept it or reject it. It becomes difficult to sort out the good information from all the clutter. The systems and technology we have today are a godsend to our economy. I estimate my contributions to my employer are three or four times greater than 10 to 12 years ago. However, I seldom removed the thought process before I made business decisions. I believe many decision makers in our country are short cutting “think” time to meet today’s market demands. We have sharper tools today. Use them wisely like a journeyman, and we can rebuild our nation and industry.

Terry Newman

Quality Assurance Manager

HY-PRO Corp.

Fishers, IN

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Charles J. Hellier has been active in the technology of nondestructive testing and related quality and inspection fields since 1957. Here he talks with Quality's managing editor, Michelle Bangert, about the importance of training.
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