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Congratulations to the Amatec Micro-Poise Team!

Amatec Micro-Poise (Streetsboro, Ohio) – ISO 9001:2015 Certified

Micro-Poise Measurement Systems (a business unit of Amatec, Inc.) provides a complete line of high performance production and laboratory equipment used by manufactures globally to meet their test, measurement and inspection requirements.  This equipment allows customers in the Tire, Wheel, and Automotive industries to assess and correct the balance, uniformity and geometry of tires, wheels, tire & wheels assemblies, power train components, and other products. 

Recognizing the value of a solid quality management system, Amatec Micro-Poise began working with simpleQuE consultant, Jen Briese in March 2018 to implement ISO 9001. By July they passed their certification audit with Smithers Quality Assessments with no findings.  It’s evident this team works hard to provide exceptional craftsmanship with every machine they build.  And by designing and manufacturing quality products, they will always strive to exceed their customers’ expectations.

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simpleQuE Spotlight – Karen Spencer

Allow us to introduce one of our accomplished consultants, Karen Spencer. She has been with simpleQuE for nearly 2 years and continues to be an asset to the company. Read on to discover Karen’s interests, achievements, and goals.

What is your position and what do you do for simpleQuE?
I am a consultant, auditor and trainer for simpleQuE, as well as a lead auditor in ISO 9001, AS9100, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. I am also an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor.

What attracted you to simpleQuE.
My husband has worked with them for many years. After going through the intense interview process I decided that I wanted to pursue a career with them. I like that they are on Facebook and LinkedIn.

What is your favorite part of the day?
I am a morning person. I love that first cup of coffee in the morning and take that time to review my plan for the day.

What was your first job?
My very first job was when I was sixteen and worked at a factory doing inspection after school.  

Have you met someone famous or interesting to you?
I love art so when I had the opportunity to meet Peter Max I jumped at the opportunity.

Where did you go to college?
I graduated with honors from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI

Where is your hometown?
Belvidere Il

What is one thing you’d love to do or have?
I am living life to the fullest and enjoying visiting many places with my job and on vacation. My husband and I work hard and we pick places to travel and plan for it. We just did a cruise to Alaska this year and it was truly a beautiful place. Everyone should see a glacier.

What is your hidden talent?
I love to rehab houses. I like to take an ugly house and make it beautiful. My husband and I have flipped about 8 houses. We bought our existing house to flip but we fell in love with it and we are still here.

What is your favorite sports team?
Chicago Bulls and of course the Cubbies

Client satisfaction is pinnacle to your background. What are your client-focused approaches to simpleQuE?
When I am teaching a class I adjust my approach to the weakest person in the class. We may have to work on a workshop longer than expected but when I am done the students know what they are doing. When I am auditing or consulting I take the approach that everything will not work for everyone. I adjust to what the client needs to have in pace to be successful. I also want to make sure that it is value added for the client.

What advice would you give to a new college graduate entering the technology industry?
Try to be an intern at a company that you want to work at. Give it your all and don’t give up. It will be a tough road but you can do it.

Explain how simpleQuE is different from their competition.
SimpleQuE is amazing and they want all of the employees/consultants to succeed. They had an symposium for all of the team. It was really nice to meet the team face to face.

How would other people describe you in three words?
Helpful, kind, and considerate.


Coming Soon: Core Tools – an International Collaboration – By Kim Roan

On the heels of the revision of TS 16949 to IATF 16949 the AIAG (USA) and VDA-QMC (Germany) are collaborating to improve the automotive Core Tools.  These Core Tools are the building blocks of an effective quality management system and include Advanced Product Quality Planning & Control Plan (APQP), Production Part Approval Process (PPAP), Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Measurement System Analysis (MSA), and Statistical Process Control (SPC). Their starting point, aimed at improving risk assessment automotive industry wide, is the FMEA manual.

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) was established in 1982 and the German Industry Automotive Assn. (VDA-QMC) in 1997.  Each organization serves as the IATF oversite office in their respective country. Both organizations serve the automotive industry by standardizing publications for the industry and by providing automotive industry training.

Currently suppliers to both North American and German OEMs are required to use different FMEA rating tables for severity, occurrence, and detection.  This has created confusion and related frustration for both suppliers and OEMs. The primary goal of the current collaboration is to revise the rating tables to provide a common rating scale for risk accepted by all German and North American OEMs.  The secondary goal is to update the manual in areas that need revision to support risk analysis and harmonize the documents overall. This is a great opportunity to combine the strengths from each FMEA manual with improved risk assessment tools that will support the advancing technology of the automotive industry.

The targeted release of the revised FMEA manual is December 2018 followed by OEM release of their customer specific requirements to support the changes.  AIAG and VDA-QMC plan further collaboration to continue harmonization and update of all automotive core tools manuals. These tools have proved so useful that they have also been adopted by the aerospace and defense manufacturing sectors. SimpleQuE has been preparing for the changes and developing the training needed for companies to implement the updated FMEA requirements.  Let our automotive experts partner with you as you roll out your FMEA upgrades to meet automotive customer demand and take your FMEA risk analysis to a higher level.

About the author:  Kim Roan has completed her undergrad in Mechanical Engineering and her Master’s in Psychology with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership.  Kim is a simpleQuE consultant with over 20 years automotive industry experience with 11 years working for a German automotive supplier in the USA and experience supplying OEMs in North America, Germany and Asia across the years of her career.


Congratulations to Dana Incorporated!

With sites in 33 countries on six continents, Dana Incorporated is positioned to serve customers worldwide. In 2016, Dana was named to Forbes’ List of America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies.  That kind of trust and quality has earned Dana an impressive list of automotive customers including Ford, FCA, Renault-Nissan, GM and Toyota. That’s why IATF 16949 quality management system certification is so important to automotive suppliers like Dana and required by the OEMs.  SimpleQuE has consulted with multiple Dana sites in the U.S. to prepare them to successfully transition from the old standard to the new and we’re very proud of their success. Congratulations to Dana, Inc. and their Quality Teams who have an important role in making our vehicles reliable and safe!

Dana, Inc – Gordonsville, TN
From left:  simpleQuE Operations Manager, Barb Dodson and Dana Quality Team – Will Lanham, Jose Arras, Guy Buckner, Debbie Oldham, Shannon White, John Billingsley

Dana, Inc – Louisville, KY
From left:  Jason Van Over, Quality Manager; Natalie Sheflyand, simpleQuE Consultant;  Tim McDevitt, Plant Manager

Dana, Inc – Dry Ridge, KY
From left:  Todd Perry, Production Manager; Greg White, Quality Manager; Natalie Sheflyand, simpleQuE Consultant; Carol Locke, QE – Audit Lead; Sara Meyer, QE; Mike Hirsch, Plant Manager; Frankie Wuebbling, Quality Team Leader



AS91XX: 2016 Certification Body Auditor Non-Conformances

SimpleQuE President, Jim Lee, recently attended the joint meetings of the SAE G-14 including Americas Aerospace Quality Standards Committee (AAQSC) and Americas Aerospace Quality Group (AAQG) in New Orleans.  The summit provides access to the committees that create the aerospace standards and guidelines with the high level players in the industry including Space and Defense.

Of interest to many companies are Certification Body audits and the areas where most non-conformances are written.  The Traditional NC chart on the left shows the typical audit non-conformances certification body auditors are finding with the AS9100, AS110 and AS9120 audits to the new standards. These are the top 10 majors and minor findings by clause.  The right side displays the high risk and concern areas that NASA, DCMA, FAA, and the Original Equipment Manufacturers (i.e. Boeing, GE, Rolls Royce, Northrup, Raytheon) see as supplier problem areas.

The Risk Area chart shows that the certification body auditors are writing fewer findings against these problem areas affecting the major customers.  However, all of these concern areas have new requirements in the new AS standards.  Jim Lee advises, “It should be noted that certification bodies are training their AS auditors to focus on these industry identified risk areas.  It is not yet clear whether the AS suppliers were well prepared for these new requirements, or the certification body auditors were not auditing as deeply or effectively against these new requirements.  Be prepared for greater focus and scrutiny on future AS audits in these areas.”


Congratulations to MPC, Inc and Knight Ergonomics!

Recognizing quality and the teams of two simpleQuE clients who share news of their successful certification.
MPC, Inc. (Walworth, WI + 7 sites) – IATF 16949:2016 Certified
From left:  Sommer Gramly – Quality Engineer, Alexis VanVleet – Quality Systems Coordinator, April Keller – APQP Engineer, Jay Graveen – Corporate Quality Manager, Steve Leathers – Plant Manager Bldg #2, Not pictured:  Tracy Apfel – Internal Audit Administrator
Knight Ergonomics & Assembly Systems, Inc. (Brecksville, OH) – ISO 9001:2015 Certified
Team Knight Ergonomics

SimpleQuE Associate Spotlight – Megan Genet

We are thrilled to highlight one of our newest team members, Megan Genet, a Project Manager here at simpleQuE. Read on to get to know more about Megan’s background, interests, and favorite things about working at simpleQuE.

What is your position and what do you do for simpleQuE?
My career at SimpleQuE is Project Manager. My main focus is to monitor and manage our many consulting projects.

How long have you worked for simpleQuE?
I have been working at simpleQuE for five months.

What do you like most about working for simpleQuE?
The team! We are all very supportive of each other and we often come together to share ideas. Each one of us brings something special to the company.  

What is your favorite QMS standard and why?
I’ve studied the ISO/TS and now IATF over the past six years. I really respect the standard and I know the hard work and determination a client must put into having a automotive certificate.

What attracted you to simpleQuE?
The thought of helping companies start their quality systems and providing them the confidence to get it done made me feel like I could make a difference.

What is your favorite part of the day?
I love the morning. All is still quiet and I love to sip my coffee and prepare for my day.

What was your first job?
At 16 I started at a local outdoor lighting manufacturer. They really took me under their wing and through the 13 years I was there I was able to experience every aspect of a manufacturing business. I held many different roles which I believe gave me a good stepping stone into a career in quality.

What is your hometown?
I was born and raised in Norton, Ohio and now I raise my family in the same town.

What is your favorite sports team?
I always root for the home team! Go Cavs, Indians and Browns.

If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?
I would have to say teleportation because I would have the ability to do what I want, when I want. If I want the best pasta I can go to Italy, if it’s Winter in Ohio I can pop over to a beach in the Bahamas, I’m bored on a Saturday I can shoot down to Disney World.

Thinking back over your career, what is the professional accomplishment you are most proud of achieving and why?
Achieving my lead ISO 9001:2015 certification was the highlight of my career. The years I spent in quality and all the studying of the standard lead me to that accomplishment.

Client satisfaction is pinnacle to your background. What are your client-focused approaches to simpleQuE?
In the world of technology, I still believe person to person conversation is key to customer service. I like to pick up the phone and speak to people. By doing so you grow a great working relationships with your customers.
 
Explain how simpleQuE is different from their competition.
Our name says it all “simple”. SimpleQuE strives for simplicity, efficiency and sustained value when approaching a client’s system.

How would other people describe you in three words?
Helpful, determined, and funny.


What happens if a company drops their ISO/TS 16949 certification, but still wants to maintain their automotive customers?

Question mark heap on table concept for confusion, question or solution

That’s a question that some automotive suppliers are facing as they weigh the various costs and options of meeting the requirements of the new IATF standard. Deanne Sparr, simpleQuE’s Vice President, has discussed this area of concern with a variety of companies who don’t feel they are ready to transition.  Some companies in this situation that kept the IATF scope and continued with the certification audit, under the new IATF Rules, found that the auditor is not permitted to stop the audit and is allowed to write as many findings as needed.  This resulted in IATF audits having over 30+ findings that all then need resolved within 90 days.

Deanne explains, “In this situation, it would be preferable to have an assessment to ISO 9001:2015 only.  By achieving ISO 9001:2015 with this upgrade, you will be meeting the minimum requirements of IATF (clause 8.4.2.3) so customers can continue to source to you.  On the other hand, with any major findings from an IATF audit, your status in the automotive supplier database may affect the ability of automotive customers to source to you during that time.”

To satisfy a company’s automotive customers, Deanne recommends implementing MAQMSR.  This is the Minimum Automotive Quality Management System Requirements for sub-tier suppliers.  It was written by FCA and Ford and is permitted as part of development toward IATF certification with the IATF mandating customers’ approval. (Refer to IATF Sanctioned Interpretation #8.) This is an especially beneficial and cost effective approach for small sub-tier businesses, and for organizations with a diverse portfolio containing a small percentage of automotive business.  Compliance to this standard also satisfies the intent of an automotive supplier to develop and pursue the automotive requirements.  This translates to less risk for automotive customers to use you over a competitor who only has ISO, according to the new IATF requirements (clause 8.4.2.3) that they must now follow.

SimpleQuE has a 4-step consulting approach to assist companies with MAQMSR compliance.  The first step consists of a gap analysis to review the current system and match it to the requirements of MAQMSR.  Next, any gaps found are incorporated into a project plan or action list.  Based on the gaps and level of internal resources, you may opt to manage the project plan to close the gaps or allow one of our simpleQue automotive industry experts to guide you through the process.  Following completion of the MAQMSR compliance process simpleQuE has IATF certified auditors who can perform the MAQMSR compliance audit (steps 3 and/or 4).  Upon completion of the audit and closing of findings, simpleQuEwill issue your company a letter of compliance to MAQMSR that can be shared with potential and current customers.  Certification to ISO 9001 with compliance to MAQMSR will help your company retain current automotive business and increase biding opportunities for new automotive business.

Contact us regarding your management system needs.  SimpleQuE has helped many single and multi-site manufacturing companies who struggled with the ISO 9001:2015 and IATF 16949:2016 standard upgrades.  Let us help you find a customized and effective solution to update and advance your management system in a way that makes sense for your organization.


Supplier Quality Audits – Do You Really Know Your Supplier?

Binders with papers are waiting to be processed by bookkeepers back in blur. Accounting planning budget, audit, insurance and business concept.

Supplier quality audits – a way to examine and really know your suppliers.  Many factors contribute to making a company successful, from both internal and external perspectives. While you can certainly ensure the success of your internal operations, your external operations – such as your suppliers, external providers, and outsourced processes – can sometimes be a riskier situation.

In order to continue operating an efficient quality management system, it is vital that your relationship with your suppliers and external providers is strong and reliable. And in order to maintain that relationship, it is just as important to sometimes perform a supply chain audit to determine what is working and what areas need improvement. Especially when risks or problems drive the need for supplier audits of their quality systems.  

A supplier audit from simpleQuE can go above and beyond other auditing processes, and certainly beyond ISO and good manufacturing practices. When it comes to your relationship with suppliers, our audits can provide a number of services:

  • Problematic supplier assessments
  • Sourcing evaluations
  • Ongoing supply chain strategy assessments and audits
  • Corporate quality audits
  • Assistance in the monitoring and closeout of corrective actions
  • Improving your company’s measures of effectiveness
  • Training

Our supplier quality audits and corrective actions will drive supplier development, and allow you to resolve both supplier quality and internal issues more effectively. 

With supplier quality experts from Fortune 100 companies, simpleQuE has the auditing expertise and certified resources to offer true value to your business. Whether you need help with problematic supplier assessments, sourcing evaluations, ongoing supply chain strategy assessments and audits, automotive 2nd party audits (including MAQMSR – Minimum Automotive Quality Management System Requirements), or corporate quality audits – simpleQuE can deliver.  Contact us to discuss a customized strategy.