The Race to Commercialize Space Travel – a New Approach

Post by Jim Lee

 
shuttle launch. shuttle liftoff. rocket launches into space.-slight graininess, best at smaller sizes

Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle… all were US manned space programs from 1961 through 2011.  Why is it so different now with SpaceX, Orbital ATK, Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada Corp., Virgin Galactic, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin competing to put man in space?  Why is a commercial crew program such a big deal?  I asked these questions at the Collaboration on Quality in the Space and Defense Industries conference and got a variety of opinions about the collaboration between government and these industries. Here’s my takeaway from the conference.

  • NASA wanted to take their 50 years of manned space flight experience with Mission Assurance and partner with the innovative aerospace industry to come up with cutting edge solutions to take astronauts into space.  This included design, development, manufacturing, and operation in rapid succession that is more efficient and effective than the US government could do on their own.
  • All of these industry players are either private companies or large corporations, not the US government.
  • NASA wants to be a customer for these services, but doesn’t want to be the only customer.  If an interested company didn’t have other customers and uses for the technology and solutions, then NASA wasn’t interested in partnering with them.
  • You might have to take 2 steps backward to take 10 steps forward for continual improvement.  NASA learned that they had to let go of some of their oversight and restrictions, and let these other companies take responsibility for what happens in their buildings.  NASA’s Kennedy Space Center just created new values of being helpful, building relationships, and knowing what matters.  Part of this speaks to their focus on the safety of the astronauts and total mission assurance, and leaving the innovation companies at KSC to take their own responsibility for safety, quality and internal mission assurance. NASA wouldn’t get involved unless one of these tenants would affect stakeholders outside their buildings.  This is a big change in philosophy and culture.
  • Taking 2 steps backward to take 10 steps forward cannot include loss of life.
  • NASA has to rely on these new companies that have never put a human in space.  There is lost organizational knowledge from NASA that has to be relearned with these new technologies and innovations.
  • Where it doesn’t matter, get out of the way and let capitalism and entrepreneurs provide innovations never imagined.  If you’ve never seen the SpaceX first stage rockets return to earth and land, it’s like throwing a pencil and it landing upright on its eraser.  That’s just one example of the many innovations.
  • I also asked about Russia’s and China’s manned space programs, both of which are fully government funded. Is this possibly our opportunity to leave them in the dust by taking an approach to draw funds from a broader pool, and leap past current technology using more government/corporate resources?
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IATF 16949 Transition Strategy and Requirements Update


The International Automotive Task Force just released Revision 5 of the IATF 16949 Transition Strategy and Requirements. This revision of the Transition Strategy document incorporates a new FAQ no. 20 that clarifies questions for those situations where a previously certified IATF 16949 organization has to start over with an initial certification audit to IATF 16949.

Download the IATF 16949 Transition Strategy and Requirements document

SimpleQuE Earns ISO 9001:2015 Recertification

ISO 9001 - quality management system. Businessman select ISO 9001 certification.

We did it!  SimpleQuE has been recertified to ISO 9001:2015 by Eagle Certification Group through December 2020. Our initial ISO 9001:2015 certification was in November 2015 right after the standard was released and we were one of the first to be certified.

“The majority of companies have waited until the last possible year to upgrade to the new standards. This is consistent with the past, when changes to the standards occurred. The problem now is that all the key standards (ISO, automotive, aerospace, environmental) have the same expiration date of 9/15/18 and everyone is rushing to get it done at the last minute. The capacity constraints on registrars, consultants, and auditors is evident and organizations that have not begun the transition process are in serious jeopardy of losing their certification, especially if attempting to wing it with the registrar and not doing anything new to comply with the new standards.”
-Jim Lee, simpleQuE President.

The ISO 9001:2015 certification provides us many benefits and is a big differentiator over our competitors. This is especially critical since this standard and common structure are integrated into other management system standards like environmental, aerospace and automotive.  It also provides simpleQuE with cost savings, an innovative service offering, market access, and a high level of customer confidence and satisfaction.

As an organization that is ISO certified, it proves to our clients that Quality Excellence can be made Simple. It’s what our company name means. For over 10 years, our simple approach has allowed us to have a quality manual that is only a few pages as we put our simple best practices to work in our own company. At simpleQuE, we don’t take a cookie cutter approach, therefore, we don’t implement our processes at our client sites. We look at what works for them and leave that alone, only focusing on those areas that don’t comply.  Considering each company’s culture and unique situation results in different solutions for each client.

As the transition deadline of September 14th approaches, we encourage organizations that are still working on their implementation or transition certification to keep at it, ask questions, and ask for assistance.  Demonstrating a commitment to maintaining the effectiveness of your system, continual improvement and customer satisfaction will put you in the lead.  ISO 9001:2015 certification is an internationally recognized distinction that will benefit your organization for years to come.

Toyota Opportunity Exchange – Turning Relationships into Opportunities

Every year we look forward to the Toyota Opportunity Exchange where the automotive giant brings together Tier I suppliers and diverse business owners for a day of networking, education, and professional development. We’re excited to be heading to the Motor City, an apropos destination for the 28th year of this event.

With nearly 2,000 attendees each year, including over 300 Toyota suppliers exhibiting at the event’s trade show, the Opportunity Exchange is one of the largest events of its kind in the United States and acts as a standard for supplier development within the automotive as well as outside industries. It is also a key event for simpleQuE for making new contacts that have led to business opportunities and company growth. We also gain important insights on how to consistently provide a solid, quality service as a minority owned business.

Prior to the conference, we like to prepare and get inspired for a busy day of networking by reading some of the Diverse Supplier Stories that are shared on the event website.  These stories illustrate how the TOE has provided companies a platform to network and build meaningful connections that have generated millions of dollars in diverse supplier contracts.

Follow the event on social media using #ToyotaSD.

What You Need To Know About ISO 45001

Worldwide over 6300 people die each day from work-related accidents or diseases – nearly 2.3million every year.  ISO is developing a new standard, ISO 45001, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements, to provide a framework to improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks and create better, safer working conditions, all over the world. ISO 45001 is targeted to be published in the first quarter of 2018 and will replace OHSAS 18001. Current users of OHSAS 18001 will need to update their systems according to the requirements of the new international health and safety standard within a three year transition period that will commence after ISO 45001 is published.

 

Recognizing our Nation’s Manufacturers

Industrial robot with conveyor in manufacture factory,Smart factory industry 4.0 concept.

During National Manufacturing Month, simpleQuE recognizes the important role that manufacturers have in our economy and everyday lives.  We work with a wide range of manufacturing clients who produce components and parts of every kind for a variety of industries. Those products include:  tires, wheels, brake systems, fitness equipment, electronics, motors, batteries, lighting, assemblies, harnesses, springs, air compressors, acoustical insulation, specialty chemicals, coatings, firearms and ammunition, gears, powertrains, meters and pumps, steel and other metals, gauges and valves, compressors, electrical connectors, machines and tooling, rubber molded and extruded parts, plastic molded parts, steel, metal stampings, printing ink, and clay products. (Just to name a few.)

Many are Tier I and Tier II suppliers to the automotive and aerospace industries, and as with all of our clients, they take pride in the design, development and manufacture of their products and recognize the importance of establishing and maintaining a quality management system to provide the highest level of customer satisfaction.

Industries/Market Sectors Served

  • Automotive/Truck/Commercial Vehicles
  • Aerospace, aircraft parts, space, defense
  • Chemical
  • Steel
  • Construction
  • Consumer Products
  • Electronics/Electrical, including semiconductor
  • General Manufacturing (machining, molding, stamping, assembly)
  • Medical
  • Mining
  • Oil and Gas
  • Telecommunications
  • Train/Locomotive

Top 5 Reasons Not to Miss a Single Issue of Our Newsletter

At simpleQuE it’s not just our name that represents quality excellence, it’s our unique combination of consultants, knowledge and expertise.  We believe in serving our clients before, during and after the certification process. This value added service consists of an ongoing education process on the quality standards through our website, newsletters social media, and blog. Each month, we provide updates on the latest news from the ISO, AIAG, ASA, IAOB and IATF standards community, and what we’re is seeing in the industry.

In a year that will be filled with companies scrambling to upgrade their certifications, we feel it’s even more important to stay informed.  That is why we encourage anyone who is currently not receiving our monthly newsletter to sign up today.  And if you’re still on the fence, here are our top five reasons:

  1. Obtain the latest quality standard news and updates from simpleQuE.
  2. Learn useful tips, tools and best practices for transitioning and maintaining an effective quality management system.
  3. Preview the latest simpleQuE blogs and infographics.
  4. Receive data and reports from industry leaders and registrars on current certification standards and how they will impact you.
  5. Check out the latest companies who have earned their QMS and EMS certifications as we proudly recognize our clients’ success!

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The Countdown Begins

Hour glass on calendar concept for time slipping away for important appointment date, schedule and deadline

By Jim Lee, President of simpleQuE

With the deadline for ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, AS9100:2016 and IATF 16949:2016 approaching on September 14, 2018, companies have been slow to transition.  The statistics are sobering, although not unexpected.  The new ISO standards have been in effect for 2 years but only 6-20% have made the leap. (The number varies among registrars and the ANAB.) The final draft for the AS 9100 series followed a year later, but with the same deadline, and only 3% have upgraded.  Even fewer IATF companies have transitioned – and all have only 1 year left to get the upgrade completed.

What should you be doing if you’re one of these companies that has pushed out the inevitable?

  • Know that your next scheduled annual audits are the dates when you must transition to the new standards. If your next audit is a recertification and upgrade, you will need to perform the audit at least 2 months prior to your certificate expiring to give you enough time to address any potential nonconformances.
  • Review the new standard and do a gap analysis to see where there are differences in your quality (and/or environmental) management system and the changes to the standard. Generic basic checklists are available from your certification body, or detailed gap checklists with tips and explanations can be purchased from simpleQuE.  Learn more about simpleQuE’s Gap Checklist for: ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, or IATF 16949:2016.  Note that IAQG offers a free AS9100D Gap Assessment Workbook.
  • Establish an action plan that will have you ready for your audits. Assign responsibilities and due dates to ensure you’re ready on time.
  • Train your internal auditors and perform a full system audit to make sure your system is on track and in compliance. You must have evidence of a full internal audit and subsequent management review prior to upgrading with your certification body.  If you can’t get your audits done in time you’ll need to outsource them.  (SimpleQuE can conduct an internal audit to the new standard after the implementation effort to prepare you for the external audit.)
  • Don’t expect to wing it and do nothing in preparation for these changed standards, or you will fail your next audit and lose your certification. Worst case if you aren’t ready in time, you may have to let your certification lapse and then become recertified at a later time when you’re ready.  No one wants to hear that, but it is a reality for some who haven’t started.
  • If you still aren’t sure how to proceed, work with a consulting firm (like simpleQuE) with certified experts who can provide consulting, training and customized plan to guide you through the transition.

Quality + Certification = Success!

SimpleQuE congratulates the following companies on their successful certification and commitment to quality.

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SimpleQuE (an ISO 9001:2015 certified company) assists organizations with implementation, improvement or transition of these standards by providing customized consulting, training and internal auditing services and solutions. Contact us for more information.