Vista Packaging is the Complete Package for Quality and Service

Congratulations to Vista Packaging and Logistics, which received ISO 9001:2015 certification for its headquarters in Columbus, OH. Vista’s management and quality team are committed to maintaining this certification and embracing the ISO standards in its business operations, and has utilized the services of simpleQuE for consulting and internal auditing since 2012.

Not only does Vista believe in its quality management system, it has also implemented green initiatives and is committed to reducing its environmental impact from manufacturing and even its daily business operations. These efforts not only bring value to their customers, while reducing waste and increasing efficiency, but incorporate a holistic approach to sustainability.
It’s no surprise that Columbus Business First has recognized Vista Packaging & Logistics as one of central Ohio’s top 50 fastest growing companies in both 2017 and 2018. Congratulations to the Vista team!

Jim Stein, Exec.Dir., Admin/Operations – ISO, Inventory, QC, IT, HR
ISO Process(es) – Support and Management
Jamey Shiffer, AVP Operations – Columbus Production (All shifts / locations), New Customer Onboarding
ISO Process(es) – Production, Warehousing/Shipping, Inventory Control, Purchasing
Ilham Mouharrar, Asst. Supervisor, QC & ISO – QC, ISO
ISO Process(es) – Support and Management, Production QC
Jennie Buckler, Receiving Coordinator – Receiving (all but L-Brands)
ISO Process(es) – Receiving, Inventory Control
Sandy Aman, Sr. Mgr, Human Resources – HR (personnel files, performance reviews, benefits, safety), Temp Labor
ISO Process(es) – Production (Labor)
Christie VanHouten, Customer Service Rep – Order Entry, Production and Shipping Performance, Invoicing, Customer Relations
ISO Process(es) – Shipping
Toni Hunter, Customer Service Manager – Customer Service Quality, Order Entry, Production and Shipping Performance,
Invoicing, Customer Relations
ISO Process(es) – Shipping
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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.

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.

SimpleQuE Attends Toyota’s 2018 Power of Exchange

Diversity drives Toyota which is why simpleQuE’s VP, Deanne Sparr, is at Toyota’s 2018 Power of Exchange – a unique supplier diversity and development conference for diverse businesses. This is a targeted networking event to gain and share knowledge and build relationships with current Toyota Tier I Suppliers like Dana Incorporated. Dana has 100+ facilities and 29,000 employees in 34 countries making it one of the world’s most influential automotive suppliers.

Over the years, a relationship was developed with Dana and in 2013 simpleQuE won the opportunity to perform IATF 16949:2009 internal audits for the Dana site in Auburn Hills, MI. That opportunity has expanded to now include internal audits and/or IATF 16949:2016 transition consulting at 10 more Dana facilities in OH, PA, IN, TN and KY. Seven of the eleven sites have already successfully transitioned to IATF 16949!

At simpleQuE we like to challenge what looks to be impossible and make quality excellence “simple.”

Associate Spotlight – Kimberly Roan

We are excited to introduce one of our newest team members, Kimberly Roan, a simpleQuE consultant.  Kimberly brings not only years of experience, but a great curiosity and drive to find the best solutions for our customers.  Here’s more on Kimberly:

What is your position and what do you do for simpleQuE?
I am a consultant for simpleQuE and I consult with clients, perform internal audits, and teach on site training on automotive QMS topics.

What do you like most about working for simpleQuE?
This is an opportunity to make a difference.  Every day I get to help clients identify issues and improve processes.  Sustained process improvements lead to greater customer satisfaction and improved effectiveness and efficiency in the organizations we work for.

What is your favorite QMS standard and why?
My favorite QMS standard is ISO 9001:2015.  This standard builds the foundation of an effective QMS and is the cornerstone for a series of important industry QMS standards.

What attracted you to simpleQuE?
Top managers who understand QMS development and believe in simple, sustainable, and value added quality management solutions.

What expertise do you bring to simpleQuE’s clients?
I spent 17 years in automotive and was always involved in auditing both first and second party and spent many years participating in 3rd party audits and acting as the management rep. If I could draw you a picture, I would show you a pyramid that includes a 17 year work experience – base, and approximately 8 year formal education – middle, and a 3 year certified auditor – crown. The large sections of the pyramid underpin everything I knew to make me an effective auditor. With this balanced experience I can provide clients with answers from a company management perspective, an internal auditor perspective and a third party auditor perspective. Every day I use the whole pyramid but the biggest part of it will always be my work experience.

What was your first job?
My first automotive job was part time administrative assistant for an engineering team at Saturn.  My first job ever was doing office work for a neighbor in direct sales at the age of 12 to 13.

Have met…
John Glenn, in an elevator at a Marriott hotel.  We talked about Harley Davidsons and how he wouldn’t get one now because he promised his wife he was done with high risk activities.

Where did you go to college?
Baker College of Flint for my Mechanical Engineering degree and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology for a Masters in Psychology with an emphasis in organizational leadership.

What is your hometown?
Cadillac, MI

Would love…
To visit the hometowns of my great grandparents in Germany.

My hidden talent is…
Slow racing my VT1100

What is your favorite sports team?
Let’s go Red Wings!!!

What advice would you give to a new college graduate entering the technology industry?
Learn something new every day and do something good with what you learn as often as you can.

Explain how simpleQuE is different from their competition.

SimpleQuE is different because they focus on simple solutions to meeting complex QMS requirements.  The company supports a value added approach to meeting requirements.

Where do you see simpleQuE the next five years?
SimpleQuE will grow to become the leading QMS consulting firm and they will continue to support the success of their clients.

How would other people describe you in three words?
Independent, tenacious, and helpful.

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?

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.