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.

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Soar Above the Competition with AS9100, AS9110 and AS9120

Serving aerospace and defense manufacturers, suppliers and distributers since 2005, simpleQuE offers customized AS9100, AS9110 and AS9120, or ASA-100 (FAA AC00-56) consulting, internal auditing and training services.

Our lead AS9100 series consultants are International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) certified lead auditors with aerospace experience and know what it takes to help clients achieve their goal of establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving their Quality Management System. As 3rd party auditors for registrars they have first-hand knowledge of what is required to pass an AS9100 certification assessment.

Using this knowledge and experience along with the required tools and techniques, all of our clients have had successful AS9100 certification audits on their first registration assessments and have attributed that mostly to our consulting and training.  That’s a major accomplishment and many of these companies continue to use simpleQue for their internal audits and continuous improvement needs, freeing up limited resources and benefiting from the other advantages to outsourcing these services.

If you are already AS9100, AS9110 or AS9120 certified but are struggling to maintain and improve your Quality Management System, or just need to update the knowledge and skills of your quality team, simpleQuE can help. We offer several courses including AS9100 Internal Auditor Training that have proven to be very beneficial to our customers.  Executive Overview, Requirements, Risk Management, and Problem Solving/Root Cause Analysis are some of the AS9100 Training Courses available that can be customized and held on site. We believe in experiential learning where you go beyond lecture and incorporate exercises to apply the learning, and use actual workplace examples from your company; thus allowing students to better learn, retain and apply their knowledge.

Visit simpleQuE’s website to see the many services we offer for your AS9100, AS9110 and AS9120 needs. Contact us for a customized path that will put you far above the competition.

Questions for Auditing Utilizing a Process Approach

Whether facing a surveillance audit from a certification body or preparing for an internal quality audit – knowing what you face and being prepared puts you a step ahead.  Review this checklist which covers the majority of the QMS requirements.

  1. Who or what are the:
    • Processes
    • Process Owner
    • Personnel Interviewed
    • Documentation Reviewed
    • Records Sighted
  2. What are the resources needed for the process?
  3. Are these resources appropriate?
  4. Are authorities and responsibilities for required resources defined, documented and known throughout the organization?
  5. Are these persons competent?
  6. Are competency criteria defined? What are these criteria? How is competency evaluated, approved and monitored, and by which method(s)?
  7. Are these methods effective? – refer to outputs
  8. Are the resources adequate? Which are they?
  9. Are records available and appropriately maintained?
  10. What are the inputs to this process?
  11. Are these inputs documented and reviewed by competent persons?
  12. Is a description of the processes available and documented?
  13. Are these descriptions controlled? – Verify the effectiveness of the organization’s documented information control procedure.
  14. Who are the “customers” (internal and external) of the processes? What are the requirements of these customers?
  15. What are the characteristics of the intended results of the process?
  16. What are the characteristics of the unintended results of the process?
  17. Are correction and corrective action applied as appropriate?
  18. What are the criteria for monitoring, measurement and analysis?
  19. How are these criteria incorporated into the planning of the processes?
  20. Are the business performance issues taken into proper account?
  21. What methods are used for data gathering?
  22. What records are kept and how these are maintained?
  23. What are the communication channels?
  24. How is external and internal information about the process provided? What are the outputs of the process? – Identify outputs.
  25. Do these outputs provide evidence of effective implementation of the process?
  26. How is process performance monitored?
  27. Are appropriate controls defined?
  28. What measurements are applied?
  29. How is the gathered information analyzed?
  30. How are the results of the analysis taken into account?  
  31. How is feedback obtained?
  32. What data is collected?
  33. Is the issue of improvement of the processes properly addressed? How? What are the results?

 

Source:  Eagle Certification Group – 2017 Annual Bootcamp/Conference

SimpleQuE offers free sample manufacturing process audit checklists for AS9100, ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 which can be used as an example to examine a company’s key manufacturing process and prepare your company for the highest internal quality auditing possible.

Links to Checklists:

IATF 16949 Sample Manufacturing Process Audit Checklist – FREE

AS9100 Sample Manufacturing Process Audit Checklist – FREE

ISO 9001 Sample Manufacturing Process Audit Checklist – FREE

Congratulations to Meteor, FireCraft Safety, American Micro, and Pentair

Congratulations from our team at simpleQuE to the companies that have worked so hard to earn their certifications!  It was a long road, but worth all the meetings, training, internal audits, updating of procedures and documents, and conversations about quality and risk.  We’re proud to have played a part in their successful transition/implementation to these quality standards.

FireCraft Safety Products – ISO 9001:2015

Photo from left – Toni Gill, CFO; Tom Lochner, President; Tom McCoy, Director of Sales; and Don Milinkovich, simpleQuE Consultant

Meteor Sealing Systems LLC – IATF 16949:2016

Photo from left – Thorsten Conrad, Vice President – Meteor Sealing Systems LLC;  Masahiko Ito, Managing Director – Toyoda Gosei Meteor GmbH; Deanne Sparr, Vice President – SimpleQuE; Ryan Ayers, Quality Manager – Meteor Sealing Systems LLC

American Micro – AS9100:2016 and IATF 16949:2016

Photo from left –  Matt Gilbert, QE;  Evan Smartnik, QE;  Sheila Floyd, Purchasing Supervisor;  Michael Shelton, Process Engineer; Ryan Siebe, Production Manager;  Rob Berger, Production Supervisor;  John Woods, Engineering Manager;  Kevin Neal, Quality Manager;  Harold Williams, Production Supervisor;  Greg Stamper, Production Supervisor;  Rita Gragg, SQE

Pentair – ISO 9001:2015

Photo from left – Peggy Jones, Quality Manager; Gregg Swint;  Dave Christine;  Matt DeHart;  Kayla Smith; Ed Henricksen

A Look at the AS9100D Transition Data

With the transition to AS9100:2016 well under way, what can we interpret about the data from the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG)? Overall, aerospace and defense organizations are transitioning to plan, and exhibiting preparedness with the new requirements.

Some organizations still struggle with Process Identification, but Production Controls and Purchasing make up the highest nonconformities. Here are the top 9 by clause:

The Advantages of Outsourcing Internal Quality Audits

Business concept. Business people discussing the charts and graphs showing the results of their successful teamwork.

If your organization is certified to ISO 9001 or a standard that is aligned with it, like AS9100 or IATF 16949, and you perform internal quality audits, then you should know this:

This means that Certification Bodies are scrutinizing internal auditors and their competency, especially when it involves IATF.  That’s why many companies are choosing to outsource their internal audits to a 2nd party like simpleQuE whose auditors are qualified, certified, competent and are experts on the standards and customer specific requirements. In addition, many are current or former 3rd party auditors and bring valuable insight because of that knowledge gained from auditing for certification bodies.

Here are more reasons to outsource internal audits from our very own team of auditors (who have seen it all):

Why audits should not be done internally:

  • Without proper training and experience, internal auditors don’t fulfil the competency requirements
  • Lack of time to perform the audits and write reports
  • Reports with limited or no findings or objective evidence
  • No demonstration of the process approach or risk based thinking
  • Timeliness of management in responding to findings/report
  • Internal turnover resulting in too much variation in reporting/focus and overall quality of audits

Advantages to outsourcing internal audits

  • Fresh set of eyes from outside the organization that are objective and unbiased
  • Reduces company’s investment in continual training on changing requirements
  • Professional and timely reports
  • More cost and time effective, freeing up internal resources
  • Management gives greater attention to an outside expert, especially when there are sensitive issues that an inside auditor may be hesitant to address
  • Better internal response and acceptance of findings and opportunities for improvement
  • More content, findings, comments, opportunities for improvement and observations for added value
  • Our auditors have:
    • In depth knowledge of the standard’s requirements,
    • Experience in the field and can share best practices,
    • An understanding of the process approach and risk based thinking
    • The ability to provide consulting while auditing
    • Compliance to ISO 19011 on auditing management systems

All solid reasons for turning your audits over to the experts.  Contact us at 740-305-0868 or [email protected] for more information about internal quality auditing.

SimpleQuE on the Go and in the Know


This week, while Vice President, Deanne Sparr, is attending AIAG’s 2018 Southern Automotive Quality Summit in Birmingham, AL,  President, Jim Lee, has immersed himself in everything space and defense at ASQ’s Collaboration on Quality in the Space and Defense Industries conference and NASA’s Quality Leadership Forum.

These types of industry conferences and training keeps us at the forefront of the latest rules, regulations, trends and best practices to share with our consultants and clients across the aerospace, defense and automotive industries.

For example: At the NQA Global session, it was reported that as of mid-February only 29 percent of aerospace businesses had transitioned to the AS9100:2016 standard, however, as of last week it was up to 41% with a target of 50% by the end of March.  Deadline for all to transition is September 14, 2018.

From Exploring Space – Is It Safe? presented by Astronaut Bill McArthur, to NASA conducted Counterfeit Parts Awareness and Inspection Training, quality is the topic interwoven throughout the conference and the critical piece that all in the industry rely on to launch us into space.  Check back for more news as we process all of the great information we’ve gathered from the sessions.

Reaching New Heights at NASA’s Quality Leadership Forum

Image of aerospace refuel

Sustaining a Quality Foundation in Challenging Times

SimpleQuE president, Jim Lee, eagerly anticipates attending the Collaboration on Quality in the Space and Defense Industries conference then taking part in the informational NASA Quality Leadership Forum that follows. He’s set to join others in the industry who are focused on sustaining a quality foundation at the conference and forum, running March 12-15 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, not far from simpleQuE’s Space Coast office.

The American Society for Quality has designed the conference specifically for those working with organizations in the space and defense industries. Government and industry leaders representing NASA, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman will discuss the latest policies and practices.

For SimpleQuE, the conference will provide invaluable information, trends and best practices to share with our clients, allowing us to become even more effective when consulting with manufacturers and suppliers in the aerospace industry.

In the days following the conference, the NASA Quality Leadership Forum will offer a great mix of speakers who will provide the NASA assurance context, delve deeply into specific quality management issues, find issue resonance across agency lines, and a refreshed understanding of quality sub-discipline areas.

Forum topics will include lessons learned, emerging trends, quality threats and risk mitigation techniques of particular relevance in today’s rapidly evolving and cost-constrained environment. Of particular interest is the Counterfeit Parts Awareness and Inspection Training that Jim and simpleQuE aerospace consultant, Doreen Everett will be attending.

Attendees can look forward to hearing about the work of industry leaders and strengthening their network. More importantly, the forum offers a chance to meet colleagues face to face, with the potential to build and strengthen relationships. It’s an excellent opportunity to keep the quality management community vibrant and looking toward the future.

SimpleQuE is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company that provides consulting, training and auditing services for the AS9100 series of standards to assist organizations in successfully meeting transition and implementation targets.

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.

Jim Lee presents at ASA’s 2017 Annual Conference

ASA Conf 170710

Aviation Suppliers Association (ASA) is a not-for-profit association that represents over 600 worldwide member companies that lead critical logistics programs, purchasing efforts, and distribution of aircraft parts globally.

The 2017 ASA Annual Conference takes place July 9-11 in Reston, VA; and is one of the largest for the aviation distributor industry. The event draws aviation professionals worldwide with a range of business development and management, quality assurance, legal/regulatory and general industry topics. The itinerary includes general sessions, workshops, exhibitors, and networking events. SimpleQuE founder Jim Lee presented at the conference on Monday, July 10 about risk management requirements for distributors that are ISO and/or AS certified.

“This is our second year to present on 3 different topics.” said Lee. “We appreciate this opportunity to network with our clients and aircraft parts distributors. Last year we had three simpleQuE attendees at the conference, and this year two. By attending these conferences, we get a lot of information and value that we share with our consulting clients and other staff members.”

Aviation Suppliers Association promotes safety, regulatory compliance and ethical business practices among aviation parts suppliers throughout the aviation community. Over 300 companies have received accreditation to the ASA-100 Quality System Standard and FAA Advisory Circular 00-56 since 1996.  ASA Certification Body also certifies companies to ISO 9001, AS9120, AS9100, and AS9110.