SimpleQuE Spotlight: Blake Russell

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What is your position and what do you do for simpleQuE?
Senior Director and I work with clients to implement and manage their ISO/AS Quality Management Systems and EMS Environmental Management Systems

What do you like most about working for simpleQuE?
simpleQue is an industry leader in providing ISO consulting and training services.

What is your greatest accomplishment – work or personal?
With my wife, we raised three beautiful daughters who are now intelligent, funny, and productive adults.

What is your favorite QMS standard and why?
ISO 9001 because I have worked with it for almost 30 years and understand how it improves a business.

What attracted you to SimpleQuE?
The leadership and their vision.

When you are not working, where can people find you?
Working around my home, exercising, mountain biking, and enjoying time with my wife.

What was your first job?
Ranch hand in Abilene, TX Continue reading “SimpleQuE Spotlight: Blake Russell”

Congratulations to the entire Barrett team!

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Congratulations to the entire Barrett team for achieving ISO 9001:2015 certification from global registrar NQA!

Headquartered in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing is a world leader in large-caliber rifle design and manufacturing. It was founded in 1982 by Ronnie Barrett, who invented the first shoulder-fired .50 caliber rifle. Continue reading “Congratulations to the entire Barrett team!”

3 simpleQuE Ways To Transition to ISO 9001:2015

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SimpleQuE was one of the first consulting companies in the world to become ISO 9001:2015 certified.  The transition is simple when utilizing our expert consultants or gap checklist to guide you through the process. 

  1. FastTrack your way to success – with our expedited approach to implement the 2015 changes based on lessons we have learned with numerous clients and through historical changes to various standards.    Through the FastTrack program your team will develop and complete a clear roadmap in four months (1 day/month for 4 months) and be ready to upgrade your certification in 5 months.  (The FastTrack model can be customized and accelerated with your implementation team to meet your timelines.)  Click here for more information.
  2. Customized on-site consulting and training – We offer unique quality consulting insights that result in customized solutions. We are known as the consultant that simplifies ISO implementation, transition, training and maintenance, by integrating simple solutions that fit in your company’s culture.  We perform a thorough gap analysis to identify what needs to be implemented or changed.  With our expertise, we help identify where you’re already in compliance and target only those areas that need work. Part of our job with the gap assessment is to educate you on how you already comply with your current systems. The result of the gap analysis is a thorough action plan of each task that needs to be accomplished.  The action plan is laid out against your timing and resources to successfully achieve your upgrade to ISO 9001:2015.
  3. Utilize our ISO 9001:2015 Gap Audit Checklist – Companies that have mature Quality Management Systems and experienced Quality Managers will find this a useful tool to identify the differences between the 2015 standard versus 2008.  The checklist can be shared with your certification body as evidence of internal audits to the new ISO 9001:2015 requirements. The purchase of this gap checklist comes with a free half hour of phone or email consulting.  Purchase checklist.

For more information or to obtain a quote for implementation consulting services or training, please call 740-305-0868 or contact us by email.

Congratulations G-NAC!

Photo from left: Cannan Christ - Management Rep., Jim Lee – SimpleQuE President, Toshikazu Mitsugi - G-NAC President
Photo from left: Cannan Christ – Management Rep., Jim Lee – SimpleQuE President, Toshikazu Mitsugi – G-NAC President

Congratulations! G-TEKT North America Corp. (G-NAC) achieved its ISO 9001:2015 certification! G-NAC enlisted the services of simpleQuE consultants, Don Milinkovich and Jim Lee to provide Quality System Implementation Support to prepare their office in Dublin, OH for certification, which they received through BSI.

G-NAC provides design and R&D services to automotive OEMS; and sales, new model design services and production equipment for the factories that manufacture automotive vehicle frame, transmission and engine components. What’s next for G-NAC? Over the next two years they’ll be working on ISO/TS 16949 implementation for their new plant with ISO 14001 to follow after that.

G-TEKT has an environmental philosophy that places the highest priority on the conservation of the global and local environments. “As a member of the society responsible for passing on the green Earth to the next generation, it shall strive to both engage in environmentally considerate business activities and help conserve the global environment under the slogan, ‘The Earth is our shared resource’.”

G-TEKT sets a great example for responsible stewardship!

What keeps a Quality Manager Up At Night?

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Overall, what is at the forefront of a Quality Manager’s mind is the responsibility for performance improvement – improving the quality and the systems and processes that deliver them and all the resources that support these processes.  That’s a very far-reaching responsibility that encompasses a variety of other factors like risk, corporate culture, employee impact, customer requirements and suppliers.  In every organization, there are times when there are glitches in the system.  We’ve identified some of the top issues that may concern a QM enough to keep him/her up at night, or even cause a headache or two. 

  1. Recurring issues and product defects even total production shutdown (now that’s a nightmare!)
  2. Convincing top management to integrate the QMS as a Business Management System and make the QMS part of the business’ strategic direction
  3. Ensuring that customer specific requirements and expectations have been identified – that the company is meeting or exceeding customer expectations
  4. Keeping up with ever changing customer requirements as well as local, state and federal regulations
  5. Establishing and maintaining a customer-focused culture – from leadership down to temporary workers
  6. Transitioning to a new quality standard – where to even start?
  7. How to reduce waste and increase efficiency?  Making sure the company is working as        effectively as possible to keep up with competitors
  8. Have risk and preventative actions been adequately addressed from beginning to end?
  9. No accountability – processes defined by department managers and staff and then not following them
  10. Not ready or prepared for the certification audit (and what happens if there are findings or nonconformances?)

If any of these are keeping you up at night, remember, you’re not alone and there are consulting companies, like simpleQuE that can help.  We listen, observe and assess to provide simple and effective solutions…and hopefully, a more restful night’s sleep.

SimpleQuE Case Study: Manufacturing Technology, Inc.

mti-global-presence-300x150With a customer list including Boeing, Pratt Whitney, Honeywell, GE and Federal Mogul, Manufacturing Technology, Inc. is an integral part of our daily lives. From homes and offices to roads and highways, MTI specializes in friction welding joining solutions for manufacturing processes. But when some of their customers required MTI to obtain AS9100 certification and NADCAP accreditation, they looked to simpleQuE for assistance.

Initially, simpleQuE conducted a Gap Analysis of the quality management system at MTI. Then, they developed an action item Gantt chart to address those standards. From there, simpleQuE broke down what tasks needed to be accomplished in order to meet the standards previously set.

Internally, simpleQuE conducted audits and an array of training sessions to aid in the certification and accreditation process and to simplify the outcome.

“Each representative was very professional, knowledgeable, efficient and caring. They were clearly invested in the success of MTI obtaining the AS certification and NADCAP accreditation right along with us,” said Liz Pendl, EH&S/Quality Coordinator at the time.

After five short monthmti-service-support-300x150s of working with simpleQuE, MTI was certified to ISO 9001 and AS9100. SimpleQuE also helped MTI prepare for their NADCAP accreditation, which was achieved one month later.

“I highly recommend simpleQuE to other organizations who are interested in being successful in any accreditation or improving their quality management system. Working with simpleQuE was a smart decision. We relied upon their wisdom, knowledge, and guidance throughout the process, and the successful results speak for themselves!” expressed Pendl.


The value simpleQuE brought to MTI was recognized with an ongoing partnership. SimpleQuE continues to support MTI with periodic training and ongoing internal audits.

“We found the experience and depth of the simpleQuE auditors to be so valuable, that we decided to continue with simpleQuE performing our audits.”

SimpleQuE Forms Partnership With St. Petersburg College

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SimpleQuE has formed a new collaboration with St. Petersburg College (SPC).  This collaboration will allow SPC to provide online self-paced learning courses covering the ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 standards.  Continue reading “SimpleQuE Forms Partnership With St. Petersburg College”

SimpleQuE Spotlight – Jen Briese

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Our consultants are an integral part of our team, carrying out our mission of service to each of our clients. This month, we shine our spotlight on Jen Briese, who, according to Deanne Sparr, “…really cares about our clients and it shows. Her attention to their needs through daily on-site activities to the close details in her reporting and correspondence is always in a positive, helpful manner. She demonstrates the ‘Quality Excellence’ that we strive to provide to our clients.” Take a moment and read more about Jen and how she brings Quality Excellence to our clients.

Thinking back over your career, what is the professional accomplishment you are most proud of achieving and why?
There have been so many varied organizations over the years that it is nearly impossible to narrow it down to one single accomplishment. What does stand out in my mind is the different organizations that, through adopting either a complete or partial documented QMS, were able to satisfy unique customer demands which resulted in retaining customers and ultimately maintaining their workforce.

Client satisfaction is pinnacle to your background. What are your client-focused approaches at simpleQuE?
To treat every single person within an organization as your customer and strive to understand each individual’s needs while working towards the projects corporate goal.

What advice would you give to a new college graduate entering the technology industry?
Expose yourself to as many types of manufacturing, industry and management styles as possible early on in your career, preferably through a co-op experience. This allows you to know and understand how to adapt in any environment.
Explain how simpleQuE is different from their competition.
SimpleQuE has a straightforward, logical approach to QMS implementation that does not restrict an organizations progress.

Where do you see simpleQuE in the next five years?
SimpleQuE is a forward-thinking, progressive organization that will always be working to find a new way to help their customers easily adapt new requirements.

How would other people describe you in three words?
Energetic, compassionate, inquisitive

Deanne Sparr Promoted to Executive VP and COO at SimpleQuE

1bf49bbA transformational change is underway at simpleQuE and it evolves around the role of Deanne Sparr, who was lured to the company in 2014 following several years of active recruitment. After just 15 months, she has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, which will allow simpleQuE to continue using her depth of experience in training, auditing and consulting services to help the company implement new systems and processes to handle significant growth.

Continue reading “Deanne Sparr Promoted to Executive VP and COO at SimpleQuE”