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Maset News

Volume 18  September 24, 2002

Message From Charles Loew
Comments From Our Readers
New On The Maset Web Site
Helpful Hints from fellow Practitioners
New Truths on Quality
Top Ten List
Feature Of This Issue
Second Feature Of This Issue
Coming in the Next Few Issues


Welcome to MASET News. A monthly publication dedicated to the communication between MASET and our many interested friends, customers and potential customers




This month we add two new associates with vastly different experiences and areas of expertise. Dave Hubbard has spent many years working with the Supply Chain and the Procurement part of businesses. Many organizations have found a vast opportunity for implementing improvement and cost savings by working with their suppliers. Current World Class successful organizations have developed a partnership relationship with their complete supply chain.

Our second associate Patricio Mejia-Careaga has spent his career working in Mexico with many of the leading industrial organizations. His experience in the Electric, Electronic devices, Consumer Products and Automotive Electric Spare Parts have enabled Patricio to gain a very wide range of business experience. He has also been trained and certified as a Master Black Belt.

We have added a new section in our Product and Services area of our web page. Titled New Product Development. This section deals with a number of new services we offer to organizations that are developing New Products, trying to rapidly expand capacity and output of new products, and Manage the New Product Development Process. A number of our associates have had extensive experience in this area and are available to assist you in your New Product Development.

We have received a number of requests over the past year for a training session in Failure Mode, Effects and Analysis (FMEA). Next month we will introduce you to our world-class expert Paul Haviland. In the mean time, if you are interested in having Paul deliver a workshop for you please contact us at

Our feature article this month is written by one of our associates, George Angelucci. The article covers the Quality Systems Review (QSR), a very powerful tool for evaluating the total health of any organization. I have personally conducted a number of Quality Systems Reviews and am amazed as to how accurate a picture of an organization one gets by using this tool.

Our second feature Article covers "Fear of Failure". In these uncertain times when Companies are cutting back, the threat of terrorism abounds and for many the loss of significant Net Worth causes real concern about planned retirement. It is very understandable to be overcome with fear. This article offers some excellent insights into failure and how not to be afraid of failure. I hope it is of interest to you.




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  • Welcome to Dave Hubbard as a Maset associate. Dave is an expert in Supply Chain Management and Materials Management.

  • Patricio Mejia-Careaga joins us after 25 years in Manufacturing, Product Development and Quality. He becomes our first associate in Mexico and will be able to assist our clients in Mexico, Central and South America.

  • Five new Product and Services have been added under the heading - "New Product Development"

    - "New Product Introduction"
    - "Product Cost Reduction"
    - "Process Improvement"
    - "Product Improvement"
    - "Program Management of New Product Introduction"

  • We have also included a new and popular course on Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMEA or FMECA) to our offerings.
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  • Before you begin a meeting, training session, or workshop solicit six to ten expectations from the participants. Write these expectations on a flip chart and post them on the wall.

    Should any of the expectations be out of the scope of the session, this is the time to clarify that and if the participant wants to leave it is an ideal time for that person to leave. By defusing the situation at this time, you will avoid a confrontation during the session.

    During the session, glance at them occasionally to see if you are meeting the expectations. At the end of the session review the expectations and see if they have been met.

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  • Old Truth
    Better Quality Costs More.

  • New Truth
    You Cannot Raise Cost By Raising Quality.
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    Key Learnings in - Success in a Nutshell - the final Southwest Airlines nuggets

    1. Stand behind your commitments and those of your people.

    2. Own mistakes, share mistakes, learn from mistakes, and move on.

    3. Equip people to make decisions by clearly defining the culture.

    4. Align systems, policies and practices with your values.

    5. Measure, reward and recognize people who protect and promote the culture.

    6. Do whatever it takes to get the job done.

    7. Make the vision the boss.

    8. Do what you value: practice what you preach, walk the talk.




    "Is Your Business as Healthy as It Looks on the Outside?"

    by George Angelucci

    Due to the intense competition of today's marketplace, customers' expectations have risen to unprecedented levels. High quality and low price are implicitly expected of your products and services. Not only is quality instrumental in success with customers, but it is also critical to the financial health of your organization.

    The cost of poor quality can easily be 20% of sales. Just in the last three years, GE has reported savings of $8 billion due to their focus on a Six Sigma Quality program. In the late 1980s, Motorola saved over $1 billion in their manufacturing facilities alone by focusing on improving quality and cycle time.

    Clearly, quality improvement is a critical strategic requirement for the continued success of any "best in class" organization. The quality system needs to be so well integrated into the business system that it is transparent.

    How good is your company's quality system? Is it healthy? Your organization's health is dependent on your ability to constantly improve quality, decrease costs and satisfy your customers. Just as an individual may look fit on the outside but have physical problems which are not seen from the outside, an organization can have problems not seen by the outside world.

    Each year most of us have an annual physical exam to find out if everything is OK with our body's systems. We are relieved when the results of the exam indicate there are no problems, all test results normal. Unfortunately, sometimes, even though a person feels great and looks "fit-'n-trim" on the outside, the physical exam uncovers a serious problem that requires immediate attention. Just as we need an annual physical exam to check our body's systems and take proactive steps to correct identified problems and ensure our continued health, your organization's quality system requires a periodical check-up as well. Maybe it's time you give your quality system a check-up by letting us assist you in conducting a Quality System Review.

    A Quality System Review (QSR) is an objective, focused and precisely measured assessment (physical exam) of the continuing health of an organization's Quality System. Done on a business unit, function, or supplier basis, the QSR helps define the vision of how the business can be better conducted, setting common goals for perfection, and provides awareness of the Quality System requirements throughout the organization. It defines considerations and criteria for each question it poses. The responses are then graded and broken down to quantify the different elements of organizational performance.

    The part, or parts, of the business that are substantially negatively affecting quality (and the bottom line) are identified. Although non-prescriptive in nature, the QSR does place emphasis on the most critical elements of a successful company - people and teams, partnerships with suppliers and customers, quality level and responsiveness to customer needs.

    The QSR utilizes a series of teams with each team focused on assessing a different element of your quality system. Each of the teams is led by a Maset senior consultant and is comprised of two to five other Maset consultants and/or members from your organization. By including members from your organization, the transfer of knowledge of the QSR process and organizational buy-in of the results is greatly accelerated. All of the individual team assessment reports are integrated to develop a company-wide perspective of the current Quality System strengths and weaknesses.

    The QSR reinforces the strengths and provides recommendations for continuous improvement. It is an objective evaluation that is repeatable so that follow-up sessions can be performed to measure the organization's improvement.

    It is a proven fact that good quality yields lower costs and reduced cycle time for your products and services. This leads to improved financial results for your investors and the ability to continue providing competitive products for your customers.

    Lower costs, improved yields, customer satisfaction, and organization profitability can be best assured by continually monitoring the internal health of your organization. Isn't it time you scheduled a Quality System Review (QSR) for your organization to ensure continued health and pro-actively prevent potential illnesses? To learn more about the QSR visit our web site at

    About the Author: George has spent over forty years in many positions at Motorola. He has been involved in the QSR process from both sides as an auditor as well as being audited.





    by Jeffrey J. Mayer

    Successful people know that nothing ever goes exactly as planned. And no matter how hard you work, sooner or later you must face the reality that you failed. You tried to do something and weren't successful. You didn't get the result you wanted.

    You didn't get the job you hoped for. You didn't get the raise you deserved. You didn't close the big order. Your largest account just walked out the door. You struck out with the bases loaded.

    You missed the winning shot at the buzzer. There was a fly in the ointment. There was a glitch somewhere. You failed. SO WHAT!

    You don't close every sale. You don't win every game. You aren't going to hit a home run every time you're up to bat. You don't always get what you want. Failure is OK. It's part of life. It should be expected.

    The bigger question is: What do you do next? What do you do after you've failed?

    As Frank Sinatra sang: "You pick yourself up and get back in the race. That's life . . . . "

    You don't feel sorry for yourself. You don't mope around. You pick yourself up and do it again and again and again until you get it right!

    Failure is as much a part of life as success. Losing is as much a part of life as winning. The most important thing to think about is how can you ensure that you won't fail in the same way a second time.

    REMEMBER: You just can't fail the last time you try.

    Life is a series of trial-and-error experiences. We are taught something by a teacher, and then we try to do it ourselves. The first time we do it we probably don't get the results we want. So we try again, and again, and again. With practice we get better.

    Then we push ourselves as we try to do something that's a little bit more difficult. As we succeed, our expectations increase, and so does the satisfaction that comes from the feeling of a job well done.

    So we set our sights a bit higher-to improve our results as compared to what we've done before and in relation to the results of those with whom we are competing-and we try again. We continue to push ourselves to new heights.

    When we succeed, we once again raise the bar. And when we don't, we go back to work to improve our skills and talents, and try again.

    That is why I feel that the subjects of success and failure are so intertwined: because it is through failure that we grow and develop as individuals. We learn through our failures. Failures show us our flaws, our imperfections, the areas in which we need improvement.

    In order to achieve your goals, to fulfill your desires, to make your dreams come true, you're going to have to work. It is hard work that makes you better at what you do, and failing from time to time is just a part of life.

    REMEMBER: If you're not experiencing failure, you're not working hard enough.

    Overcome the Fear of Failure

    Failure is trying to do something and not getting the desired results. Fear of failure is something else. Fear of failure causes paralysis.

    It's unfortunate, but many people go through life with a fear of failure. They're so afraid that they're going to make a mistake, that they won't do something right, that it won't be perfect, that they don't try to do anything at all.

    So what happens? They become paralyzed and don't do anything. And with this paralysis they lose the ability to have a rewarding, meaningful, and enjoyable life.

    It's just physically impossible for someone who has a fear of failure to achieve anything, because that person has never tried. She never gave herself the opportunity to succeed.

    It is in doing, trying, and experiencing things you never did before that you grow and develop. Through practice you get better and better at the things you do.

    Learn from Your Failures

    When you experience failure, take some time to reflect upon what happened. Pull out a pad of paper and start writing down the answers to these questions:

    • Why did this happen?
    • What could I have done differently?
    • How can I do it better next time?
    • What changes should I make in my strategies?
    • What can I do to improve my planning and preparation?

    Study these answers. Analyze them. Then go out and do it better the next time.

    One day when I was playing tennis my instructor and I had a conversation about strategies. He said that if you're losing, change your game. And if that doesn't work, change your game again. You may still lose, but lose as many different ways as you can.

    Overcome the Six Symptoms of Fear

    Fear is being afraid. It is being anxious. It is feeling that you are in danger. In life, fear can be real and it can be imagined.

    But fear is actually nothing more than a state of mind that is subject to your control and direction. You can run away, or you can face the thing that is causing you to feel fearful. It is in facing the thing that is causing you to feel afraid that you grow as a person.

    These are the Six Symptoms of Fear:

    1. INDIFFERENCE: You write things off because you feel they aren't important. They're beneath you. You don't want to be bothered with them.

    2. INDECISION: You can't make up your mind. You don't know if you should or shouldn't do something. Or you can't decide if you should do A instead of B. So you do nothing!

    3. DOUBT: You're not certain as to what you should do. You can't make up your mind. You're apprehensive.

    4. WORRY: You feel anxious. You're uneasy. You're not sure you made the right decision. You don't feel confident.

    5. OVERCAUTIOUSNESS: You're excessively or overly cautious. You check everything over and over and over again. You want to make sure everything's right.

    6. PROCRASTINATION: You put things off till later. You defer action. You wait so long to do something that the window of opportunity has opened and closed.

    Don't allow these six symptoms of fear to keep you from achieving your goals.


    Reprint permission granted in part or whole when the following "Reprinted with permission from 'Jeffrey Mayer's Succeeding In Business Newsletter.' (Copyright, 2002, Jeffrey J. Mayer, Succeeding In Business, Inc.) To subscribe to Jeff's free newsletter, visit"




  • Simulations to assist in the Planning Process

  • Leadership Development

  • Customer Services

  • E-Learning

  • Supply Chain Management

  • Materials Management
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