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SUMMER 2019

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Distributor's Link Magazine Summer 2019 / Vol 42 No3

34 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

34 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Rob LaPointe AIM TESTING LABORATORY Rob LaPointe is a noted authority in materials and fastener technology. With extensive experience in the management and science of materials testing laboratories combined with master’s degrees in physics and education, he excels at bringing solutions to the client. Working specifically in the fastener testing industry, he has developed expertise in mechanical, nondestructive, metallurgical and chemical testing. With a background of 20 years in physics education, Rob is effective at communicating complex ideas in a simple and understandable manner, communicating well with clients enabling them to make informed decisions about their products and business. AIM is located at 1920 Cordell Court #101, El Cajon, CA, 92020. Tel: 909-254-1278, email: sales@aimtestlab.com or online at www.aimtestlab.com USING YOUR QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AS A TOOL FOR MINIMIZING YOUR COMPANY’S RISK Risk is a four-letter word that many people want to avoid. Avoidance, however, is like the proverbial “head in the sand” and can lead to significant negative external impact if something goes wrong and one is not prepared for it. It can also lead to significant personal or internal impact by developing a habit of poor decision making that can cause you or your company to miss out on an opportunity. If the odds of something bad happening are low enough, then closing our eyes and ignoring the possibility of disaster can bring us sense of peace in the present. But that peace may not be as solid as we would like to believe and the odds of something adverse happening may not be as low as we guess them to be. A simple practice of risk assessment can move us from the realm of beliefs and guesses to a more certain platform that offers us a more predictable perspective, allowing us to make more aggressive and productive personal and business decisions. Research tells us that we are a “feel-good” culture and that avoiding bad news is a tendency we have that helps us to maintain our positive view. This tendency to filter potential negative news is called information avoidance. The problem is that reality, beyond our closed eyes, is not controlled by our positivity alone. Much of what happens globally is outside of our control and much of what happens locally is beyond our influence. So, if we can’t really have significant control over what happens, our best position is to correctly identify and compare the effect or TECHNICAL ARTICLE impact of possible outcomes to the probability of their occurrence and make decisions based on that evaluation. The good news here is that there is a more sensible way to “feel good.” We can feel good by knowing that the decisions we’re making or our involvement in business deals have been examined and are most likely going to have beneficial results. Gaining this knowledge is not only beneficial for the resulting decisions but making the risk assessment process a standard part of your business’ decisionmaking process can have a tremendous impact on the culture of the company and its profitability. Using a decision-making tool to weigh the options in your favor is standard practice in risk assessment. Table 1 shows an example of a comparison tool to aid in the evaluation of probability of occurrence compared to the effect of occurrence. This is a highly functional tool that can be used quickly to access the risk of a single decision or multiple components of a decision. If you’re operating a business in a technical field like fasteners, there’s a good chance that you have adopted a Quality Management System (QMS). For some, your QMS is a fully accredited and fundamental function of your business. For others, your QMS may be a formal system you follow without having accountability to any authorizing organization. Still others may be operating without any formalized QMS in place but have policies and procedures that guide you in delivering a suitable and predictable high-quality product to your customers. CONTINUED ON PAGE 136

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