WMU News

WMU engineering experts to 'talk quality'

Sept. 25, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- What does quality mean to your business? Two engineering experts will discuss their views on both product and service quality at a Western Michigan University presentation Thursday, Oct. 4.

Drs. David M. Lyth and Larry A. Mallak of WMU's Engineering Management Research Laboratory will present "Let's Talk Quality" from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Federal Room of the Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce building, 346 W. Michigan Ave. The program, part of a monthly series of workshops offered by WMU's Women's Business Development Center, is free and open to the public.

In their talk, Lyth and Mallak will discuss key quality issues for each stage of business size--from sole proprietorships to medium-sized businesses. Attendees will participate in interactive exercises designed to guide them to definitions of quality for their organizations. Each participant will leave the seminar with a framework to define and share an organization's concept of quality, identify core values, and calibrate a company's mission and vision.

"Many small businesses succeed despite themselves," says Lyth. "Understanding what your customer expects in terms of quality can be worked back into your organization to constantly meet and exceed your customers' expectations. And as your organization grows, the challenge of keeping a focus on quality changes. In order to respond to the changing needs of your customers, you must also convey customer expectations and your own organizational philosophy to your employees."

Lyth, a professor in WMU's Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, studies quality management and decision making, sharing these techniques in the classroom and applying them in industry. He has helped area companies achieve ISO-9000 quality registration and he is a Certified Quality Engineer.

Mallak, an associate professor in WMU's Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, focuses on the application of engineering techniques and approaches to improving the process of management. He works with firms to help them diagnose their current organizational culture and develop projects to move the organization toward its desired culture.

WMU's Haworth College of Business established the Women's Business Development Center in 1999 to offer support to female professionals and entrepreneurs through training, group and individual problem-solving consultation, current business information and networking opportunities.

Reservations are required. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact WBDC Director Pat Guenther at (616) 387-2714 or <patricia.guenther@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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