SQA News | June 2015

SQA Wins & Challenges

Thanks for the great feedback from our last newsletter! I was excited to hear from both Associates and clients from around the world who contributed some fantastic ideas for improvement. These are exciting times for our company. We keep hitting record revenues, and seeing huge smiles on the faces of team members around the world makes it all worthwhile. Our company is poised for another record year in 2015 and there are some key reasons why…

Tim Fischer
I was in Las Vegas for the PDA Conference recently and was eager to meet someone that could join our team in a business development capacity. Frankly, Tim blew me away with his technical knowledge and communication skills. He’s passionate, focused, and loves the process of bringing new clients to SQA. To maintain the momentum of our current growth, we need people like Tim, and I’m excited to welcome him aboard.

New Service Offerings
Our team is constantly listening to the client and innovating. We have developed several new offerings that are exciting and worthy of sharing. We are gaining momentum in the area of remote surveillance of suppliers, and our new Remote Surveillance Assessment (RSA) tool is enabling clients to have better supply chain visibility than ever before. Other advances in the areas of supplier remediation and development of client infrastructure for supplier quality management are setting the standard in several quality-critical industries.

Social Media
Since Jason Gutierrez joined our team at the start of the year, we are making some huge strides in the world of social media. On LinkedIn alone, we have more than 4,000 followers, with our Associates and clients enthusiastically chiming in on various industry blogs. By using tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we meet more Associates around the world, learn their ideas, and further establish our brand in industry circles.


I’m often accused (fairly accurately) of being an eternal optimist, and not enough of a realist. Fair enough. I’m working on it, but I have a ways to go! That being said, here are some areas that currently challenge SQA…


Anticipating Demand
Being a global business was a huge goal of ours 20 years ago, and now we currently operate in more than 25 countries. Where is our next hotspot? In what industry? What industry is showing the most promise where an environmental market condition exists that makes it a near necessity to use our services? What do our clients need most? A certain skill set for a certain period of time in a land far away? We face these questions and more daily. We sometimes make mistakes and miss the mark, but the key for me is having an organization where people can tactfully speak their mind. We ask for patience from everyone as we tackle these daily challenges.

Being super-responsive can present some tough scenarios: We need 22 people in China yesterday for this client with a massive need! We need 35 new auditors with this specific background in these specific areas, but only for a few days a quarter! We need more than 50 people to work within our client’s four walls to help them meet their quarterly earnings estimates! Our team has to figure these demands out every day and it’s tough on many people, including our Associates. Many folks wrote notes to me after my last article expressing frustration at not working for us as much as they have in the past. Please remember that we all win when people go to work and we strive for that every day. What can be daunting is trying to accommodate all of our clients’ requests – many of which are very particular. Client requests are very specific, which shrinks the associate pool of candidates. We love that our Associates have high expectations, and we are challenged when the geography, skill set, or availability demands aren’t in line with our Associate base. Please be patient and know that we try our best every day to keep everyone busy.

Growth is what we’re all after here at SQA, but it brings huge challenges our way. We need more great people, but it’s sometimes tough to find people who fit our culture and how we operate. We need to be scalable in every aspect of the business, from process, to banking, to systems, to travel. These challenges exist today and won’t go away anytime soon. The key is partnering with Associates and clients, and keeping expectations within reason. This subject is creating a significant challenge for me these days, but it sure is better than the alternative!

I look forward to more open and spirited communication with our team – our Associates, our clients, and our team here at HQ. Good luck, and until next time, enjoy your quality journey. Please feel free to send me any comments or suggestions, my email is mmckay@sqaservices.com and we thank you for supporting SQA!

Mike McKay

STEPQ Steps Up in 2015

STEPQ fans will be used to regular improvements to the system that enhance efficiency and usability. Over the last 12 months, however, two major initiatives have been gaining momentum, and they are cause for much excitement for the STEPQ development team.

First, with growing interest in Remote Supplier Assessments (RSA) from several quality-critical industries, STEPQ’s on-line audit forms have been enhanced to enable suppliers to securely complete their own assessments. The flexibility of the forms allows clients to use their own checklists, and the quantitative nature of the RSA even allows for automatic supplier scoring based on pre-determined thresholds. STEPQ RSAs enable SQA to not only show clients how the program is doing, but what the program is telling them about their supply base – in real time.

The second major development is an enhanced version of STEPQ called “STEPQ Plus”, or “STEPQ+”. This is an extension of STEPQ that allows clients to use and benefit from the same program management functionality as the SQA Operations Team. Clients are able to create their own events, manage their own team of quality professionals, and manage their own activity through the same workflow – independent of SQA. In addition, clients are able to see activity being performed by SQA alongside their own team’s activity, thereby creating a complete picture of their supplier quality activity. STEPQ+ is a web-based service available on a monthly, per-user, subscription basis.

With STEPQ’s RSA features, and the new STEPQ+, SQA continues to evolve with our clients, and the needs of the supplier quality management world.

Associate Spotlight

Glenn Lueders has been with SQA since 2012, and has years of experience working with safety-critical systems and software projects that include commercial avionics, space, and air traffic control. Glenn continues to shine as an Associate by leading high-level projects that magnify his process capability and software quality assurance skill sets. He is currently performing on-site audit assessments for NASA in Scottsdale, Arizona.

In his spare time, Glenn enjoys collecting and restoring automobiles. His favorite collectable is the Ford Edsel! We asked Glenn, “What advice would you offer other SQA Associates”? Glenn answered, “Treasure the opportunities that SQA and clients provide. Build relationships based on trust and common goals.”

Associate Referral Program

Quality relationships are rewarding – and could win you a luxury stay in Los Angeles! SQA is looking for the best of the best. If you know Quality Inspectors, Auditors, and Engineers, register here and WIN: www.sqaservices.com/sqavacay

How can we help you?

SQA provides managed supplier quality services for audits, corrective actions, inspections, and engineering to manufacturers within the healthcare, aerospace, and high tech industries.

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