Millenials and ISO


David Disney, Quality Manager, Protcast Inc., Commerce City, CO, USA


Millenials, Getting to Know ISO, Young Careers in an Old Career Realm





The first word in the title of this presentation breeds a lot of mixed emotions. Laziness, entitled, poor work ethic, among others. I have faced such criticism over just about every aspect of my adult career. Sob story right, poor me, nah I’m not going down that path, in fact I’m going to point out the areas you should take notice when it comes to your Quality System, and Internal Audits with the Millennial mindset in mind.

First, I want to go over my path to the position I am at currently which is the Quality Manager at a Foundry and Machine shop located in Denver Colorado. I started in Manufacturing at Woodward Governor, where I learned Quality without truly realizing it. I just knew I had a book that spelled out to every single detail as to how I had to build these parts, and how to verify they were acceptable through testing and calibration. I worked in the assembly for a while until I got bored of the same old thing every day, and that was when I was introduced to this magical Japanese word of Kaizen. That was awesome, I got to dive into the flow of the work area, the process of assembly, the inputs and outputs, and even the color of the new carts we ordered which was pretty amazing. In fact, the Kaizen we did was actually the runner up to the presidential award for all global campuses of the company pertaining to all quality improvements. Pretty exciting!!!! So, then I left that company, owned my own business, that was a disaster, and then had a couple jobs before I landed as the sales engineer where i work currently. I did that for about two years before I heard of the transition of our ISO certification to a new level. I had no idea about any of it as the previous Quality simply fudged the audit through a non-accredited company and got us to pass, except with the new revision it was very likely we wouldn’t pass, so I pushed to become the Quality guy, even though I had no experience or knowledge of barely any of the processes, or procedures we had. Let me tell you what it was a windfall of information and adjustments. Deleting this useless thing, refining that process, helping our team members understand their role in the quality system, it was a lot as many of you may have experienced if you’ve grown a quality system from bare bones. This is the first bit of millennialism that I want to discuss. I’m not special and I could give you so many stories of my age group that have a fire inside of them that cannot be quenched, and when they grab onto something that interests them it doesn’t even slightly matter that they may not completely comprehend the task ahead of them, but we will attack it with a feverous, unwavering, mindset. I figured out the quality system, learned ISO, well LEARNING ISO, I’m probably not even close to the understanding of a lot of you, but hey, I’m on my way.

Utilizing this mindset can change the way your quality system is running by empowering an age group that wants a challenge, wants to improve the world around them, and constantly change things for the better. My main Internal Auditor is a millennial as well, and his reports are always far and beyond anything I could’ve hoped for, it’s extremely rewarding reading them and seeing his perspective and opportunities to improve I never saw.

One of the other large areas the we millennials contribute to companies is our understanding of technology, and amazing new ways to utilize it. A whole generation that was bred and groomed into technology from when they could barely walk, is a fantastic crutch to lean on when you are looking to streamline your Quality system. I know for a fact that through this conference, there will be numerous technological presentations on how to streamline your system. Think about these, and what type of person you would want to run these systems. It should be obvious that millennials can contribute to the growth or your Quality system. This of course is not to say that other Generations cannot utilize these, that would be extremely foolish of me, however it certainly would help having someone fluent in this tech language run it if that’s a possibility.