Quality control manager

E. Jardin & C. Schoch

After a PhD in geography, a postdoc in Prague, three short-term contracts with PSA Ceska, Carole Pommois is now a quality control manager.

Carole Pommois came to quality control rather late, in 2005, four years after defending her thesis, while she was doing a three-month fill-in at an Alsatian textile factory where she boned up on ISO 9001 and ISO 1401 norms. At that time, she had no idea that this experience would prove to be a decisive factor, in late 2006, in getting hired a "branch quality control manager" with PS Ceska in Prague. What responsibilities was she assigned? To lead the branch’s quality management system and currently, to prepare for an ISO 9001 re-certification audit, because certification expires after three years. What does this involve? "I have to simplify the documentation and to do so I identify the company’s major processes in conjunction with the company executives,” Carole explains, adding that a process is “a set of activities involving an input, an output and an objective.” Then Carole defines statistical indicators to measure the performance and command of each process. Once in place, she monitors discrepancies between the norm and the indicator to identify problems and suggest methods of improvement, which she then follows up on.

Design, analysis and synthesis... a quality control manager requires skills such as these that are honed during the doctorate, Carole notes. Yet these skills are not recognized often enough by recruiters, she laments.

For more detail, read the classic, hands-on guide to quality control: Kaoru Ishikawa, Guide to Quality Control, Asian Productivity Organization, 2nd revised edition, 1986.