October is National Quality Month

Published September 28, 2021

October is National Quality Month. Each week during the month, Currents will feature quality-related articles. Below is a message from Ron Murray, vice president of Quality.

In 1984, with a joint resolution by Congress and a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan, the American Society of Quality (ASQ) designated October as National Quality Month. This allows us to use the month of October to focus on the strategic importance of both quality and continuous improvement. A solid foundation of first time quality with a focus of always looking for improvement is not only critically important in the great ships we design and build, but also critically important in the engagement of our workforce and interface with our customers.

Newport News Shipbuilding has a longstanding history of affirming its commitment to quality. In 1917, shipyard founder Collis P. Huntington set the tone for quality with the unveiling of the Huntington Memorial “rock” affixed with a plaque that reads, “We shall build good ships here, at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always good ships.” Those famous words are as true today as they were in 1917. When the U.S. Navy is called to action, the ships we deliver must perform as designed. The men and women who serve on our ships deserve nothing less.

We typically measure our quality by inspection and oversight in our production areas. However, the quality of these complex ships we deliver is dependent on our quality all along the value stream. The quality of the design, the material, the plan, the production processes, our training and our management team are absolutely critical to the success of our production workforce. October being quality month gives us the opportunity to pause and recognize that we all are responsible for quality and ask, “What does first time quality mean to me?”

In observance of Quality Month, the Quality division will again sponsor Quality Craftsman recognition, where craftsman across the enterprise will be acknowledged as demonstrating first-time quality in their daily work practices. In addition, the Quality division will be posting banners at gates across the yard to remind us that “Quality – It’s In Your Hands.”