PQ Systems - Quality eLine
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Help is on the way:
Using resources to answer questions

Reader survey

Quality Quiz: With a video!

Data in everyday life

Six Sigma and more

Bytes and pieces

FYI: Current releases

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Quality Gamebox


Help is on the way:
Using resources to answer questions

When SQCpack was first released in 1982, the software program was shipped as a “floppy disk,” and accompanied by a hefty spiral-bound user guide, also referred to as “software documentation.” If you had a question about a function of the software, you could consult this printed guide or call PQ Systems’ free technical support line.

As with all technology, our software programs have changed dramatically since those days. SQCpack was joined by a number of other products to help organizations demonstrate proof of their quality, including GAGEpack, DOEpack, CHARTrunner, Quality Workbench, and others. The “documentation” began to appear first as .pdf files, and was increasingly accessed via Internet.  

Our floppy disks became coasters for coffee cups; print documentation—not easily revised or brought up to date—was recycled for other uses. But what has remained is PQ’s commitment to support and to learning, expanding access to information with its Knowledge Base, blog entries, Quality Advisor, on-line user guides, e-mail responses, web-based live chats, and of course, our technical support team (our “techxperts”) known for its real people actually answering the phone or returning calls quickly.

Matt Savage, PQ’s technical support manager, points out that one can always call any of PQ’s tech support analysts for help. “However, more and more customers are using the live chat to get immediate assistance,” he says, an option that is especially handy for customers who need help in areas where noisy conditions diminish the possibility of effectively communicating on the phone. But Savage says, “There are other ways questions can be answered, problems can be solved, and software tips can be discovered. The Support section on our website offers product updates, FAQ’s, Knowledge Base articles, blog entries and comments, and other tools.”

With an increasingly sophisticated body of software users, PQ’s commitment to support and education goes even further than the friendly voices of tech support staff and their walk-throughs. As Savage points out, beyond direct access to experts who can answer questions or provide tips for optimizing software use, PQ offers a number of opportunities for self-help. Online user guides, search options on the PQ website, online lists of frequently asked questions (FAQ’s), and a searchable Knowledge Base give users access to information they need, whether the question is, “Why am I getting a message indicating ‘Chart (completed) failed with one or more errors’”? and its ensuing advice, “There may be a problem with chart definition. Please ensure that the first three tabs of the chart definition are completed correctly.”

Statistical concepts are explored and explained further through Quality Advisor. Puzzled about which control chart to use, for example? Go here. Need to know something about Cpk? Quality Advisor offers an article.
Wondering about recalculating control limits? Search the PQ Systems site and find this.

New technologies offer many more options for solving problems, it’s true. But one needs to know the options that are available, and to discern which approach will be most useful. If you plop a six-year-old child in the middle of the New York Public Library and tell her to find a book on Peter Rabbit, chances are that the child will not know where to begin without a little direction. Technologies have helped us all to understand options and to see alternative ways to access knowledge, so we’re not overwhelmed by possibilities. By framing a question or stating a problem, PQ’s software users can find answers and solutions from a variety of sources.

And as always—when in doubt, just ask. Our tech support analysts are waiting for your call.

E-mail, phone, and mailing contact information for PQ Systems in the U.S., Australia, and England can be found at http://www.pqsystems.com/contact.php.

PQ Systems  |  Proof of quality.

PQ Systems, Inc.  |  210 B East Spring Valley Road, Dayton, OH 45458  |  800-777-3020

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