MISSION VIEJO, Calif., April 4, 2019 – Ease, Inc. announced four winners for its second annual Champions for Quality awards. The company changed the contest this year to focus on its main client base: tier 1 automotive suppliers.

To be nominated, manufacturers needed to have implemented layered process audits (LPAs) into their quality programs, either paper-based or using software. LPAs are a requirement of tier 1 automotive suppliers, and Ease, Inc.’s main product, Beacon Quality, automates that process.

“We really wanted to draw attention to how an effective LPA program can make or break a supplier’s claim for quality,” says Rachel Pradhan, Marketing Director of Beacon Quality. “This was our chance to celebrate the individuals who are directly involved with their plant’s quality initiatives.”

The contest opened in early February 2019. Ease was thrilled and overwhelmed by the number of nominations and worked tirelessly to choose finalists in multiple categories, including Catalyst, Ambassador and Influencer.

Alongside nominations made by the public, the internal Beacon Quality team was excited to present two new awards to top clients, called Beacon Quality Champions. These individuals were instrumental in implementing and improving their plant’s audit programs with automated software.

Public voting closed April 2, with the results as follows:

Ambassador winner: Don Newman, ABC Technologies, Inc.
Director of Quality at North America ABC Group, Don Newman helped standardize his organization’s quality program by implementing Beacon Quality for their LPAs. He further leverages the randomization tool to occasionally use his gag question (Is Minnie Mouse married to Darth Vader?) to see whether employees are pencil-whipping audits. He has played a leading role in improving quality at his facilities and takes full advantage of the standardized reporting features of Beacon Quality to show improvement.

Influencer winner: Jay Senatra, HNI Corporation
Jay Senatra, Director of Supply Chain at HNI Corporation, led a team that demonstrated the benefits of LPAs using Beacon Quality software with development of an overall management system. Senatra and his team successfully convinced operations leadership at 14 facilities to implement the Beacon Quality software. Since then, the team has rolled out the process across the 13 different facilities and is leveraging the data generated by audits to identify quality trends and create actionable follow-up items. Jay and his team take great pride in implementing forward-thinking ideas quality , and HNI is benefitting from those ideas.

Catalyst winner: Julie Miller, Continental Tire
With a whopping 3 nominations, Julie Miller was a clear winner for the Catalyst category. As an administrative assistant at Continental, she led the quality group by establishing the framework, organizing teams, and inputting all necessary information to ensure a successful LPA implementation. She works tirelessly to make sure that questions remain relevant to customer requirements and system modifications are synced with Beacon Quality. She’s introduced the power of LPAs to different areas of the plant and has been closely involved in helping develop a culture of quality.

Catalyst winner: Michael Shivers of Cooper Tire
Michael led the implementation of LPAs at Cooper Tire’s Findlay, Ohio plant as Senior Manager of Production Systems. His involvement has resulted in numerous success stories in which his team was able to find and correct issues early, thus preventing unwanted defects. By facilitating management discussions with operators, aggressively finding sources of variation, and correcting issues quickly, Michael has proven time and again to be a key player in continuous improvement. He also leverages the reporting capabilities of Beacon Quality, sharing his findings across several functional areas to maximize the impact of LPAs.

Beacon Quality Champion: Allen Perry of Dana Incorporated
Allen is Director of Global Quality at Dana and was instrumental in rolling out Beacon Quality across 28 plants in 10 different countries. Allen is a big advocate for Dana’s automated LPA program and ensured that senior leadership understood that electronic audits would be the biggest contributor to driving down internal PPM.

Beacon Quality Champion: Daniel Pérez Castilla of Tenneco Powertrain (formally Federal-Mogul)
Daniel worked tirelessly for 6 months to get Beacon Quality approved at Federal-Mogul as Director of Quality Systems. Once he achieved leadership buy-in, Daniel became the corporate champion for LPAs and project manager for an impressive 34 sites. He actively contributes to Tenneco Powertrain’s quality excellence by consistently maintaining the automated LPA platform.

This year’s Beacon User Summit will host the 2nd annual Champions for Quality Awards ceremony. Even more unique, it will be a live-broadcast event with a short panel discussion with winners following the ceremony.

The 2019 Beacon User Summit is a free virtual event on May 16 and 17 from 8  a.m. until 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. The awards ceremony is scheduled for 12 p.m. PST on May 16. The conference will feature high-profile speakers, hands-on Beacon Quality training, and live gift giveaways.

About Ease, Inc. and Beacon Quality: Ease, Inc. was founded in 1986, and Beacon Quality is its flagship software. We are the leading provider of cloud-based and on-premise layered process audit (LPA) software for the automotive and aerospace industries.

We have decades of experience helping companies improve visibility and control at every stage of production, with tools that promote company-wide engagement and operational excellence.

Our mission: empowering businesses to deliver higher quality products better, faster and at lower cost.

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