PATS Blazes Oregon Trail
John R. West, MSQPC Newsletter, August 2000
Oregon International Airfreight (OIA) Global Logistics in Portland, Oregon, needed some
help. One of its largest customers had just required that OIA become certified in ISO
|Although we had not seen each other since both
of us left FedEx, OIA's Chief Operating Officer (COO) located me through another former
FedEx manager. Once reaching me, he asked my advice on the best way to become ISO 9000
certified. I recommended Mark Weber with MSQPC-The Quality Center and arranged for communication
between the two. I also informed the COO about the Process Activated Training System® ("PATS") and recommended
that he at least consider a pilot workshop and buy the software to assure taking the right
path toward certification in the procedures, training, and other important aspects of ISO
9000. Upon being convinced of the perfect fit between PATS and ISO 9000,
and the very reasonable price I quoted him, he arranged to have me conduct a two-day PATS
workshop in Portland near their head quarters. He also arranged to purchase the software and for Mark Weber to
come to Portland to put them on the fast track for ISO 9000 certification soon after the
PATS workshop was completed.
convinced of the perfect fit between PATS and ISO 9000, and the very reasonable price I
quoted him, he arranged to have me conduct a two-day PATS workshop in Portland near their
head quarters. He also arranged to purchase the software ....
I arrived at the OIA offices in Portland on Monday, July 24, 2000, to ensure that
the PATS software was installed correctly and that it was ready for use over the
next two days for the upcoming PATS workshop. Installing a sample work process into
the software proved the software ready for action. On Tuesday morning, we began the PATS
workshop. The COO introduced me to the group of 17 and had each introduce themselves
to me. There were OIA representatives attending from corporate sites in Portland, Los
Angeles, Seattle, and New York.
|... I made it clear that they
would actually be accomp- lishing important work while learning PATS....
||During the introduction of PATS to the group, I
made it clear that they would actually be accomplishing important work while learning PATS
-- that they would be working together in teams, and sharing their knowledge over the two
days, rather than just listening to me explain things to them.
The participants caught on quickly and were involved the entire time using OIA's
"Best Practice" processes to learn PATS. Therefore, they were working with
familiar subject matter while learning this new system. The fact that they had to present
their breakout teamwork to the entire group kept their interest level high. The fact that
the CEO visited and had lunch with them on the first day and the COO rejoined the group on
the second day, reinforced to them the importance of this work.
We concluded the workshop by developing an action plan for continuing process
documentation after the PATS workshop. Workshop participants were paired and
assigned to go back to their work locations and document more processes. This ensured a
continuity in the use of PATS after the workshop concluded. During much of the
workshop, an administrative assistant was present to enter the completed processes on the
computer using the new software. This assured that very little, if any, further work had
to be done on those particular processes. She also entered the action plan on the computer
and displayed it on a screen as the group developed and completed the plan.
The entire group caught on quickly and accomplished a lot during two days. A couple of
phone calls received from one of the participants a few days after the workshop was
concluded provided evidence that OIA was carrying through on their plan to align the PATS
system with their upcoming ISO 9000 certification initiative.
As this group from OIA Global Logistics discovered, PATS is useful for any type
organization, it can be learned quickly, real work is accomplished, and it is easy on the
To learn more about the PATS system, view our web site at www.msqpc.com or contact
(PATS developer) at 901-543-3551 or John West at 901-756-8756.