Elsmar Cove – Wikipedia for QA

In Elsmar Cove, International Standard, ISO, Medical Device, Purchasing, QA, QC, Quality, Quality Management Systems, Supplier Audit, Supplier Audits, Supplier Qualification, Supplier Quality on January 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm

While you are reading, here’s a seasonal favorite from one of my favorite singers (also from North Texas State) and a country singer that everyone will recognize.

After my last blog posting I planned to write a blog on supplier evaluation and re-evaluation. After a busy December, I finally have time to write again. Before I share my own ideas, I thought I would share a great resource with you: The Elsmar Cove Forum.

                Most of the people reading my blog are probably aware of a website called Elsmar Cove, but I think most people visit this site only when they need a quick answer to a question. It’s sort of like Wikipedia for Quality Assurance. Marc Smith is the creator of Elsmar Cove, http://elsmar.com/, and the forum just had its 15-year anniversary. This is a no frills website that has fantastic content and very little advertising. People from all over the world (~18,000 active participants) are contributing daily to this forum and many of the contributors are Quality and Regulatory experts. I like to use the site to keep up on best practices and trends in Quality. It also gives me an opportunity to learn from other types of Quality Systems such as: AS9100, TS16949, and ISO14001.

                Someone I used to work with had a saying he learned from his first boss: “A picture tells a thousand words, but a demonstration is better than a thousand pictures.” Therefore, I thought I would try to demonstrate the power of Elsmar Cove by researching best practices in supplier evaluation. Step 1: The first thing you do is visit the site. Step 2: Type “supplier evaluation” into the Google™ custom search. This will produce 100’s of links within the Elsmar Cove Forum related to supplier evaluation. Step 3: Skim the search results to find the entry or entries you are looking for. These search results include a supplier evaluation survey that you can download and adapt to your own company. If you need a quick solution, this is really fast and free.

                Another approach is to limit your search to Forum discussion threads. You can do this by going to the Forum Discussion page: http://elsmar.com/Forums/index.php. If you click on the tool bar link for “search” a pop-up window will appear. If you type “supplier evaluation” in this search bar, you will see 531 results presented in reverse chronological order. Below are a couple of threads that I thought were particularly good:

Benchmarking Supplier Certification Programs


Service Supplier Rating where objective pass/fail data is not available


Choosing Supplier Evaluation Methods – Determining what a Critical Supplier is


Supplier Approval for Distributors of Equipment


Second party audits – Supplier audits or product audits?


How you do Receiving Inspection for Chemicals?


Supplier Evaluation Responsibility


                I hope you find Elsmar Cove to be a useful website, and my next blog will share a few ideas for supplier evaluation of my own.

  1. First off I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior
    to writing. I have had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.
    I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost simply just trying to figure out
    how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Cheers!

    • Thank you for the words of praise.

      I highly recommend reading Stephen King’s Book: “On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft”. He covers this question in detail.

      I personally never experience writer’s block. My “secret” is that I do my creative drafts at night when I’m tired. Then I do my editing in the morning. My work requires writing many pages each day, so a 500-word blog is fun and games for me.

      One of the things that many great writers do is write 2x what they intend to publish. Then they edit their work down to size. By taking this approach they can just let their work flow without worrying about technical aspects of writing.

      My next evolution will be to teach myself to write using dictation software (i.e. – Dragon Naturally Speaking). I can write at 80-100 WPM now, but that will increase my rate to 130+ WPM.


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