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Davis Bothe

Dave received his undergraduate degree in applied math and physics in 1973 and an MBA (summa cum laude) in 1976, both from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he also worked as an instructor for courses in mathematics and business statistics.

He began his industrial career in 1973 working for NASA at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas as a systems analyst. In 1976, he joined General Motors as a statistician for their warranty data analysis department, responsible for presenting product quality updates to top management. In 1978, he became the senior reliability engineer for a new engine development program, responsible for creating test programs and analyzing test results. When the quest for quality improvement took hold in the automotive industry, Dave was chosen to direct the statistical process control (SPC) program at one of GM’s engine plants which had been selected as a pilot facility. There he was responsible for the development of training materials as well as the instruction and implementation of statistical methods. He also headed a unique team of product, manufacturing and quality engineers formed to solve chronic quality problems in both manufacturing and assembly. Based on the success of these improvement efforts, Dave made numerous presentations on quality improvement techniques to GM’s executive committee as well as other GM divisions.

In 1985, he co-founded the International Quality Institute, a major private consulting firm for quality and productivity improvement with a worldwide client base. Initially serving as the director of quality improvement, Dave has been the president of this organization since 1999.

He has also served as an adjunct professor of statistics at Eastern Michigan University (1987-1989) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1989-present) teaching SPC, Statistical Problem Solving, Industrial Statistics, and Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt classes. Since 2001, he has certified more than 600 Black Belts and over 700 Green Belts.

Dave has published numerous articles in various quality magazines and technical journals (both U.S. and international), in addition to authoring several Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) papers. He has written and produced two videotapes on the subject of quality improvement, as well as the script for Technicomp’s video-based training program on SPC. Dave has created the training manuals, Breakthrough to Quality Excellence, SPC for Short Production Runs, SPC for JIT, Advanced Topics in Capability Studies and Statistical Problem Solving. He also designed a software program for applying SPC to short production runs.

Considered to be the “Father of Short-run SPC,” Dave was commissioned in 1987 to author the U.S. Army standard for applying SPC to short production runs (document number DAAA08 88 M 7649). In 1991, he was selected to write the reference handbook for applying SPC to short production runs. To keep his clients aware of new developments in the short run field, he published the quarterly “Short Run Newsletter.” Dave’s 1989 book, “Industrial Problem Solving,” which features his trademarked DOT STAR problem-solving strategy, has sold over 100,000 copies. In 1997, McGraw-Hill published his 900-page reference handbook for capability studies, “Measuring Process Capability,” which has become the best-selling book on this topic. The American Society for Quality (ASQ) selected this text as one of five books that every quality professional should have in his or her library. The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) recommends this book in their reference manual, “Statistical Process Control,” a guide for applying SPC in the automotive industry. His 1,100-page book on problem solving, “Reducing Process Variation,” was published in 2002 and is often chosen as a training manual for Six-Sigma courses. To help office and administrative functions improve the quality of their operations, he wrote an 800-page book, “Six Sigma in the Office.” His latest book, “Controlling Process Variation,” will be published in 2020.

The European Organization of Quality (EOQ) invited Dave to present a paper on his short run SPC methods at their annual quality conference in Prague, Czech Republic. The Chinese Society for Quality Control sponsored Dave to conduct his seminars in Taipei, Taiwan from 1993 through 2012. Due to the popularity of these seminars, several of Dave’s training manuals were translated into Chinese. Since 1988, he has worked with the Asia Pacific Research Centre to conduct a series of quality-improvement seminars in Singapore and Malaysia. In 1995, the British Atomic Weapons Establishment requested Dave to discuss his short run SPC methods at their Aldermaston, England facility. During 1996, he instructed both the Israeli Defense Force and the Israeli Aircraft Industry on his SPC and statistical problem-solving methods. Starting in the late 1990s, he has consulted with industrial companies in Ireland, Wales, Germany, Belgium, Australia, China, India, Brazil, Qatar, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Canada.

Dave is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, served on the National Education Board, is a book and videotape reviewer for ASQ’s Quality Press as well as the Executive Sciences Institute, and is on the editorial review board for the International Journal of Six Sigma. He has spoken at seven World Conferences on Quality and Improvement (sponsored by ASQ) and is often a featured speaker at many local ASQ functions and regional conferences. He is an ASQ-certified Reliability Engineer, an ASQ-certified Quality Engineer, an IQI-certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt, and a past member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the ISO Technical Committee 69 on Applications of Statistical Methods.

His articles have been published in all of the leading quality-related magazines and statistical journals (both U.S. and international) and three of his articles have received the Cecil C. Craig award for being an outstanding technical paper (this award is administered by the Automotive Section of ASQ). In addition to ASQ, he has been a member of the American Statistical Association ASA, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the Mathematical Association of America, the American Society of Metals, and the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS). He is listed in the 25th edition of “Who’s Who in Finance and Industry,” the 13th edition of “Who’s Who in the World,” as well as the first edition of the “International Who’s Who in Quality.”