PORTLAND, OR--The difficult part of implementing a statistical process control system isn't the math, it's getting people to use the system.

"SPC programs involve employees at many levels, from plant-floor operators who run the machines all the way to the management types who make decisions about capital resources," says Jeffry Cawley, vice president of Northwest Analytical Inc., a supplier of SPC software. "With each group, you encounter resistance for different reasons."

Plant-floor operators often have limited computer skills and little exposure to statistics. Cawley advises supervisors to help their employees overcome their math and computer phobia before it derails the SPC program.

According to Cawley, management should communicate that SPC is a high priority and follow it up with reinforcement, such as making SPC implementation part of everyone's performance review criteria. At the same time, management should provide adequate training and offer advancement opportunities for those who achieve SPC competence.

For more information on SPC software, call 503-224-7727 or visit www.nwasoft.com.