who we are

Total Quality Systems Software, Inc. is based in Flagstaff, Arizona with offices in Utah, Colorado, and the U.K. Since 1986 we have been the leader in software management systems for employee involvement and idea management. We do that by listening to customer needs and constantly researching what is best practice in employee involvement. We have an extensive list of clients across North America, Europe, South America and the Middle East.

what we do

Total Quality Systems Software (TQS) has a staff of consultants with extensive experience in employee involvement and idea management - our sole focus. This includes: continuous improvement, suggestion systems, suggestion schemes, corrective actions, team activities, recognition programs, safety programs and assessments.

Our Simplified Idea Management (SIM) process and software are recognized for being uniquely suited to manage employee involvement. To better serve customers, we have teamed with several outstanding providers of assessment instruments, idea management training, awards and recognition merchandise, and publicity items.

our tools

Harness the knowledge of employees, suppliers, and customers by using modern suggestion systems, suggestion schemes, kaizen or continuous improvement processes.

Share ideas and knowledge on-line across the organization

Report to management and other participants

Create positive recognition processes that work

Measure the impact of teams on the organization effectively

Identify dysfunctional teams with a simple cost effective process

Resolve customer driven corrective actions

our team

  • James A. Schwarz

    CEO of Total Quality Systems Software (TQS). Jim has extensive experience in the design and creation of software systems for business and engineering. He also has direct manufacturing experience as a process engineer in the semiconductor and electronics assembly industries. He is currently responsible for product development and training at TQS - having been with the firm for over 22 years. He has an extensive training background, having worked with customers across North America, Mexico, Europe, South America and the Middle East. He has presented papers at conferences in the U.S., Canada, Middle East, India, and the United Kingdom. Jim takes his work experience as a trainer into his personal life where he is a fully certified ski instructor. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in International Management. He also speaks Spanish fluently and Portuguese functionally.

  • Del Despain

    Director of Software Development at TQS. Del has been with TQS since 1995 and has worked with customers worldwide in setting up management systems for their suggestion schemes. He is the lead architect of the SimNet product line. Before coming to TQS, Del worked for a major university as an Extension Education Specialist responsible for training, education and conflict resolution among land owners and land management professionals. He holds a Ph.D. in Watershed Management.

  • Douglas Hammon

    Sr. software developer for the SimNet 8 product line. He is responsible for creating our next generation of SIM software. He holds a BS in Computer and Information Technology and joined TQS in 2004.

  • Robert A. Schwarz

    The founder of TQS. He has extensive experience in teams, suggestion systems, customer needs and overall total quality management that was integrated into the SIM process. He managed functions at Honeywell Incorporated covering marketing, manufacturing, communication, and employee involvement that included the top rated suggestion system in the United States and was one of the pioneers of quality circles, plus other employee driven team processes. Bob founded TQS in 1986 and proceeded to develop a process for employee suggestion systems and team management for his customers. Bob has used his training in engineering, behaviors, management and as a Baldrige process examiner to create a balanced approach to the processes generating ideas for improvement.






our board of advisors

  • Lesia Mahon, PMP

    Managed a corporate-wide suggestion program in the Automotive Industry covering over 40 facilities. She was the technical expert for Delphi and the unions to enable process improvement. In addition, Lesia has successfully led diverse global teams in transformation, development, and reengineering of various business processes at both Delphi and GM. She has extensive experience working with a range of functions including suppliers, plant operations, legal, purchasing, finance, information technology, human resources, health and safety, marketing. She also has experience working with General Motors and various unions. In addition to her experience facilitating, coordinating, and leading project teams, Lesia she has developed curriculum and effectively taught classes at the corporate, graduate, and undergraduate college levels. Lesia is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Walsh College in Michigan, teaching Business Information Technology. In addition, Lesia has been developing and providing skill-building workshops to help displaced workers in southeast Michigan.In addition, Lesia acts as reviewing editor for many of the documents that have been written by James A. Schwarz, CEO of Total Quality Systems Software.

  • John Gakopoulos

    has over 20 years experience in Information Technology having served as Director for Information Technology at Community Partnership of Southern Arizona (CPSA) a Regional Behavioral Health Authority that manages publicly funded behavioral health services in Pima County, AZ and as IT Manager for Holsum Bakery, Inc a food manufacturer in Phoenix, AZ. Additionally, Mr. Gakopoulos worked for the Institute for Supply Management formerly known as the National Association of Purchasing Management (N.A.P.M.) where he held the positions of General Services Manager, Special Projects Manager, Purchasing Manager and Data Processing Manager. Mr. Gakopoulos was involved in the development and automation of the Opportunity for Improvement (OFI) suggestion process for Holsum Bakery and he served as administrator of the OFI process. Mr. Gakopoulos holds an Associate in Computer Programming from Bergen Community College, a Bachelor in Business Administration and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He has been an adjunct instructor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University from 1993 to 1999 teaching Information Technology courses. Mr. Gakopoulos joined the faculty of Western International University in 1999 and he is currently an adjunct professor teaching graduate and undergraduate Information Technology courses.

  • Graham Holt

    Ran the successful suggestion scheme for the Cooperative Bank in Manchester, UK In a varied career Graham worked in the Bank’s Central Quality Unit, delivering Total Quality Management, Business Process Re-engineering and Statistical Process Control courses - both Bank-wide and for external organizations. He also spent 3 years as an External Consultant to major Bank/non-Bank customers on Business Management issues. His last assignment at the Bank, before taking early retirement, was in P.R. as Editor of the Bank Magazine, producing staff videos and managing the Bank’s presence at major Conferences. He is a past Chairman and a Fellow of Ideas.UK. He recently created the well-received member Toolkit for Ideas.UK and has a deep understanding of idea systems. Lastly, Graham is very fond of playing the guitar and in years past performed in a Manchester duo.

  • James Hoyt

    Lead the IDEAS suggestion program at Haworth. He has worked production, quality and engineering in his time at Haworth. He is currently a Senior Quality Engineer in charge of the ISO 9001 auditing. Jim has a deep understanding of ideas along with the perspectives of Industrial Engineering (Lean before Lean was popular) and Quality methodology from being an Industrial Engineer and now performing the ISO Process Audits. Jim has lead the Michigan EIA Chapter, been a part of the Board for EIA at the national level. He has served on the Board (including 2 years as Chair) for the local American Society for Quality (ASQ) section for the last 10 years. He has recently been named Deputy Regional Director for ASQ Region 10. He was President of the local Chamber of Commerce for 4 years. He also has been active in his community - President of the local Chamber of Commerce for 4 years, President of two different local Rotary clubs, on the Board for the County United Way Organization, and a Technology advisor for the County Intermediate School District. Many of these roles were to help bring about change and better serve their customers.

  • Floyd Light

    Began his career in 1963 at General Motors as an hourly assembly line worker before being promoted to Job-setter for Assembly Line operations. He was promoted to Supervisor of Assembly Operations in 1978. In 1981 he was transferred to Human Resources to become Coordinator of the Suggestion Plan for a Business Unit which consisted of 4 manufacturing plants, servicing 2,500 employees. He was promoted to Administrator of the Divisional Employee Suggestion Plan and also given the task to develop and implement a new Employee Recognition System for Delphi Saginaw. He also worked in Joint Activities with the United Auto Worker’s Union within Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems. Floyd served on the Board of Directors for the Employee Involvement Association, and served on term as President of this organization. He retired in 2004 after serving the GM and Delphi organizations for 41 years.

  • John Serin

    Ran the suggestion system for the Adrian Delphi facility as the UAW union counterpart – being formally trained as a welder. He later supported Lean activities from the union side. John probably has the best common-sense understanding of Lean that I have ever seen. He lives it!

  • Andy Brophy

    Is a Lean & Creativity Facilitator. He has been working in the lean field for the last ten years ranging in areas, from manufacturing to test labs and from offices to hospitals. He owns his own consultancy business called Lean 2 Innovative Thinking specializing in lean and creativity and innovation. He has a particular passion for developing and tapping into the creative potential of organizations employees. Andy also shares a passion for invention and innovation and has numerous ideas for new products at the early stages of market feasibility analysis. Andy holds a 1st Class MSc in Lean Operations from Cardiff University and is Six Sigma Black Belt trained. In October 2009 he is scheduled to publish a book called Innovative Lean primarily based on the power of harvesting and implementing employee ideas. He is currently also writing a section of a new book for the Lean Enterprise Research Center at Cardiff Business School. In 2010 he is due to publish a co-authored book on Lean Healthcare with emphasis on Deming?s System of Profound Knowledge and The Science of Improvement.



PO Box 30485 Flagstaff, Arizona 86003-0485