Quality Q & A

I have attended a couple of networking events this week, and have shared many converstaions with managers and business owners. When I network with strangers, I speak very little. But I listen a great deal. I ask questions and allow people to talk about themselves (something they like to do!). And I learn from the things I hear.

Here’s a selection of snippets of conversation I have had this week: Q(uestion) from the person I am speaking to, A(nswer) from me. Clearly, I still have a lot of work to do in educating the business community that quality¬†influences performance in every company, in every industry, in every country!

Q: We don’t ‘do’ quality anymore. We did it years ago, but why should we do it now?

A: You actually are doing it now! You just aren’t managing it and therefore it’s likley to be having a negative affect on your business results.

Q: We have ISO 9001 but business isn’t good and we will let it go this year.

A: That’s a shame, because clients of mine who I have helped become certified to ISO 9001 are seeing improvements in profits which are directly linked to their certification. I suggest that your management system probably isn’t aligned to your business goals and doesn’t represent what your business actually does.

Q: I thought quality was about manufacturing!

A: Quality is about understanding and meeting the needs of your customers. It’s about creating and delivering a service or a product. If you don’t understand quality, it will reflect in your business, which will reflect on your customers. Without customers you have no business. Quality has to be managed in every business in every industry. It’s more relevant now than it ever has been.

Q: I embrace what you are saying but how do I manage and improve it in my company?

A: Essentially, you need to understand what your customers need and how you manage your resources to achieve those needs, in the most profitable and efficient way. This involves your processes, productivity, systems and standards. Quality has to be aligned with your strategic objectives and in my experience, quality enables growth. If it doesn’t, or isn’t, give me a call!

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