sábado, 4 de mayo de 2013

Quality makes the difference.

What's about the quality? Any companies think that the quality is a nonconformance rule or parameter that the employees just should be follow.

It's possible that any companies believe "quality" is just a "perception of the consumer", and only must work on this direction.

We have two class of quality. One is the “perceived quality, and the other is the “process quality”.

This situation obeys at two different problems. The most people in these companies believe that they have only one, "perceived quality".

Perceived quality is a marketing problem and the process quality is a production problem, both produces nonconformance troubles and high costs.

The trap here is to believe that solving one, you can finish the work. Nothing further from reality.

We have a systemic problem here. If you solve the quality process but you don't want efforts to change the feeling of your customers, you have troubles and if you spend money to change the image of your products but no solve production problems, you will have a double problem.

Let me introduce this graphic:

“Causing quality to happen is beyond the reach of quality control people unless management completely understands their role. It must be recognized that senior management is 100 percent responsible for the problems with quality and their continuance.”

We have two prices to pay: First, the nonconformance price, second, the price of conformance (inspection, testing, and education).

We have the illusion of having control.

Controls help, but it is very difficult to make motivated management people read the procedures, let alone follow them.

“Having a large book of policies and practices never saved any company from disaster. Philip B, Crosby.”

We know that anything that is caused as nonconformances can be prevented. We need develop three distinct management actions: Determination - education - implementation. All of these form part of the culture.

There is nothing wrong with "control quality" or a "system control quality". They are excellent tools to eliminate the causes that produce nonconforming products and service, but, we need to develop an education system, capable to ensure that all employees of the company have a common language of quality and understand their personal roles in causing quality to be routine.

What about communications?

Communication is a very important function of the company and a special part of this problem. Our education program can be excellent but it could fail without a good communication program. Let me do a list of points that the communication program should include:

 - Information about the progress of quality improvement and achievement actions should be continually supplied to all employees.

 - Recognition programs applicable to all levels of responsibility are a part of normal operations.

 - Each person in the company can, with very little effort, identify error, waste, opportunity, or any  other concern to top management quickly - and receive an immediate answer.

 - Each management status meeting begins with a factual and financial review of quality.

We need to develop a communication system capable to understand the customer’s vision. They buy our products and services. The quality is important but the perception of them is very important too. They will decide buying products if they are convinced of the quality level of them. We have a relation between quality and price.
Our customers will consume our products and services if they believe, among other things their prices represent the level of quality they have.

All these events ultimately affect the image of the company, and this in turn ends up affecting the "quality" as a concept. This is an invisible process, and starts one day when the customers decide don't buy our products. Sales fall, incomes fall and with them the cash to keep a reasonable level of quality. It's a negative circle.

You cannot disregard the perceived quality if you want your business grow, and you cannot disregard the quality of their processes, because they will allow you to save on costs. The saved money can be used to improve the perceived quality. This is a positive and virtuous circle.

The dorbaires team