How does quality impact business success?
The subject of quality for a business or organization must be understood before it can be determined if it is important. The purpose of business is to attract customers and make a profit. This requires the ability to keep the customers they have and draw in new ones. One of the characteristics important to customers is quality. This cannot be denied in that those who have a great reputation and good customer service flourish in today’s economy. The question to be answered is how businesses focus on quality principles and do they have quality high on their objectives/policy in their operational plan.
Owners and management of companies and organizations must not say one thing and do another. An example would be to say quality is important to the business but quality issues are raised in a manufacturing operation, the quality department must not be overruled to get product out the door. This sends the wrong message to those who work for their company or organization. When actions by owners and management in a company match their words employees realize quality is important and will start to instill it in everything they do for the company. Quality is important not only in the products or services a company offers but in the quality their customer service department and their employees provide to their customers.
Today it is a world economy and businesses can compete across the globe more than ever before. Companies who provide poor products and services or poor customer service will have a hard time succeeding. Many companies try to cut corners to some extent to improve the bottom line. While this may be appealing to some the result is that it will show up in their products and services.
Companies or organizations who want to project to potential customers and those they already have that quality is important need to start with where they place the quality department in their organizational structure. It is true problems do occur in every organization but it is how they react to them that help an organization succeed or fail. One of my favorite quotes is that it costs less to do something right the first time than to do it over a second time. There is no denying the fact that when products progress through a manufacturing line and in compliance with procedures and contractual requirements rework costs are avoided. The concept of rework is not unfamiliar to any business or organization and the process must be in place to address issues that surface. Companies must remember the cost of doing something one time is less than doing it over two or more times. Each time a product is touched in a rework environment the costs increase for that specific unit.
Costs of products and service impact the profit margin of a company. When costs increase profit is reduced. In this aspect producing a quality product keeps the costs down. This increases the profit of a company. It not only makes the company more stable but it stabilizes the jobs of the employees.
Examples of where quality issues have affected the reputation of a company can be seen in a product recall environment. These events create an undesirable opinion of these companies. When you think of companies with recall problems you think of poor quality being produced or at least I do. This does not necessarily mean the overall products of a company are of poor quality but when the opinion of the public feels they do companies lose business and profits suffer. Companies who are recognized to produce a quality product have a favorable opinion from the public and as a result profits increase. Once the reputation of a company suffers it is hard to turn the reputation around to a more favorable opinion by the public who may be interested in their products or services. The reputation of a company or organization is engrained within the level of quality products or service a company offers for sale. High quality levels of products signify that good manufacturing processes are in place to ensure their products do what is intended. Keeping costs down and producing high quality products businesses will find the profits will be there provided the products are something the public wants or need in their lives.
Businesses and organizations of all types public, private and government must remember one thing. In the economy as it is today with the high unemployment the public has only so much money to spend. How and where they spend their money will depend on the reputation a company puts forth. Will it be one of a positive nature where quality is displayed as important as seen in the products they produce or will it be of a negative nature where quality is perceived as unimportant in their operations? The actions of companies will determine what the public opinion will be of their products and operations.