How to create quality culture in business
Cheap prices may sell in the short run, but it is quality that sustains a business in the long run. Commitment to quality is a culture to be consciously developed, nurtured and constantly watched, if a business organization wants long term success. The quality culture should be natural like water flow, as it should percolate from the top down to bottom. Unless the top echelons in management have a demonstrable commitment to quality, the same cannot be expected to run in the lower rungs of the organization.
The quality culture in the organization needs to be created broadly under four categories, if the business organization wants all round health and excellence in performance. They are 1) quality in products 2) quality in services (3) quality in financial dealings and 4) quality in relationships.
Creating quality culture in products
Quality has a price and business organizations must first of all have a clear perception about the level of quality of their products which they want to commit at the given prices. When the price is comparatively high, the quality expectation from the customer is also proportionately high. Making huge profits by projecting a product as a “premium” but not delivering a commensurate quality, is in reality, an indication of lack of quality culture.
To correctly define the quality level and then assiduously sticking to that quality is assured by ISO Quality accreditation. Organizations can get a “systematic” approach to quality through such procedures. A good quality culture is not totally ensured by such procedures, but at least, the “systems” are established and to that extent they are desirable. The true quality culture comes when the norms are exceeded; when the systems are not merely implemented as a mundane paper work; when such systems are never allowed to be tampered with, through dubious means.
Creating quality culture in service
An organization’s commitment to quality culture more often than not is reflected in the quality of service over the quality of product. A clear-cut free replacement policy, an excellent and timely after sales service support during warranty period, professional competence displayed in politely and efficiently delivering the service – all these reflect the quality culture exiting in the organization.
Business houses can develop these qualities by making their policies simple and transparent and by excellent training of the staff towards the mission. Moral commitment to satisfy the customer rather than the legal correctness should be the guiding principle in case of disputes.
Creating quality culture in money matters
Not encouraging bribery, not entering in to shady business deals, not intentionally cutting quality in order to cut losses or to increase margins, promptness in paying employees and sub-contractors, not engaging in unfair trade practices to thwart competition or to escape taxation etc are some of the principled practices that businesses should follow to ensure quality culture in money matters.
Creating quality culture in relationships
A business house should have commendable quality culture when it comes to relationship with the management and staff, with the sub-contractors and suppliers, customers and any other stakeholders with the organization.
A good quality culture in relationship with suppliers can be ensured by transparent policies, by paying proportionately for the quality of supplies and not by squeezing the suppliers’ profit margins adamantly. Cut-throat behavior should be avoided in the dealings with all stake holders. Relationships should be aimed to last long with each other for the well being of both the parties.
To sum up, the quality culture in an organization can be developed only through a total moral commitment to quality by the top management. Through transparent policies, education, training and visibly practicing what is preached, the quality culture has to be nurtured in the organization on a continuous basis.