Quality management: burden or boon?
Today I would like to share with you my thoughts on quality. Disclosure: I am actually a big fan of regulations and standards.
The way I see it is that they just tell you to do a proper job, and isn’t that what we all want to do?
To my surprise even the quality management consultant I was talking to not so long ago, stated that the QMS is usually treated as a must. The companies he is working for just want to check that box on their to-do list so they can get on with their work: building their company.
I think this is a missed opportunity. Effective quality management and taking care of business growth are not two separate things.
3 ways to increase your business’ quality
- Improve skills and workmanship of the team so they can deliver quality.
- Make sure nothing goes wrong through organizational quality.
- Actually make your client happy by understanding what quality means to him.
A QMS usually only covers the second point, but if you apply it in the right way it can also be used to achieve the other two goals.
Where do you start?
First you need to understand what those goals are for you, your product and your service to make it work. So, it makes perfect sense to do as the standards say: Start with stating what your quality goals and objectives are.
Still, people tend to dig into the details of procedures before looking at the bigger picture. Thinking about that bigger picture, I would say quality can make a statement about what it can deliver to your team, your client and the community.
For your team, you try to create a business that can support them. Furthermore, you want to establish a system that offers a work environment in which they can fully develop their potential. This results in happy people.
You’re obviously trying to deliver quality to your client, but quality also means that your business is not a burden to those who have nothing to do with you, inside and outside of your company. Have you considered the impact your business has on the community it lives in?
Jumbo, a great example for effective QMS
Which brings me to Jumbo, the Dutch supermarket. This is one of the best examples of a company that did it right.
On a mission to become the leading supermarket in the Netherlands, they created the “ten certainties” of Jumbo. They define what quality means as they have learned from their customers. That is a good start, but the next step is the big step forward.
Whenever they don’t deliver, they actually compensate the customer. So, if you are standing in line too long because the queue is longer than four people, you get your groceries for free. If you find fruit or vegetables that are not absolutely fresh, you get a bag of vegetables for free.
Now such measures guarantee that the branch manager lives up to those ten commandments. And recently I heard that the Dutch group “Wakker dier”, that fights for animal rights, has a campaign to tell people that Jumbo chickens are also better off. So, all my respect for Jumbo that delivers the full picture of quality.
If these ideas trigger you, feel free to share your thoughts. ProductStrategen will be happy to start a discussion and challenge you to get the best possible quality out of your business.