Too much quality?

Wichita’s NPR station recently focused an OnWords piece related to quality.

Consider the following:

“You can usually tell that an organization has stopped caring about quality when it becomes the only thing they talk about.”

As quality professionals, we revel in the fact that organizations might be talking too much about quality. In that scenario, we have won and finally impressed the message that quality is indeed everyone’s responsibility.

And, is there really such a thing as too much data? Of course we know there is, but most quality engineers are going to revert to Deming:

“In god we trust, all others bring data.” 

The last comment in this piece is compelling though:

“So if it seems like a quality improvement plan has pulled all the passion out of your product, perhaps you should go back and ask what quality means for the product you sell.”

This is noted as consistent with the Plan > Do > Check < Act (PDCA) cycle and sums up the nature of continuous improvement nicely.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.” ~Benjamin Franklin

 

Quality as a Journey: Keep Going & Other Lessons Learned

Some of our inquiries at Pro QC come from organizations reaching out for reactive assistance that addresses current, significant quality issues. Once the immediate issue is addressed, ongoing quality efforts lose their luster until the next debacle.  It can be a viscous cycle in which clients are faced with difficult decisions regarding accountability to stakeholders.  Reactive solutions are also often more costly.

But, quality is a journey.

It’s a journey.

Here are a few lessons learned as an organization offering over three decades of experience in the industry:

  1. A successful journey starts and ends with the right leadership.  The organization’s leadership must support quality and ongoing efforts for improvements. And, that support must be communicated from the top, down in order for everyone to understand the importance of quality as a factor in decision making.

Resolving issues w/ QC in the textile/garment industry

The International Journal of Information, Business and Management recently reported on the garment industry and the impact on quality in the current environment.

Garment factories in Bangladesh have been the site of rights abuses and fatal accidents. The industry also faces its share of traditional business challenges, including mounting international competition and a lack of formal quality management systems, researcher Hasanuzzaman writes. Common challenges to adopting quality management systems – such as Six Sigma – include a lack of financial resources, infrastructure, and education, according to the author’s interviews with factory managers. Those who had implemented quality management, however, reported better customer and employee satisfaction, better waste management, and faster delivery.

CGMA Magazine highlights the ongoing issues noted in the textile/garment supply chain despite attempts to implement corrective actions via quality management:

Managing Supplier Compliance Requirements

A recent article posted to Supply Chain Digital “raises the point that all companies need to see evidence of suppliers’ own manufacturing and sourcing practices, particularly in health and safety, quality assurance and ethics.”

Due to the risks involved, retailers, associations and others are increasingly refining supplier requirements. Organizations wanting to sell products to these companies must ensure their suppliers meet code of conduct or other specific standards. Walmart is certainly one of the largest companies that comes to mind here and has changed the landscape of supplier compliance in many ways.  When qualifying suppliers to Walmart sourcing standards, audits are performed that address global security, social responsibility and general quality management systems. An example preparation audit report performed for a potential Walmart supplier can be found here.

Focus on Quality: Resources & Recommendations for World Quality Month

Inc. posted an article a few weeks ago that identified tips for becoming a billionaire.  And, it’s no surprise to us that each recommendation is either directly or indirectly related to quality.

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The following were cited as “insider success secrets:”

  • Live well below your means.
  • Focus on quality above everything.
  • Think about sustainability.
  • Constantly seek out people smarter than you.
  • Learn how to lead different personalities
  • Be a flexible planner.
  • Being understood is overrated.

The article is timely… Each November, World Quality Month is observed. And, quality professionals throughout the global community participate in spreading the word.