How would you answer the question, “How important is the quality of your vendors’ or customers’ performance to the success of your business?” You would probably respond, “It is very important.” Right? Not a highly scientific survey… but an honest one. Quality matters. For everyone. So, and here is the age-old question, what is it about quality that matters? I would suggest, when you throw out all the tried and true definitions like ‘conformance to requirements’ or ‘getting it right the first time’, what really matters about quality is confidence.
Confidence that the quality standard is met all the time. Confidence that the parameters for monitoring quality are applied constantly and consistently. Confidence that a respectful attitude for quality is not just a matter of convenience or ease, but that it is equally important when business processes require more focus or more energy.
So, how do we develop confidence in ourselves, in our vendors, and in our customers? A track record of effective performance certainly is a key factor, but if there are no demonstrated controls then we are really just one random event away from a problem. True confidence relies on something more than control; it relies on demonstrated, documented control.
Demonstrated control is a way of showing that effective monitoring and oversight exists and is applied continuously and consistently. Lots of companies have systems for demonstrated control and these systems give their customers confidence about expected outcomes.
But having those systems is not the same as having the best systems. Often, legacy systems are paper -and spreadsheet-based. They are cumbersome and time-consuming and they lack the ability to provide a single view of the truth because they are not integrated with the rest of the business process. Shifting from a legacy system to something new is very difficult. Even when we know the new will be better than the old, we struggle over the decision to make the switch. We get caught up in inertia, fear and cost and we most frequently use cost to stop ourselves.
Cost is easy to explain. Cost is a universal concern. But if you could spend less than $9,000.00 to provide unlimited user licenses for an integrated quality management system, would cost still be your holdup?
A few days ago, Horizons introduced the latest version of our Quality Essentials Suite solution. It targets the needs of industries where documented control like Certificates of Analysis encourage confidence. If you think your organization could benefit from deploying a scalable solution for your quality management tasks, we hope you will take a moment to check out our enhancements. Then think about which is more important – cost or confidence?