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How what we do affects the quality of our environment

As quality professionals we know the value of a quality product or service and the impact when quality is not present in the things we purchase.  Being in the quality profession we are the ones who best understand how the actions that are taken can affect our lives and those of our family and friends.  Quality issues within private industry and government entities need to be resolved and it is up to us as individuals who understand the principles of quality to present the impact on decisions to be made given the opportunity.

Every day we hear of product recalls such as automobiles but it does not stop there.  While there are many manufacturing processes for various products we as individuals who are part of that process can and do impact the quality of what is being produced.  The actions and decisions we make in performing our assigned responsibilities makes a statement as to who we really are.  While we cannot make the decisions of those for whom we work involving quality issues we can present the case what decision should be made.

In the present environment quality has become every individual’s responsibility.  While there are quality departments and/or organizations it is the individuals (us) regardless of our responsibilities to do the best job we can given the training we are provided.  Quality professionals know the value of a quality product or service involving the products and/or service with which they are involved.  The environment around us is affected by the actions or inactions of individuals involving quality principles.

It has been said instilling quality in all areas of our lives and the environment around us has a costs factor.  This is true but we need to look at the costs involved when quality is not present in the products or service we purchase.  Two of the best examples are product recalls such as automobiles and food in some cases.  Recalls are a cost to those organizations involved in the process of creating these products.  Instilling quality principles in these areas would reduce the costs to businesses which would not have occurred had a quality process were in place or followed.  It is true that quality processes are in place in many organizations but whether they are followed to the letter is the question.  The results can always be seen in customer complaints which sometimes make it in the news.  The main principle involved in all areas involving poor quality is the concept of do it right the first time.  Doing it right the first time will reduce or eliminate the cost of recall, repair or replacement.  These are costs need not occur if we have the power and opportunity to prevent them.

Granted instances occur which are the result of decisions which may not have been anticipated.  The key in this aspect is the actions to eliminate or reduce the impact of the issue involved.  We as quality professions and even those of us who are not can impact the quality of a product or service we purchase.  When we are dissatisfied with the quality of a product or service we must complain to companies who are responsible for selling and/or making them.  Companies need to know when we receive what we believe to be an inferior product or service or does not meet our needs or the advertisement as presented.  The same is true for quality products or services we purchase.  If we are satisfied we should also inform the company by whatever means is available about how we appreciate the quality of the product or service they have provided to us.  Sadly this does not occur as often as it should.

To summarize what we do as individuals says much about us and the principles by which we live.  Quality principles are an important ingredient in society today now more than ever.  The cost of operating a business seems to be on the rise with increased regulations and taxes of all kinds.  The businesses of today are always looking to cut costs and one of the primary areas affecting everything a business does is quality principles.  Making or providing a good quality product or service benefits a company and their customers.  Quality professionals need to utilize their experience in convincing companies of the importance of the principle do it right the first time.  It costs less to make a product right the first time than to repair or replace it when the quality is less than a customer expected or required.

 

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Dennis AuBuchon

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