When boiling down to the main parameters for a business to succeed, it has to secure the following; competitiveness, availability, sustainability, good product design and quality. This means a customer offer that provides a well designed, competitively priced product on the store/warehouse shelves, supplied by a company that cares about society and the environment. And of course great product quality?
How can a company move quality further into the business, engaging all operations and not just the Technicians and Quality Managers. Quality is an essential part of good business growth..
Over the last 30 years there have been many quality improvement programmes and concepts developed and implemented. This has seen the use of science/maths equations, black/green/yellow belts and manuals full of procedures and directives. These improvement programmes have made great strides in improving service and product quality. However, they have been and are essentially the tools for quality technicians and managers.
As a business driver Quality needs to be concise and standardised for a more holistic understanding and participation by everybody. This starts with understanding the customer, it is only their experience of a product/service quality that determines success or failure. The best approach to customer quality I have worked with are the following 4 definitions of Customer Experienced Product Quality – CEPQ:
- Durability and Function: What is the performance of the material and components to secure that the product does ‘what it says on the tin’.
- Safe to Use: What shall be the product’s chemical and substance content. What is the security of small and loose parts.
- Well Designed Product: Clear design briefs and specifications. If the product is part of a range, is it modular e.g. correct dimensions, consistent and true colour/shades.
- Customer Friendly: What is the after use appearance, are the buttons, switches etc convenient. Is the packaging sufficient and recyclable. Assembly and installation is easy for the customer.
Using the above 4 CEPQ headings, a company can devise their own points to secure according to their customer’s profile, operational and product range requirements. Once devised, these CEPQ points are then used as integral inputs for design/development, manufacturing and quality assurance management.
Irrespective of which Quality management systems a company employs i.e. ISO 9000, Six Sigma, TQM, Lean Manufacturing etc. – Quality is defined by the customer experience. Therefore CEPQ shall drive all these systems and similiar used in the supply chain.
Everything is connected; achieving a competitive price, secured availability at point of sale and a sustainability for the product and the company is difficult without assured quality. Implementing and securing good Customer Experienced Product Quality is vital to secure for any company’s Good Business Growth..
RVA helps business to achieve Good Business Growth, please contact us for further details and discussions on how we can work together.. Mark K. Astley – Robert Vernon Associates Ltd.