In today’s world of continually evolving technology — where not only the technology itself speeds up, but so does the rate of change — it is no easy task for companies to stay on the cutting edge of quality management. In order to maintain and manage quality and processes, the use of a quality management system is often the only way to avoid customer dissatisfaction, poor resource allocation, low employee morale, and other concerns.
It’s also an excellent way to monitor operations and performance, making sure your company is staying on target.
Incorporating a quality management system can save time and money, and has many advantages over not doing so. However, several myths have arisen regarding potential drawbacks to using such a system, which we’ll take a look at here:
1. Managing for quality is cost-prohibitive
This misconception is probably the most popular one we hear. Managing for quality does have some sizable up front costs: training personnel (which involves allocating time and resources) and the purchase/integration of QMS platforms are the biggest. However, the benefits far outweight the costs when it comes to the types of problems that get solved by well educated employees. The costs of poor quality start melting away, customers are happier, and employees inevitably are happier. Leaders today have to seriously ask themselves this question though: can we afford to not manage for quality? The answer is no if you want to survive.
2. Only big companies use quality management
No matter the size, the number of locations, or total employees, every company should be tracking and controlling processes, managing guidelines, and adhering to requirements. Any company that wants to grow will benefit from the continuous improvement mindset that managing for quality creates. Additionally, it is nearly impossible to track strategic goals and key performance indicators without a quality management system in place.
3. Programs like Lean and Six Sigma offer low ROI
The fundamental goal of a Lean Six Sigma project is to fix a process so that it will be 99.9997% error free, or produce only 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Different types of projects fix different processes, however, the return on investment is undeniable when you consider the detrimental costs that defects can incur: angry customers, safety recalls, wasted product, excess handling costs, or even worse!
4. Managing for quality is something only technical professionals can do
Managing for quality is something that everyone in your organization should be involved with! The best way to foster change in an organization is to make sure all involved understand what is expected of them and have the resources they need to get there. By encouraging all employees to get involved, you may also get feedback that you wouldn’t normally hear in leadership meetings and discover hidden issues.
Quality management isn’t something that only large companies or only quality directors should be concerned with. Spread a quality mindset throughout your organization and remember that improvement happens project-by-project, or not at all!
For more information on quality management and how Juran can help you leverage it to improve your quality and productivity, please get in touch with the team.
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