STUDENTS' CORNER - 71
Irrespective of the product life cycle, there are some basic principles that must be adhered to achieve improvement in quality.
First, as W. Edwards Deming, the father of the quality movement put it
Constancy of purpose. It simple means the commitment of the company to quality and it must begin from the top.Again, quality is not to be restricted or measured by quarters. It is not that it is maintained in the first quarter and not attended to with equal attention in the following quarters.
Second: Track mistakes. Simply, it means, when the customers fall in number, trying to find out what fails to retain the customer with the company. Bain consultant Fred Reichheld has developed what is called net promoter score. It tries to find out how many of your customers will recommend your company to their friends and how many will not. Customers are classified as promoter , passive and a detractor. Passive customer neither recommends nor detracts. Detractor definitely takes away your customer from you. All that you have to do is try to decrease the detractors simultaneously paying attention to the other two kinds of customers also.
Quality must be the concern of employees of the company; it must not be sole responsibility of quality control department of a company if it has one. The worker must be given training from the day number one to focus on quality and its issues. In fact, it has been suggested that senior workers can be the better choice to give training to new recruits since they know well the company and its policies. It is also desirable that the MD and CEO himself takes the lead for training. Ultimately training it is that matters; it gives courage to work with fellow-workers in an atmosphere of mutual understanding. Training also helps detect lapses in performance at the earliest so that they can be remedied with least adverse consequences to the company.
Quality circle is a group of employees with a concern for quality. The employees are encouraged to assess performance and suggest way of improving. The purpose of the quality circles is not so much to solve any particular problem but involving the workers in the process of finding problems with concern for quality.
Finally comes the right attitude.
The right attitude must be instilled which means concern for quality is commitment with joy and happiness. Workplace must be one of happy environment where all the workers share their experiences without fear or favor. Not so much the flaws of the company but rather finding the ways of rooting them out.