Customer in Defining Quality

The Growing Role of the Customer in Defining Quality

Four key factors drive the intersection of customer and quality:

• The role of quality within an organization

• Integration of goals in strategic planning

• Level of transparency on quality goals and reporting

• How the quality measures are used.

It is clear that many organizations are becoming true partners with their customers in order to maximize the value for both stakeholders. Organizations’ definition of quality, the actual quality processes, and using quality measures to drive performance and culture are all closely tied to customers. Because quality and customers are so closely aligned in successful organizations, the two concepts are intersecting into a customer-centric quality culture.

While manufacturing organizations tend to use mature quality practices—in regards to governance models, availability and use of metrics, quality management frameworks and certifications, and training—do their practices include a focus on the customer? What defines a customer-centric, quality culture and what are the driving factors of its success?

To answer these questions APQC(American Productivity and Quality Center) conducted correlation analysis on data, specifically for the manufacturing industries, from American Society for Quality – The Global Sate of Quality survey conducted by APQC for ASQ. The customer-centric quality culture can be defined by four statements that elucidate the organization’s relationship with its customer around quality:

Most of the survey respondents indicated they agree with the statements. However all cultural attributes were not weighted equally. The emphasis was placed on customer service and product performance, rather than two-way engagement or quality and what it means to the customer.

source: http://www.industryweek.com

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