The American Society for Quality (ASQ) defines quality as:
A subjective term for which each person or sector has its own definition. In technical usage, quality can have two meanings: 1. the characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs; 2. a product or service free of deficiencies.
Let’s break down that definition as it relates to our client relationships at TDIndustries:
The characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs. Typically, our customers provide definition of their expectations and needs through models, drawings, and specifications. This is a pretty straightforward way of determining how we are performing on quality. It boils down to “Did we meet the customer’s expectations (i.e., the drawings, specs and codes)?” Because we know their expectations and needs, to do anything less is not living up to our commitment to be a valued, trusted partner to our customer.
A product or service free of deficiencies. Freedom from deficiencies can be more challenging to define, especially for workmanship, as quality means different things to different people. As we’ve begun investigating quality deficiencies, we are finding that based on experience and training, some workmanship details may be new to a field partner. But we don’t have to wait for a training program to fill these gaps – everyone can have a role in improving and ensuring quality at TD. Just as with Safety, a Quality Culture relies on each of us looking out for and teaching our fellow Partners, ensuring we all understand and are supporting each other to meet high quality standards from the outset.
So what does “Quality” mean to me? Delivering what we promised. Excellence. Doing it right the first time. Improvement.
We can continue to raise the bar, both with ourselves and with each other. I recently heard a partner say, “If it can be better, it isn’t good enough.” Isn’t this a great way to embrace excellence and our shared value of continuous, aggressive improvement?