Quality Quotes – Our Newsletter Collection (2007-2012)

Quality quotes are a popular topic, as we’ve seen in the ASQ LinkedIn Group and in feedback regarding our blog and newsletter.  As we issue quarterly newsletters, we include a “Quote of the Quarter.”  Here’s our comprehensive list of quotes, as noted in our newsletters going back to 2007.

“Customers are the most important assets any company has, even though they don’t show up on the balance sheet.” (Berry)
“The ideas of control and improvement are often confused with one another. That is because quality control and quality improvement are inseparable.” (Ishihara)
“Quality is not what happens when what you do matches your intentions. It is what happens when what you do matches your customers’ expectations.” (Guaspari)
“Good quality is never achieved by accident.” (Ishihara)
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
“Higher quality costs less, not more.” (Scherkenbach)
“Total quality management is a journey, not a destination.” (Berry)
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” (Peter Drucker)
“Consumers, by seeking quality and value, set the standards of acceptability for products and services by voting with their marketplace dollars.” (Ronald Reagan)
 “You must persevere to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks.” (Chinese Proverb)
“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” (Aristotle)
“The starting point for improvement is to recognize the need.”   (Imai)
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people are not used to working in an environment where excellence is expected.”
(Steve Jobs)
“Anything worth doing is worth doing right the first time.”  (Unknown)
“The quality of our expectations determines the quality of our action.”  (Andre Godin)
“Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.”  (Steve Jobs)
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”  (William A. Foster)
 “It is our choices that show who we really are, far more than our abilities.”  (JK Rawling)


Celebrating worker contributions & realizing the benefits of social audits

The first Monday in September is observed as Labor Day in the United States, which is a national holiday celebrating the contributions of workers.  Similar holidays are observed throughout the world.

Today, Samsung announced issues at several factories in China, indicating age disparities and other health and safety concerns.  They are committing to an evaluation of 144 suppliers before the end of the year, using documentation as a way to verify conformance to local regulations.  Apple and many other multinationals are facing similar issues and are working with NGOs, industry organizations and other 3rd parties such as Pro QC to improve supplier conditions and stakeholder confidence.

We have written several articles relating to on-site and verified social audits and are finding the request for such services are steadily increasing throughout the world.  Organizations of all sizes and throughout industries are realizing the benefits of proactive supplier management in this regard.

Benefits of ensuring worker’s rights through social audits include:

Human Resources – Recruitment & Retention Benefits 
Higher employee morale leads to greater rates of retention, which cuts the costs of recruiting and training new staff. In addition, a growing trend in recruitment appears to be concern regarding a company’s corporate social responsibility activities.

Increased Product Quality & Safety
Reducing defects and accidents enhances product quality. A less fatigued and adult workforce is less likely to cause accidents or defects on the production line. In addition, a supplier that shows little concern over health and safety is more likely to produce poor quality products.

Risk Management 
Proactive corporate responsibility offsets the risks of scandals or accidents that can create unwanted attention from consumers, regulators, government or the media.

Brand Development
Investing in a socially accountable supply chain benefits a company’s brand by differentiating from competition and building a positive reputation in the minds of consumers.

Stronger Management 
Providing training, defining responsibility and developing manuals will strengthen the management of the company.

Government Intervention 
If businesses take voluntary steps to ensure social accountability, they are more likely to avoid mandated government regulation and taxation.

For additional information regarding the components of social audits, read our full newsletter article.   The American Society for Quality, through theSRO, has recently issued the latest Pathways to Social Accountability as well, which always includes several relevant and convincing case studies.

The Handy Guide to Quality… Welcome!

ASQ’s recent Facebook post hit our radar with a reminder that World Quality Month is coming up in November.  And, what better time is there to “raise the voice” of quality?

On the World Quality Month site is a video that does a great job demonstrating quality’s importance and how it’s incorporated into all processes.  Presented by the Chartered Quality Institute, this is a must share…

Global Sources Electronics & Components in Miami

Last week marked the second year Global Sources hosted a show in Miami, Florida and the first that Pro QC  exhibited at this location.  Nestled in the retro Miami Beach scene, the traffic this year was steady.

Jennifer Stepniowski, Special Projects Manager, and Jeffrey Moellering, Sales & Marketing Director, met with several entrepreneurs seeking opportunities in the Asian market, in addition to the larger organizations seeking to expand operations.  There was no shortage of vendors, ranging from various clothing to LAN cable.  Presentations conducted that Tuesday educated buyers regarding the basics of sourcing abroad and the necessity of quality assurance within that process.

Our team will be returning to the Global Sources Electronics & Components show October 12th through the 15th.  Join us in Hong Kong! Account managers can also assist with arranging itineraries and translators if you’re new to this area.


S.M.A.R.T. quality planning & goal setting…

Planning and goal-setting are certainly two of the most challenging tasks an organization faces.  However you look at it, macro or micro, strategic or tactical, short or long-term, planning seamlessly finds its way into all functions of management.

Quality tools, such as flowcharts, fishbone diagrams, histograms, etc. add tremendous and inarguably invaluable assistance with this process, but the success hinges on whether or not you’re using the right one.  And, which one is the right one?  The most relevant answer is found in identifying the objective and subsequent details as accurately as possible.

This is where S.M.A.R.T. comes in… Planning and goal-setting effectively to work towards meeting or exceeding the objective.  It sounds quite simple, but using S.M.A.R.T. forces you to think broader and effectively ask the right questions that will later turn into result-driven action items.

Be S.M.A.R.T when planning or goal setting at any level…

S – Specific

For example, a quality problem identified with poor performance coming from a factory abroad isn’t solved by simply acknowledging there is “some” problem and then throwing different solutions at it to see if things get better.  By starting out specific, you lay out a roadmap for resolution.  In order to be specific, data collection is often required.  For example, are there any specific trends noted in the quality problem, such as raw material inconsistencies or labor shifts tied to production lots?  Are there seasonal or shipment quantity considerations? Figure out what is exactly the issue causing the poor performance.  Those trusty quality tools really come in handy here. But, if you define something in a general way, you’ll likely get a general result.  The same happens when you start by asking the wrong question.

M – Measurable

Part of being specific is to help identify what metrics can be employed so that there’s reliable and valid data available to determine progress and further action.  In the example above, use the trends identified to place values on improvement.  This expedites the corrective action process as well because decisions are made easier.  How do you know when you’ve succeeded?  You have to know the specific problem in order to get the specific data you need to measure the performance.

A – Attainable (Achievable)

Can the quality issue here be resolved? How can the goal be accomplished? Is that achievable based on the data gathered?  It may turn out the problem has a deeper root-cause, such as issues at the factory management level or raw material supplier inconsistency.  Some of the solutions may not be achievable based on the other requirements.  Remember, they all work together to form an organized system of goal setting and general planning.  If it turns out the solutions presented aren’t attainable, redefine the issue and subsequent corrective action as in this example.  Contingencies are important here.

R – Realistic (Relevant)

Is it realistic to focus on the actual quality defects noted or the process creating the defects?  Is it something that fits in with the existing goals of the organization?  Based on the information gathered, is it realistic to believe the problem can be resolved to an acceptable degree?

T – Timely (Or Tangible)

Especially when you’re dealing with issues that affect customers, timeliness is critical.  Gantt charts are excellent for determining the time requirements of a specific issue.  Using measurements as checkpoints often ensures timely execution.

For more information on S.M.A.R.T. goals and planning, we like these sites: