Tag: quality

Improving improvement

Measurement No Comments

We like the way that various organisations promoting improvement, keep finding ways to communicate things simply and helpfully…

For example, this video from IHI

And this compendium from closer to home.

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Tell them how you’re doing (before they ask)

Personal productivity, Reflect No Comments

I was getting a car tyre valve looked at.

I noticed a load of review cards in date order on the wall – listing satisfaction out of 5 (and why) for a random set of customers.

The surprise? 

They had put up the low scores too – the ones at 2/5 complaining of glitches and the ones at 4/5 complaining of cost.  Interestingly, none were complaining of the technical quality of the engineering.

The lesson? 

In an era of web based reviewing and polling, maybe it is worth getting there first and being open – it impressed me.

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What makes for great service?

Think No Comments

Deciding that something or someone has given you “great service” is a function of what you need and your expectation of what will be delivered.

Take this recent example in a hotel – would it equate to great service for you?

1) a lovely view from bedroom desk

2) shabby hall carpets and decoration

3) a quiet room

4) no way to get a drink or piece of fruit at 3am

5) a proper, comfortable, office chair at the writing desk

The trouble is, expectations can vary and needs can be unique.

So, how can you be sure that you’re delivering great service to your customers?

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Quality and value: chocolate reindeer anyone?

Plan No Comments

Aldi adThis festive advert from the discount chain Aldi (who interestingly vies regularly for top spot in the Which? ‘retailer of the year’ against  John Lewis and is rated a top 5 place for new graduates by The Times) reminds us that the search for quality and value spans all sectors! 

Successful companies are passionate about these two themes.

The NHS Institute uses the same phrase . 

One of the principal methods for achieving these potentially competing goals is ‘Lean thinking’.

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Imperfectly cool

Think No Comments

I was sorting out the backup on an old computer and came across lots of large video files that I used for editing a few years ago.  8GB avi files and the like. 

Something I wouldn’t have predicted 5 years ago is that, at a time when home camcorders were getting better and better and are now nearly at broadcast quality, along would come something like Youtube coupled with the associated video function on mobile phones and Flip cameras that would make the shaky, the grainy and the imperfect the new norm – perfectly proper and cool.

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A dilemma you can’t afford

Think No Comments

Better quality for less cost. That’s what most organisations are being asked to deliver.

Quality means meeting or beating the expectations of the people you serve, delivering them a service or product they’ll pay for again and again and will be happy to recommend to others. Less cost is part of maximising the profit you make if you’re a commercial organisation and part of living within your means if you’re publicly funded.

Yet some argue you can’t have both. It’s one or the other. You can have better quality or less cost. You’re left with a dilemma in choosing one over the other.

It doesn’t have to like that though. Toyota led the way more than 50 years ago in discovering that the two go hand-in-hand. They did this by believing in better. Yes, they developed a whole production system,  set of management practices and tools and techniques to improve the business over decades. But what made their achievements possible (and the success of many who have followed) was a belief that things could be done better by being done differently.

Resolving the quality/cost dilemma is partly an article of faith. You have to believe it is possible before you can start to make it happen.

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