Quality Management: How To Identify Best Practices For Your Business In Terms Of Quality

quality management
About 64% of customers (in the US) consider lower quality to be the major cause of their dissatisfaction (1).

Considering that fact, it is imperative for small medium business owners to seriously consider quality. 64% customers is a big number and given the competition such a number can wreck havoc on your business.


Now in my opinion the most important question is what the best practices are when it comes to quality, specific business and how can one identify them. That’s the most important question of all in my opinion. 

If you don’t know what are the best practices or should be the best practices in a given business situation or specific business then you won’t be able achieve what you want to achieve when it comes to quality.

So let’s answer that question!

How to identify best practices for your business in terms of quality ?
Well basically there are two things you need to consider to answer that question

1.      Others Like You (your business)
2.      Customer Expectations

Others Like You (your business)

Means “Others Like You” in terms of quality, quality practices, you need to identify such "Others Like You" and then you need to identify their quality standards, like what practices they have, why those practices, what are the potential benefits of those practices etc.

I could have used the word “Competitors” instead of “Others Like You” but I didn’t on purpose, as the word competitors encompass not just others like you but also the best of your industry, sector.

And there are two key problems that any business face when one focus on competitors instead of “others like you”.

1.      Overnight
2.      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it


Overnight:

This is the first problem that you face as a small medium business when you try to take on the best, big brands and at the same time overlook or neglect “others like you”. 

And that’s the problem, no matter what, the truth is you can’t just become the big brand overnight or can take on big brands just from nowhere, it is impossible! it will definitely cost you almost the same rather more in terms of effort, time, resources etc to become the next big brand as it has been the case for present big brands, they have taken small but persistent steps, baby steps, years of hard work, efforts, testing and retesting to become what they are today so don’t be the one who is in delusion of doing it overnight.

It’s not gonna happen!

I mean it all started in a drug store for coca-cola in Columbus Georgia, see it wasn’t a brand at all rather some local product and today it’s a different story. 

Likewise Nestle origins date back to 1866, to two small enterprises in Switzerland and the rest is history. Similarly Facebook, it all started in Harvard dorm room and now it is a website utilized by 400 million people (around the globe) a month.

In nutshell you need to win small battles (others like you, taking gradual but persistent steps etc) to win a war (to beat the best, big brands). You have to prepare yourself step by step, battle by battle…
  

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It:

Not all best practices would work in a given business situation or specific business sometime it’s far more effective to tweak things that are already being in use/utilized instead of going for something new, something different, rather sometimes it’s better to leave something as it is then to change it.

This very fact has been recognized by various researchers/academics, they found that certain QMP factors, such as management support, customer focus and process management, appeared to be effective in small service firms (specific business) without the need for detailed processes and systems (best practices).

Thus they suggest that it is therefore unnecessary for a company to adopt all quality management practices (best practices) to achieve good performance. (2).

You may also like to read Quality Product/Service: What's the Key ?

So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Customer Expectation
Customer expectation, what customers expect from others like you and you in terms of quality. And what are the reasonable and feasible expectations.

Reasonable Expectation:

  • When a quality expectation makes sense when considered in terms of “others like you” for instance a given quality practice is being practiced by "others like you" then you should too do it.
  • When a quality expectation makes sense in terms of customer acquisition, retention, satisfaction so on and so forth for instance if a given quality practice can improve customer satisfaction, can increase customer acquisition 10 times then certainly that is a reasonable quality expectation so on and so forth.
  • When a quality expectation is proven via research, testing etc to deliver desired results, outputs etc.

Feasible Expectation:

  • Feasibility in terms of available resources


That’s it, over to you guys! ;)


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References:

1.      http://www.accenture.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDF/Accenture-Global-Consumer-Pulse-Research-Study-2013-Key-Findings.pdf
2.      Zhao X, Yeung Andy CL, Lee TS (2008) Quality management and organizational context in selected service industries of China. J Oper Manag 22(6):575–587

About Publisher Arshad Amin

Certified SEO Professional, Small Business, Start-up, Marketing Expert with ton's of practical, actionable ideas, insights to share, Proud Founder and Owner of www.easymarketinga2z.com and www.topexpertsa2z.com

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