Even the founder of lean principles, Toyota can falter on quality; thus, anyone can lose their edge – yet it is cornerstone to business success.

  1. View quality from your customer’s perspective – what matters is what your customer expects when agreeing to purchase the product or service. Be vigilant in understanding your customers’ expectations.
  2. Over delivery of quality is a problem – sounds strange but there’s no doubt that over delivering on quality can be a significant problem. Consider the cost that goes into over delivering – eventually your price will have to account for the over delivery of quality in order to make a profit.
  3. Don’t inspect; instead, build quality into the process – although inspection will avoid customer issues, it will result in significant cost. Not only do you have to add inspectors into your process but you also find the issues after the fact. Why not build quality into the process upfront?
  4. Track key metrics – what is measured becomes the priority. Parts per million is a common metric for quality control.
  5. Quality is increasing in importance to today’s marketplace – since cash is tight, people and businesses are becoming more particular about how they spend their money. Quality must be consistently high to just “be in the game” – high quality is no longer a differentiator; it is a requirement.