EtQ’s Tim Lozier explains what is meant by quality culture, and how businesses can foster quality awareness across all stakeholders
A commitment to quality sits at the heart of every successful organization. Industry-leading enterprises in every marketplace have access to detailed data about their performance, and use those granular key performance indicators to constantly strive for improvement in every area of business.
In an era of increasing regulation in most, if not all, industries, detailed attention to quality and compliance is crucial if organizations are to meet their statutory obligations, withstand the rigors of inspections and avoid reputational and financial damage. But even in less tightly-regulated sectors, there is an increasing recognition of the value of quality management.
Indeed, look at the dynamic of quality management today, and the way in which the regulation and standards are changing, and you see a shift in mindset. Exemplified by changes in the ISO family of standards, major companies have begun to ensure that quality becomes a culture, that it involves every stakeholder in the organization – not just people involved in the quality function, but everyone.
The latest quality standards promote “risk-based thinking.” Really, that means applying the concepts of risk to the processes that you already do. In fact, risk is common to many organizations – they may not speak in terms of quality in every area of the organization, but they speak risk. They’ve been able to normalize the metrics of how they meet their risk goals.
The big challenge now is how to implement risk, and many organizations have some trepidation about starting that journey. But the good news is that they’re already doing it, and it is not a big readjustment to start applying that to the way they operate – to think about what might happen and how, and how to prioritize quality in the face of potential risks.
With more qualitative work producing better data, many companies have discovered that it is possible to be much more systematic and objective about how they make decisions – and to translate the concepts of quality and compliance to a much larger group of people across the organization so that everyone is involved.
The results speak for themselves. Investing in quality and compliance can deliver substantial savings – cost savings, time savings, resource savings – and organizations are naturally keen to minimize the time taken to secure that value.
Visibility and Quality Culture
At EtQ, we’re designed around delivering that visibility and control, while decreasing the time to value. We’ve had customers who have been able to save 600 man hours a year, just by automation. Companies that once required three people to do a job now find they can do that job with one person, freeing up time for more value-added activities. And as for return on investment, we’ve seen companies achieve first-year returns of up to 3,000%.
The broader measures of success are part of the big picture too. Organizations prioritizing quality management may be looking for many different things – a combination of automation, integration and collaboration, say – but the core drivers are visibility and control. Organizations want control of their processes and they want the visibility to make better decisions. Investment in quality management can deliver exactly that.
Download our eGuide and find out more about how to build quality into everything your business does The Quality and Compliance Management Handbook: Supporting a Quality Culture Across Your Business