How To Achieve Big Company Quality On A Small Company Budget
"At ETQ we believe that quality matters, regardless of company size. Quality is, in fact, size-less and undiscriminating."
A version of this article was originally published on Small Business Digest. The content has been edited for clarity and narrative flow.
Quality is under pressure. Thanks to a combination of global competition, social media and increased customer expectations, companies of all sizes must recognize the importance of not only product quality but the potentially huge cost of poor quality. As a result, the stakes have never been higher, with small to midsize companies aware that a quality misstep can have a significant impact on their future.
The problem is that quality management is often seen by small companies as less of a business optimization tool and more as a costly luxury. Smaller companies have limited resources in terms of people, budget and time to devote to comprehensive quality management, so they may perceive that quality automation is beyond their reach.
At ETQ we believe that quality matters, regardless of company size. Quality is, in fact, size-less and undiscriminating. As a result, a quality management system – a defined set of policies, processes and procedures that companies need to meet customer expectations – should be at the core of every business. The good news is that quality management system (QMS) software that can help build that core is within the reach of even the smallest companies.
When you're a very small company, an approach to quality could be simply that ‘we must ensure that we put a quality product on the market because we can't afford to have a bad quality product on the market.’ Big companies can have a lot to lose, but they can generally overcome poor quality issues thanks to their size. For small companies, a major quality issue can be an existential problem.
Quality does not discriminate
The level of urgency and criticality around quality is indiscriminatory. For every company -- at every stage of the product lifecycle -- quality matters. No one gets a pass on quality. To put it simply, big companies sometimes can weather the quality storm, but small companies can be completely blown away.
If a small company ships 10,000 products and 5,000 of them get recalled because of a quality issue, that can jeopardize the viability of the company. Factor into the mix customer complaints, the return process and the overall damage to the brand in the form of negative reviews or social media backlash, and the need for effective quality management becomes ever more acute.
In fact, small companies are often hyper-focused on quality because they could be a start-up or entering a competitive market. While “big company quality” might appear to be a lofty goal for a small company, the fact is that easy-to-use software makes the quality journey both approachable and affordable.
A small company can, for example, start with five key processes - document management, change management, audits, training and non-conformance – and build from there. In addition, they can access the cloud by integrating a Software-as-a-Service solution that removes the need for a defined infrastructure. Finally, they can leverage out-of-the-box best practices developed over decades by a trusted software partner. Often, these best practices originated with some of the largest, most innovative quality champions in the world and they are now available in a highly intuitive and cost-effective form for companies of all sizes.
QM Software creates business optimization
Quality has to be a corporate mandate, irrespective of the size of the company. And, quality is part of the brand, either as a business driver or as a means of differentiating yourself from your competitors.
This applies to not only the largest companies on the planet, but also the cottage industries and small organizations. What is important to remember is that quality does not discriminate based on company size, but QMS solutions are at hand for companies of every size.
ETQ helps organizations realize the limitless possibilities that quality creates. Featuring built-in best practices and best-in-class flexibility, our software enables you to optimize the critical processes that drive excellence through quality. That's why our proven business processes are trusted by companies of all sizes.
To find out how ETQ can help you on your quality journey, contact us today.