Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Lengths Gone to Reach Quality

      I have worked with several different companies and it has seemed like at each of them, both the quality and satisfaction of the customers has been important, but the levels that each went to to reach the quality and satisfaction were different.  Some would even add waste; for example, in order to make an "upgrade" easier, (for both the customer and the company) a single upgrade package was used.  It had extra components for each of the different versions of the products rather than either designing a "difficult to use" universal upgrade, or trusting that that the customers would correctly ask for the right version of the upgrade kits. It didn't make too much sense to me because I figured that there should have been a better way, and that the solution used was essentially "giving up" on finding or reaching the ideal scenario.  With this, I'm torn about whether it really was a "cost of quality" as they suggested, or if it was just a case where dumping all the components into one package was just to make it easier for the company to manage.  What are your thoughts?
     Stepping aside from that issue; I always like to consider the phrase "the customer is always right" when thinking about the cost of quality. I know that you want to satisfy your customer as much as possible, but there are cases where the customer would attempt to take advantage of the "courtesy" or policies of a business.  Take for example a fast food restaurant, if they forget to give you an item, and you ask them to "replace" it, they generally will take care of it without question.  I understand that this case is on a small scale in terms of costs, so here's another larger example; Target accepts all returns, every time, no matter what.  This is a great policy for worried customers, but it would also seem (forgive the coming play on words), to put a "target" on Target from shoplifters, so where do you draw the line between 100% quality service and satisfaction versus protecting yourself from loosing profits?  Can you really define that line?  Is having that distinct point even necessary?  These are just some of the thoughts and questions that pop into my head, if you have any thoughts or other similar questions, please comment to start an open debate!


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