Quality Counts

But How on earth can you tell if your Products, Service or Process are Good (or Bad) Quality?

Quality in a small business quality is often confusing to measure and monitor – especially when looking at internal processes. However, with this quick checklist, poor quality can be a thing of the past.

What is Quality?

In a business situation “Quality is about meeting the needs and expectations of users”.
Quality will mean different things to different people, so putting your finger on exactly what your users are looking for, and what customers will expect to pay for, can be tricky.
To illustrate, the quality of your coffee purchased from “The Diner with unlimited refills”, is different to Starbucks coffee and different again from a “Nespresso”. You are quite happy to pay different prices for basically the same drink, because of the quality variations, not just in your cup, but also variations in the surroundings.

How do we measure Quality?

Quality is a bit of a foggy concept, everyone will give you a different approach, but none are very methodical or holistic. So, I did some research and created a comprehensive list of indicators which when applied will paint a very clear quality picture.

Steps to measure Quality?

Step 1. Establish your Quality Targets

For any Process, Product or Service list your objectives; understand what is needed! Set these by working through each quality aspect listed below:

Quality Checklist

  1. Accessibility
  2. Accuracy
  3. Availability
  4. Choice
  5. Compliance
  6. Consistency
  7. Convenience
  8. Features
  9. Maintainability
  10. Performance
  11. Reliability/Continuity
  12. Responsiveness
  13. Safety / Security
  14. Simplicity/Effort

This sets rules and targets and gives a baseline to measure against.

Step 2. Measure your Quality Performance

Once you create this baseline then you can measure how you are progressing against your targets. To do this use an operational approach:

  1. Monitoring: How are we doing?
  2. Analysis and Reporting: Why?
  3. Planning: What should we be doing?

Create a routine for regularly doing quality checks, and discipline yourself to set aside small blocks of time for improving your processes to increase quality the results will be worth it. Start small and tackle one part at a time – you will be amazed at how quickly your overall quality improves when expectations are clearly set.
More Details on how, and where, to use the above quality indicators assess your products, services and processes.

Feel free to comment and share your examples of improving quality – so we can all benefit.

(share in the comments at the bottom of the page so the 500 or so people that regularly view these posts will benefit too.)

Now that you have a taste of what we can do… here are some more options to improve your business profits: