dr. Jenson Goh,
International business and quality management expert from Singapore, Business School Wealth lecturer
Quality is the value that the market and its participants assign to a product or service, therefore it is necessary to ensure that the wishes and needs of customers are satisfied and that they are satisfied by your company. The ability to predict, adapt and introduce innovations, as well as, if necessary, limit a certain product or service – provides a competitive advantage over other market players.
Product and service quality management is a core skill and core competency of any organization. It is not part of the organization. By its very nature, it determines the survival and sustainability of the company, because it adapts the company to the customer’s needs and wishes, understands the customer and knows how to adapt to situations that require change.
Operating expenses are reduced
Without product or service quality management, customer needs and expectations cannot be met. If the customer’s needs and expectations for the product or service are not met, the company cannot become sustainably profitable. As a result of product and service management, operating expenses will also decrease because there are fewer defects and no surplus is created that is no longer relevant.
Every company, regardless of its size, has to invest heavily in the quality management of its product or service. However, if a company is large and has a diverse range of customers, managing its product and service will be significantly more challenging and difficult than a small company that focuses on a much narrower market and smaller customer base.
Provides the company with a competitive advantage
Quality management is a set of organizational efforts. Ideally, each individual in the organization should organize and coordinate their quality management activities to meet clearly defined customer needs and wants. Unfortunately, customer needs and expectations change over time, and adapting quality management to keep up with them takes time, which means that quality management must be an ongoing and relentless activity for everyone.
The ability to manage and exceed the quality requirements associated with the customer’s expectations will give the company a competitive advantage over its competitors. The more distant and comprehensive the company’s capabilities over its competitors, the greater its competitive advantage over its competitors. Quality management can also take place in smaller stages and units, that is, change requires a lot of time and resources, so various five-year or ten-year plans are introduced that companies move towards, but short-term adjustments and improvements are also possible to adapt to market dynamics and better satisfy customer wishes .
Quality management is the main foundation from which a company derives its competitive advantage, it should never be outsourced to achieve these goals. Large companies conduct internal audits and develop strategies to make improvements, but the frequency of changes and improvements depends on customer needs, market development and dynamics, and changes. Smaller companies have limited options, but a narrower customer base and offering, which gives them the advantage of reorienting and adapting faster and at lower costs.
Technologies will adapt to customer needs and make adjustments
Along with the digitization of many processes in the organization and the increasing spread of data analytics and artificial intelligence applications in business, it is expected that the cost of defect prevention and the cost of assessing the quality of products or services will be significantly reduced in the future.
Technologies that support self-healing or automatic defect detection are already available today, and it is assumed that they will gradually develop, significantly reducing the aforementioned quality costs. This means – if the customer’s needs or requirements specific to the product or service can be clearly formulated, then the process of fulfilling these requirements using the product or service can be implemented automatically using these technologies.
However, despite such progress, customer needs and requirements will become increasingly difficult to predict as the dynamism of the competitive environment increases, resulting in more difficult quality management.
Systematic thinking should be introduced into the work ecosystem
Quality management is based on the belief that customer needs and requirements can be clearly identified and specified and do not change much over time. This allows the company to translate these requirements into measurable indicators and standards and then use them to control the quality of its products or services. When the rate of change in customer requirements increases, it will inevitably make quality management more difficult.
In order to face the challenges of quality management, future and existing managers should familiarize themselves with systematic thinking and structure it in a work ecosystem that will help to effectively adapt the company’s operations and dynamics to the customer’s needs.