Or the Importance of Quality Initiatives In A Down Turned Economy
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness” — Charles Dickens
Let us tell you a tale of two very different companies and how they chose to respond to the downturn in the current economy. Company A went into panic mode; drastically downsizing their workforce and cutting back or even eliminating their quality initiatives. Company B made some small, necessary cuts, but wisely moved ahead and continued to support their quality activities.
Company A’s concentration was primarily focused on cost cutting, waste reduction, and downsizing—i. e. trying to protect their bottom line. Company B continued to pay attention to these measures, but put greater emphasis on innovation, product development, flexibility, continuous improvement and other strategic quality measures. Rather than cutting back on their quality programs, Company B recommitted to making quality an economic imperative. By strengthening their quality focus they stayed ahead of the competition even in uncertain economic times. Quality management is the driving force of customer satisfaction, and Company B drew on quality initiatives to retain their current customers and position themselves favorably in the market as they look for the economy to improve.
So who is better equipped to whether the rough waters of the current economic sea and come to out on the other side with the competitive advantage? Company A with its “chicken little” attitude or Company B who forges ahead on it’s quality journey?