Maintaining Quality for a memorable reputation

Countless brains significantly larger than his own have created wistful quotations about ‘quality’, writes Iain Robertson, and he is happy to compile some of them in this story about a subject understandably close to ISQA’s heart.

Considering that much but not all of Birmingham-based ISQA’s client portfolio is from the motor industry, the first quotation from the remarkable Henry Ford, “Quality means doing it right, when no-one is looking” is strangely apposite, especially when you consider that many quality ‘fails’ arise from close inspection of what has been produced already.

On the other hand, a 30 years old female American writer and current free thinker, Ashley Lorenzana, is cute enough to state: “How good something is should never be determined by its cost, its designer, its origins, or its perceived value by others”, all factors that are sure to rile and acquiesce in equal measure, until you peer a little deeper. She may have even been mirroring the thoughts of John Ruskin, a British socio-political commentator and art critic of the 19th Century, when he opined: “There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man’s lawful prey”.

Lucius Annaeus Senneca, the Spanish-born philosopher and statesman of the Roman Empire was very clear when he wrote: “It is quality, rather than quantity, that matters”. Yet, the great Russian writer, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, was perhaps even more succinct in his statement: “Work was like a stick. It had two ends. When you worked for the knowing, you gave them quality; when you worked for a fool, you simply gave him eyewash!”.

When modern writer, Kristina Halvorson, created her opus on Content Quality for the Web, she wrote: “For quality, relevant content cannot be spotted by an algorithm. You cannot subscribe to it. You need people…actual human beings…to create, or curate it”. Naturally, the entire premise behind ISQA resides in the strength of its people and teamwork and you will hear no disagreement with the sage words of Philip Crosby, an exponent of the quality management arena: “Quality is the result of a carefully constructed cultural environment. It has to be the fabric of the organisation, not part of the fabric”.

Interestingly, the man who fronted the consortium takeover of Jaguar/Land-Rover, Indian entrepreneur Ratan Tata, is attributed with having said: “Productivity and efficiency can be achieved only step-by-step with sustained hard work, relentless attention to details and insistence on the highest standards of quality and performance”. Another great businessman of our time was Steve Jobs, who highlighted: “Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles!”.

The very ethos of ISQA lies in assuring quality to its clients, many of which are chasing aspects of quantity and meeting production deadlines, as a commercial reality, to which Steve Jobs also ripostes: “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people are not used to an environment, where excellence is expected”. While ISQA cannot take credit for it, it knows that, unless only the highest quality standards are adopted by its clients and potential clients, aspects of which can be difficult to perceive, when operating in close proximity of the production lines, engaging with an external QA supplier is vital. An unattributed quotation highlights another important aspect: “Total quality management is a journey, not a destination”, an aspect that is highly relevant to maximising the benefits of ISO9001.

Said to be the musings of a famous classical author, “The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of meeting the schedule” pinpoints an aim posited by ISQA in all of its endeavours. While it might not be “Free”, as Philip Crosby states about quality, the cost implications pale into insignificance alongside lost reputations. Yet, most important of all and a Gucci family slogan, from the high-end Italian design house, “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten”.

‘Make Quality Count!’

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published.