A critical issue that can haunt a business is maintaining the Quality aspects of their business processes. In order to maintain your Market Advantage that you worked hard to achieve, the company needs to keep the processes current and not permit complacency to set in; if that happens your advantage will quickly start to erode.

To help ensure you maintain quality as defined by your processes there needs to be a tracking mechanism put in place to identify, track and resolve any issues that arise that have been a result of non-conformity to the established processes. This cannot be an action that is taken on an ad hoc basis but needs to be driven by a leadership focus on a regular monthly or at a minimum quarterly basis. A critical part of this is to identify the root causes of the failures and what needs to be done to correct them and then monitored to ensure they do not recur.

While the above seems to be an onerous task it is the best tool to ensure your processes and employees are meeting the standards set and expected by you and your customers. If you continue to monitor, track and resolve issues you will be able to identify a number of actions that need to be taken:

  • Are there processes that cannot be followed because technology is not capable?
  • Do employees need to be trained or retrained?
    • Do some employees need to find another employer to thrive in?
  • Have customer expectations changed and processes not up to date to meet those changes?
  • Are the processes current with changing technology capabilities?
  • Are your suppliers not meeting their commitments thus affecting your processes and customers?
  • Have there been internal changes made that are not reflected in the processes?
  • Other contingencies

In many organizations the task of maintaining your quality standards is driven by a team (lead by a senior quality manager) who is intimately knowledgeable of and works in the various processes. This team can be tasked with retraining as necessary and equally important making changes to the documented procedures as required based on the root causes identified during regular reviews.

The mechanism of identifying, tracking root cause analysis and enhancements does not need to be a high tech methodology but must be effective and allow all employees to report an issue (without being concerned about job security). Once an issue has been identified through your internal process and actions have been taken it is critical that the employee or customer perhaps that reported the non-compliance is advised of whatever action if any is taken to resolve.

Aside from using reported issues to drive change it is just as critical that this team review all processes and procedures on a regular basis to assess if changes need to be made based on technology, supplier performance, customer feedback, or employee feedback. The regular review at this level will ensure that the processes are current and help ensure you maintain that Market Advantage that was so critical to your success.

Summary

While the ongoing management of your company’s processes and procedures may seem daunting it can be done in very simple terms. With your business’ procedures and process documented and monitored your company will be able to regularly measure outcomes in terms of productivity, cost and most importantly sales growth and customer satisfaction.

Continue to differentiate your company as a Quality driven organization and stand out as a company others want to do business with. Quality equals power in the marketplace — maintain your Quality driven business model and make that your USP. It provides you with a discipline that improves your quality.

 

 

Bio

Mike Caines is a Certified Business Coach and the owner of Marietta Business Coach Inc. www.mariettabusinesscoach.com

“It is my goal to help you achieve your business and personal goals faster than you could ever believe possible. With more than 30 years as a senior executive here in the US as well as internationally, I excel in business operations including process re-engineering, manufacturing, corporate performance management and improvement, along with supply chain logistics. I have the background and training to help companies large and small, with any challenge.”