Pence, John L. (1989, ASQC) Bell Communications Research, Piscataway, NJ
Providers of Quality Assurance (QA), like other service providers, frequently find themselves asking the question: do our clients accurately perceive our organization and the work we do? This paper describes how the Quality Assurance Center of Bell Communications Research (Bellcore), through a conscious program for change, was able to shift the focus of its clients from the obvious, the cost of QA services, to the not-so-obvious but much greater value of the functions it performs. In the process of making this change, all strategies were aimed towards the concept of Customer Satisfaction. Image transformation is not only a massive sales job, but a searching look at strengths and weaknesses and a comprehensive plan for positive change. A successful customer satisfaction undertaking is dynamic, and includes formal and informal programs in the following areas: customer awareness and involvement, customer needs analysis, product management, cost management, internal quality improvement, and value added. This paper describes each of these in the context of the approach taken by Bellcore.
The result of this 5-year effort is a deeper level of understanding between service provider and client, allowing client needs to be met swiftly and effectively. The Bellcore Quality Assurance Center has not only survived, but has been able to expand its scope to include services on the leading edge of quality assurance technology.
Customer supplier relationships