Aubrey II, Charles A. (1989, ASQC) Banc One Corp., Columbus, OH
The ability to consistently meet customer needs in products and services requires a well-defined and disciplined management process. The process and discipline require all efforts of the company to be focused on the customer. Each manager must be the customer champion and lead by example, accepting no less than absolute adherence to the quality standards and procedures developed from ongoing communications with customers. Each employee must know and be motivated to endlessly meet the quality standards if customer satisfaction is to be achieved.
Communicating with customers to determine which service attributes are most important and how the company is performing against those attributes is key. The ability to educate and motivate customers to participate in this process is a must. Surveys, surveying techniques and statistical analysis of surveys and complaint data must be developed, refined and constantly conducted to keep the emphasis and flow of customer needs and satisfaction of those needs at a high priority level.
Once the analysis is complete the customers' requirements must be translated into the language of the company in the form of quality measures, standards, policy and procedures. Each manager and employee must thoroughly understand, have the ability to carry them out, be measured against them and be rewarded for conformance.
When attributes of high importance do not measure up to customer performance expectation or when we want to outdistance the competition or problems occur, we must tackle the issue with an improvement project. Significant strides in quality only take place project by project. Customer communications pin point situations and give the priority with which to attack the issues.
The payback to the organization that is driven by a customer needs strategy is significant. Both management and employees benefit by improved work environment, increased self-worth, value to the organization and increased job security, benefits and financial rewards. The organization benefits by increasing customer satisfaction, quality of customer service, productivity, reduced cost, increased revenue and market share.
This paper will describe and detail the management process, procedures, surveys and analysis techniques to determine valid customer needs and translate them into meaningful quality requirements for both management and employees. It will also discuss the continuous process of measuring customer satisfaction of those needs and the process of designing and redesigning products and services to assure continuous customer satisfaction and demonstrated bottom line results that come from a strategy of continuous improvement to meet customer needs.
Quality management (QM)