ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - September 2000

Issue Highlight - Remembering What Matters
-  Peter Block explains the need to look deeper than fashion and technological trends to find meaning in our homes and workplaces.

 In This Issue...
Living Impossible Dreams
Ouch! Is it Time to Redesign Your Systems?
Searching Ourselves: Avoiding Office Boxing Rings
Believe It or Not— Workplace Bias Still Exists

Bedtime Stories for Your Organization
Economy Breeds Short-Sightedness

Peter Block Column
Views for a Change
Heard on the Street

Economy Breeds Short-Sightedness
Majority of Small to Mid-Size Businesses Have No Quality Program

Too many businesses are becoming complacent and satisfied with their performances in the current good economic conditions. They are not using this opportunity to make improvements to ensure their long-term success.

  That’s one of the findings of a recent survey sponsored by George S. May International Company, Park Ridge, Ill., leading management consulting firm to medium and small-size companies.

  “We’re seeing a trend among business owners to accept and be satisfied with the good times, in effect using them as an excuse not to improve basic business operations,” said Donald J. Fletcher, May International president. “Smart business people not only profit from good times, but prepare their companies for the not-so-good times.”

  For more than 70 years, Fletcher stated, quality programs have been highly visible and often used to improve operations, products and services. “However, our survey shows that now 72 percent of medium and small businesses have no formal quality program. For those businesses that do have quality programs, more than two-thirds responded that the program is working as hoped (45 percent) or working better than expected (23 percent).”

Dollars Drive Sales?

  As a test, Fletcher noted that business people should ask themselves, “What drives sales—dollars or units? Dollars never drive sales,” he explained. “Simply increasing a price will bring in more dollars, but it can also mask the fact that unit sales are not adding those additional dollars. Strength in one area can mask weakness in another.”

  It may be startling to many to think that only a poor economy, joblessness and hard times create an environment where continuous improvement and quality programs are embraced, but at least one study states that is the case.

 September 2000 NFC Homepage


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