Henry Ford once said, “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” Here at Gateway Analytical we take great pride in the quality of the work we do, knowing that we provide our customers with a top notch product. The quality of the work is directly related to the commitment to overall quality, starting at the top of our organization.
Evaluation of a Quality System
In evaluating the effectiveness of a quality system, one must sometimes look beyond the “how” to the “who”. It is easy enough to create protocols and procedures, but if the personnel performing the work do not recognize the importance of the work they are doing there is potential for a lack of commitment to quality. I think it is fair to say that a quality system is only as good as its weakest component and in that, only as good as the level of commitment to producing a quality product. If anyone working within a quality system isn’t totally committed to it, it may be tempting to them to cut corners when and where they think they can get away with it.
Preventing a Lack of Commitment
So how do you prevent a lack of commitment to quality? How do we continue to inspire personnel to produce work of the highest quality? At Gateway Analytical, the importance of the quality system and adoption of its ideology starts at the very beginning. We provide trainings, discuss the importance of quality during meetings, and encourage pride and ownership in the work we do. When trying to inspire pride in our product, effective communication of all of the items at stake is also a good way to take a snapshot of the big picture. When personnel are fully invested in their work because they understand they are helping others as a result of their good work product, responsibility and commitment go hand-in-hand.
The Quality System is Not a Punishment
Another item to keep in mind is making sure the quality system is not seen as a form of punishment. Items such as corrective and preventive actions should be viewed as tools for improvement, rather than mechanisms for recording flaws. Another key are for inspiring ownerships falls within adoption of the idea of continuous quality improvement. Whether it be an internal audit or a customer audit, we see all suggestions, observations and even (the dreaded!) findings as a means to improve upon our current work product. Again, we try to inspire the staff with the mindset that we are only as good as unit as our individual pieces and that there is always room for improvement.
I think what Mr. Ford was trying to communicate an emphasis on quality, rather than quantity. In today’s super competitive business world it is easy to lose sight at the importance of taking pride in what you do and what you produce. At Gateway Analytical we have a top-down commitment to providing our customers with great service and great product. And it starts with the personnel, and their commitment to getting things right the first time around.