Why Focus on Quality?
This article is targeting CEOs, entrepreneurs, and other top managers at companies that are NOT growing. If your company has sustained growth in both sales and profits, you already know what I am about to tell you because your company can not sustain growth without a good quality system.
Other articles on this site have hinted at the fact that there is more to building a quality product than just getting the ISO 9001:2008 certification. ISO 9000 is only one element to building a quality organization, the real key to a growing company is to continuous improvement your products and services.
A quality product will cost less to manufacture in the long run.
If you have a quality product, the company can spend less on sales and marketing because they will get repeat business and not have to keep finding new customer that have not been burned yet. I see this all the time is small struggling organizations where they focus on product quality when they have a raging customer. Poor customer satisfaction leads to slumping sales. When sales are down, the focus on quality goes in the backseat while the company tried to beat their way out a hole. This maintain an environment of stagnation or even decline.
To stop this slide, the organization must shift the organization's focus from sales to quality. One of the best ways to do this is to hire additional quality/engineering personnel. This additional cost of maintaining a manufacturing engineering/quality staff is offset by improvements in the quality of the products. Most small companies do not understand this point, and thus they stay small companies.
As an example, two companies started making industrial devices in the same small warehouse in Boulder, Colorado in the early 1970s. One company focused on making limited number of products but making them very high quality, the second company focusing of making every technology of device with a minimum emphasis on quality. The second company found some niches where there was no competition so their customer had no other good option. After about 30 years the first company (known for their high quality) grew to about 10 times the size of the other company (know for high failure rates but niche solutions).
So, if you want to have sustainable growth, put your money in manufacturing engineering and quality.
Manufacturing Engineering can use the principals of continuous improvement to make a great product that people will come back for. This can be done with or without ISO 9000. ISO 9000 will try to push the company into changing their culture to be quality oriented and focused on continuous improvement but there are costs associated with maintaining a certification.
Don't think short term and spend all your money on marketing, trying to find new customers so you can ship them a bad product and never see them again. If you want to know why some companies don't grow, look at your quality plan.
Why Focus on Quality? - Growth (sales and profits)!!!!!