Service quality and variation

Was just reading the book “Winning” by Jack Welch and I came across an interesting topic related to Quality management(Six Sigma). The thing that I found most interesting was the way he addressed the topic of variations in service delivery. It is something that I myself learnt after some time ago. Clients are always looking forward to working with people and organizations that will provide the product/service on schedule. The catch is really to understand that on schedule does not mean that delivering beforehand is good. It may at times be totally counter productive to complete a job before the client is expecting it. Imagine a scenario where a client is expecting a shipment on the 10th and you deliver it on the 1st. Now the client will need to make additional plans(and incur costs) for the additional storage!

The fact that most businesses today plan to hold as little inventory as possible and prefer to move according to schedule means that quality in service/product delivery is best when:
1. product/service meets or exceeds the specifications
2. delivered on the specified time
3. delivered at the right cost (this is more true where the product is a service rendered and charged on hourly basis)

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2 Responses

  1. Have you really applied this tool at your works. It sound great but I find it very limiting to businesses like FMCGs / supply chain etc. Manufacturing companies may have very small application for such thing specially if they already having good quality systems

  2. I am yet in the process of applying Six Sigma. However, I do not agree that this is simply a tool for the manufacturing sector. Apart from the statistical wizardry involved at the heart of the whole thing is the assurance that product/services will be developed, supplied/provided and will cost approximately the same each time.

    Ofcourse you may well have other systems in place that ensure the very same thing. To take an example out of politics it really doesn’t matter if you have a presidential system or a parliamentary system. With the right mix, ideas and commitment both systems can work equally well.

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