At TomorrowToday, we are big fans of Seth Godin. He is a genius in how he portrays thought provoking ideas. And this one on quality is a real gem.
Seth correctly believes that there are two versions of quality – quality of manufacturing and quality of design. Quality of manufacturing is about Six Sigma, Lean Sigma and a host of other manufacturing approaches. Seth believes that quality of manufacturing is diminishing in importance because competitively it is easily replicated. Quality of design on the other hand is very different, something that Apple has proven from the design of their products right through to the design of their in-store customer experience. This is where competitive advantage is achievable and sustainable.
If you want to engage with customer and make a real difference to your competitiveness, focusing on the quality of design is a good place to focus.
The highlight or take home sound bite of Seth’s post is listed below
Defining quality (By Seth Godin)
There are two reasons that quality of manufacture is diminishing in importance as a competitive tool:
a. incremental advances in this sort of quality get increasingly more expensive. Going from one defect in a thousand to one in a million is relatively cheap. Going from one in a million to one in a billion, though, costs a fortune.
b. As manufacturing skills increase (and information about them is exchanged) it means that your competition has as much ability to manufacture with quality as you do.
On the other hand, quality of design remains a fast-moving, judgment-based process where supremacy is hard to reach and harder to maintain.
And yet organizations often focus obsessively on manufacturing quality. Easier to describe, easier to measure, easier to take on as a group. It’s essential, it’s just not as important as it used to be.