Monday, March 19, 2012

Selling Quality

In my opinion it is better to sell value than sell quality.

It reminds me of a Push-Pull process boundary in the context of supply chain management. The Push process creates products/ services driven by internal perspective which builds up inventory. Whereas the Pull process creates products/ services based on customer demand. One can create many internal quality programs, however, if they do not add value to the organization, they are ineffective. On the other hand, if there is a need for certain quality program as determined by survey data/analysis, then developing that program will add value to the organization.

Let me share a specific example in support of my opinion. In 1990, employee opinion survey for the AT&T Bell Laboratories Switching Systems Business Unit (SSBU) showed low satisfaction score for an 'Employee Recognition' item. The senior management was determined to improve the low score and asked for developing a systematic employee recognition process (Pull process from senior management as internal customer). With senior management blessing, commitment, and support, an Employee Recognition Process team was chartered. This team pulled together a SSBU-wide employee recognition Process. Within one year of implementing the new employee recognition process, the employee opinion survey results for SSBU showed significant improvement in 'Employee Recognition' item. This employee recognition process was sustained over a period of time since it was adding value to the SSBU.

We can all think of many such examples of selling value rather than selling quality. We need to focus on value through well executed processes. I welcome your thoughts on this topic.

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