Thursday, July 22, 2004

Quality and Value

There are too many definitions and not enough words sometimes.

Quality is a coin with two very different sides. On one side the manufactures looks at the things that go into a product, the materials, the workmanship, the design. And on the other are the customers and they are looking for the value they can get out of it.

Customers define quality as how they can do their jobs better, faster, cheaper, not how much the manufacture can build the product better, faster or cheaper.

I have seen a lot of navel-gazing companies that think just because they make it better from their point of view and then the new product tanks because it has nothing that the customer wants anymore.

Peter Drucker has a great little story of a pad lock manufacturer that is selling a cheap padlock that could be opened with a pin. They decided to improve it so it couldn't be opened with a pin, Well, sales plummeted and it turned out that the market really wanted a padlock that just held itself together and a simple trigger to open it was enough.

Find out what the customer really does with the product and give it to them.

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