Customers demand consistency and quality — they need it to make informed purchase decisions. We’ll start with an example: Let’s say you run a restaurant. At your restaurant, you have a different chef every day. Each chef makes the menu according to their preferences.
If your menu changes every day — if there’s a high degree of variability — most customers will be put off. Some people like variety and go out of their way for it, but most of us are creatures of habit. We find something we like and we stick with it; we go where we know what we’re getting. If we don’t know what to expect from you, you may not be in business for long.
It’s generally not good business to let your employees make your products any way they want, whether your product is hamburgers, tires, or remote data backup. Too much variation, or inconsistency, in your product will hurt your business.
What does consistency and quality entail? Well, consistency with quality means value, and value means happy customers. Happy customers will return, and they’ll tell their friends. who will tell their friends, and they’ll grow your business.
If yours is like most companies in difficult times, you struggle. Every employee reacts to their own problems and can’t be bothered with others. Furthermore, no one has the time or “luxury” to look ahead, let alone ensure consistency in the here-and-now. The result is a decline in quality, revenues, morale, and…the number of employees.
You can do something about this! Work towards improving consistency in your work first. Good management looks ahead, plans for the future, defines the “product”, and develops measurable objectives, active job descriptions, and clearly defined policies and procedures.
Are consistency and quality the same thing? Not necessarily. You can make a consistently bad product, which obviously isn’t good for your business. You need to make a consistently good product, which ISO 9001 — specifically, a quality management system designed around the ISO 9001 quality standard — can help you produce.
Quality management works toward delivering a consistent product, inside and out. Unless everyone in your business is doing everything they can to deliver a consistent product internally, you won’t see consistency in your finished products. Be a leader and deliver consistent products consistently. If you deliver high quality consistently, everything else takes care of itself.