80:20 Management Consulting

80:20 Management Consulting
part of the 80:20 Group

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This blog finally hit 1000 views this morning. Thanks everyone for reading and I hope the articles have helped in some way.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Cost of Quality

There has been a debate on Linkedin and a couple of other forums raging for some time now. The topic being that there is no cost to quality.

The argument for this statement is that if managed properly, any costs associated with quality will be offset by improvements in efficiency, product and profit. The article below has some really good information about measuring the cost of quality.


In a perfect world I agree with the statement. If you put effective processes in place that allow you to identify and correct issues early, you will save yourself A LOT of time and money. Finding an issue early in the process chain is a lot cheaper to fix than having it discovered by the customer at the end of the process.

The only time quality isn't cost effective is when it isn't managed properly. If your systems are weak and your Quality Manager is lazy you might as well scrap it all together. Having a system in place and not performing regular audits, identifying non-conformances and continually improving the system is a waste of time and although it may help you win a tender, it won't help you keep the business in the long run.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Accreditation Vs Certification

It's a quiet Monday and I don't have much to blog about but I thought I would comment on something that I find irritating, people using the word Accreditation in place of Certification (especially when consultants and auditors say it that should know better).

Businesses are Certified to ISO Standards, third party certification bodies are accredited.

For example if your business is being audited then you are going for ISO certification and are being audited by an accredited third party, not the other way around. 

Anyway thats the end of my rant for the morning. Remember you are ISO certified not accredited.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why Certification is Important in a Recession

If you read the news every day it's doom and gloom and we will all be poor and living on the streets in no time. Unfortunately it's usually the media that starts the fear in consumers and creates the doom and gloom it has predicted.

For many businesses work may start to dwindle as people tighten their belts which means your competitors will be searching for more and more ways to gain the upper hand. The bottom line is if you tender for work and your competitor submits the same price and is offering the same level of service, but has a certified Management System, most of the time you will lose.

From the customer point of view the certified business is a lower risk. You know they have to meet strict guidelines in terms of measuring customer satisfaction, have to regularly audit their processes and in the case of safety and environmental regularly review compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Would you pick the company that just says they do it or has to regularly prove they do it?

Government work is also one of the key areas that remains fairly stable during a downturn. Lucrative government tenders now always include QA, Safety and Environmental Certification in their tender review. With so many companies bidding for the work it pays to get all the points you can.

What Honda of San Marcos Should Do Now

As you may have learnt by my last two posts I am a bit of a car person. My last post showed how nissan responded positively to negative customer feedback.

Today's post is about how a dealer from another automaker should use QA principles to help deal with an issue that has been a PR nightmare.

Basically Honda of San Marcos stuffed up on a number of levels. They didn't have strong processes in place for managing ebay auctions and they didn't have strict policies in place for who is allowed to deal with the media. The end result is that it cost them the potential profit from the sale of the vehicle and also cost future sales because of the way it was initially handled.

From a QA point of view if I was the owner of the dealership I would be in Corrective Action mode ASAP. Short term solution would be to start reversing the negative PR. Make a statement via social media outlining how you intend to fix the issue and make all parties happy. Long term solution, put strict processes in place for all sales that cover what to do in terms of setting reserve prices etc. An external communication policy wouldn't go astray either.

Congrats to Xou Vang though for scoring an amazing ride and kudos to my fellow MY350z forum members (Marques in particular) for showing that the internet can be used for good.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Nissan's Response to Top Gear Issues

Nissan's response to Top Gear's issues with their electric vehicles is the perfect example of a corrective action done well.

Nissan turned the problem into positive publicity by addressing the problem and implementing a short term solution. How they will manage the problem long term remains to be seen.

10 good things ISO standards do for Small-Medium Enterprises

A good article from the International Stanards Organisation showing how ISO standards can help small to medium businesses.

Have a great weekend everyone

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Overseas Readers

A quick review of this blog's stats shows that the majority of readers come from either the USA or from France. I'd be interested to know what the QA, Safety and Environmental cutlture is like in businesses abroad.

I know in Australia to be considered for tenders with the Australian Government, being ISO certified is a big plus but I don't know about other countries.

Feel free to respond in the comments section or drop me an email.


Subcontractor Management

Using Subcontractors to provide services under your company's name provides Quality, Safety & Environmental risks. 

The best way to try and reduce the risk is through a strong evaluation and induction process. Think of Subcontractors as your employees so perform a thorough recruitment process looking at:

  • References
  • Licenses
  • Certifications
  • Training Records
It is also a good idea to look at their processes they follow to see if they are consistent with your own.

If everything checks out and all criteria are met you will need to induct them into your systems. Subcontractors should always be aware of your Quality, Safety and Environmental processes as they may differ from their own business's.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Measuring Customer Satisfaction

One of the requirements of the ISO9001 standard is measuring customer satisfaction. How you measure this is up to you. The standard states that Monitoring customer perception can include obtaining input from sources such as customer satisfaction surveys, customer data on delivered product quality, user opinion surveys, lost business analysis, compliments, warranty claims and
dealer reports.

In my opinion the best way involves a combination of methods. The simplest method for a company in a service industry being developing a basic survey to attach with your invoices. 

The whole point of implementing a QMS is to improve quality, profit and efficiency so the perception of your customer is massively important. Try not to take any negative feedback personally (although this can be difficult) and use it to improve your systems.