Why Quality Matters
By: Matt Muller
What is Quality?
Quality is defined as "the degree of excellence" and "conformance to requirements". Most quality programs and processes were adopted by the manufacturing industry, known for the mass production of products. In this scenario, errors in design, material selection, and tooling & packaging can cause significant impacts to an established quality system. While Six Sigma and Lean Construction have been creeping into the construction world, the full adoption and implementations of quality management systems has been slow. We fight the "I've been doing it this way" mentality and our industry doesn't always share lessons learned or successful processes. Currently, only a small handful of contractors have an active quality program with a dedicated staff.
Cost of Poor Quality
Cost of Poor Quality is defined as costs associated with providing low quality products or services. Schedule creep, delays, callbacks, and rework are just a few examples of the obvious costs of poor quality. The less obvious, and sometimes more impactful costs or poor quality, include reduced team morale, safety challenges, reactive behavior, lost profits, and a tarnished reputation.
Why Does Quality Matter?
How does quality affect our business? Understanding and following established quality procedures, with strict compliance, can reduce margin fade due to rework. The entire project can perform at a higher level if the forward momentum is maintained, not stopping to decide how to fix an issue or having to replace non-compliant work. Efficiency is gained when the path forward is clear, with less back and forth attempts trying to figure it out along the way.
Creating a Culture of Quality
Quality is vital for maintaining a safe and profitable business. Encouraging team members to embrace quality and making it a top priority will only be beneficial for your organization. So, how do you create a culture of quality? Make sure to educate your team on what quality means and how it will change from job to job. Show them how to spot things that may not be compliant with quality standards and what to do in order to make sure that aspect of the project becomes compliant. Have strict processes in place to keep resources and communications streamlined and effective. Empower your teams to exceed expectations when it comes to delivering a quality project for your customers.
Quality applies to all of us, every job, every role, every action. Quality Matters.