As consumers, when we purchase a product or service, our basic expectation is for it to be safe to use and without defect.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Product recalls seem to be a daily event.
Just scroll through the product recall list on the Consumer Product Safety Commission site and you might be surprised at how many products are being recalled for safety concerns.
The recall of vehicles to correct defective airbags was a major recall that resulted in the loss of life for many.
A tragic situation that has everyone shaking their heads.
I don’t know about you but when I see organizations make blatant mistakes in how products are designed, manufactured, or delivered to the customer I have to wonder what is going on behind the scenes.
One of the biggest challenges with the pace of business today is that it doesn’t easily allow for the “think” time necessary to refine products and services before they are delivered to the paying customer.
I would argue that businesses can’t afford to not get it right on the front-end of product and service development.
“Every penny you don’t spend on doing things wrong, over, or instead of, becomes half a penny right on the bottom line”
Any successful organization has great systems and processes to “fix” problems after the fact. But shouldn’t we all consider spending more energy ensuring the problem never happens in the first place?
Basic principles and quality tools can be used to identify, correct, and prevent errors.
There is a quality quote that states:
“Do the right things, right – the first time”
This statement is loaded with things to contemplate.
Ok, let’s analyze this statement:
Do the RIGHT Things
Doing the RIGHT things refers to spending time, energy, and resources on those critical objectives that move an organization closer to fulfilling its mission.
It is easy for organizations to get side-tracked, distracted, and go down rabbit trails to nowhere.
This is all done with good intentions, but a complete waste of valuable and irreplaceable resources.
Do the Right Things RIGHT
This refers to creating streamlined processes that minimize or eliminate errors in products and services.
This includes consideration for the way a product or service is developed, manufactured, and delivered to the customer.
Whether it is engineering a new technology product or a service that is offered to a customer – doing it RIGHT, without error, is critical.
The focus should be on preventing defects and employee errors rather than on finding them and fixing them after the fact.
Do the Right Things Right, THE FIRST TIME
Rework is expensive, so whether it is recalling a defective product or redoing a sloppy job of cleaning a carpet – the goal should be a performance standard of zero defect.
Do it right THE FIRST TIME.
There is an old saying of haste makes waste.
Rushing to get a product to market or hurrying a patient through a doctor’s visit can lead to unnecessary rework.
Untested products can lead to product recalls and patients rushed through an exam can lead to un-addressed issues and potential unnecessary hospitalization.
Rework wastes valuable resources.
“Doing the job right the first time is always cheaper”
I’ve worked with organizations that do a great job at correcting errors (putting fires out) but successful organizations do an even better job at preventing errors (fire prevention).
This entails putting systems in place to prevent the error from happening in the first place so that resources spent on correcting the error can be used for other initiatives that help move an organization forward.
Is your organization better at preventing errors or correcting them?