August 17, 2008

Vows to Higher-Quality

An article in the August 12th edition of the WSJ ("Ford Vows to Build Higher-Quality Small Cars") noted that "The Dearborn, Mich., company promised... that its new compact and subcompact vehicles - due out in 2010 - will beat the industry average when it comes to quality." The company's goal is to "keep the number of quality problems - known in the industry as "things gone wrong" - at 800 per 1,000 vehicles." I'll have to admit that my family, including my three children, own five Toyota's and that Ford would have an uphill battle to capture our attention at this point. How about you? Is it too late for Ford? Has your company recently taken a vow to higher-quality? From the very beginning of understanding your customer's needs, wants and desires through the development of customer loyalty you'll find that quality can create a competitive advantage. Attracting new customers, expanding current relationships through cross selling and finally, retention, these are the drivers that represent revenue growth and research shows that quality impacts all three of those drivers. The technology industry is no exception. Poor software quality (things gone wrong) - better known as "bugs" in the software industry, impact the top line, bottom line, and everything in-between; including the customer experience. In February Seapine Software introduced the quality-ready assessment. The QRA is a high-level evaluation tool that helps develop­ment organizations measure the state of their software quality-readiness in four key ALM competency areas. Those areas include tracking, testing, automation, and change. Nearly 1,000 individuals have now completed the QRA survey, and according to the results 65 percent of the respondents stated that building quality into their software was either a top or high priority. In addition, the survey found that the top two factors driving organizations to focus on application lifecycle management are:
  • The need to reduce risk by preventing poor quality from impacting customer satisfaction
  • The need to quickly respond to customer requests and requirements
The take away here is that you should not be placing your quality vows on hold because there is a high probability that your competition is moving full steam ahead. If you would like to learn more about our research results, download the QRA Fast Facts Series white paper.