“Quality” is people. It is the partnership of researchers, developers, designers, programmers, production workers, office staff, salespeople – the works – determined to help one another put out the best goods and services in the field,

“Quality is the old-fashioned pride of an expert in a craft whose happiness is doing the best job possible. It’s the thrill of beating competition with a better product and coming out with new products before they do.

“Quality” can even be in a sweeper’s broom, which keeps the place neat and tidy, as the following story illustrates.

An old janitor named Altjo Zomer had become a legend around the company by the time he retired. Some years ago at a farewell party his friends for him. His supervisor recalled how Eltjo, when he arrived at the factory from the Netherlands, recoiled when he first saw the messy floors, greasy machines and dirty windows he would be responsible for. But Eltjo just shrugged his shoulders and dug in.

Back then a little dust and dirt was accepted as a necessary part of production. So whenever Eltjo came down the aisle with his broom, the workers would josh him and purposely toss dirt behind the industrious sweeper. Before long, however in spite of these setbacks, the department took on an unaccustomed gleam.

Then one day the company CEO walked through the department. He was so impressed with the cleanliness compared to other parts of the plant that he personally congratulated Eltjo. From then on, everyone in the department helped Eltjo to keep the place tidy. The practice spread to other departments and as the surroundings became more pleasant and orderly, employees found themselves not only enjoying their work more, but also doing more work and doing it better than before.

In such a simple way, the sweepers broom became a contributor to quality.

We are all sweepers to some extent. The orderliness that we establish for our own endeavours is the first essential for quality work and the resulting quality product or service.

How important then, is quality?

Answer, if you wanted to buy a parachute and were told that about one in a thousand might not open, would that be acceptable to you? The founder of Boing stated that total quality is everything, it’s a matter of survival, to have it, it must become part of our culture, which makes me happy to fly in one.

We in South Africa must be challenged to make Quality part of our Culture, wouldn’t that be something!

To your success



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