We made a mistake last week and didn't discover it until after the order was delivered.
Our aim is for perfection every day. It's not only the goal…it's the STANDARD.
Our customers can see a big difference between "almost right" and "right", between "good" and "best", between "so-so" and "excellence." Quality not only pertains to our printing, but to our processes as well. Not only WHAT we print, but HOW we print it.
In a process like ours, quality trickles down into the details handled by several people. I shared this quote with my staff about a year ago: "Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence." They are my quality control. And attention to detail will either produce a profit or put us out of business.
David Kearns, former CEO of Xerox, believed that "25% of all work in American industry was done to correct errors."
You've heard the question before: "If you don't have time to do it right the first time, how will you ever find the time to do it over?"
Why isn't getting 99.9% of the details right the first time good enough? If we accepted 99.9%, consider this:
- 2 plane crashes per day at Chicago O'Hare
- 16,000 pieces of mail lost at the US Post Office every hour
- 22,000 checks deducted from the wrong account every hour
- 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions each year
I take pride in the quality of work I do personally and that which we deliver as a company. But we are all human and as much as I hate to admit it, I make errors and so do the people I manage. And as long as it is not a habitual thing, the real question is, "What do you do after you screw up?"
While the consequences aren't as catastrophic when we don't get it right, there are consequences. Lost time and money at best, lost customers at worst.
So what did we do with our screw up? We called the customer and confessed (they hadn't even noticed). We replaced the defective job within 24 hours. It did cost us the time and money, but the customer was very pleased not only in the final product, but in the manner in which we addressed the "screw up."
Advantage Printing is a commercial print and marketing service provider serving churches, nonprofits and small businesses.
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