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Customer Satisfaction Rises as Key Quality Metric

Posted By Jeff Moad, July 03, 2013 at 4:19 PM, in Category: The Adaptive Organization

What metrics should manufacturers use to understand the maturity and outcomes of their quality practices? While internally-focused metrics such as first-pass yield and defects per million are considered classic measures of quality, manufacturers are increasingly turning to externally-focused metrics that gauge customers’ satisfaction with the quality of their products and services. That’s according to a “Global State of Quality” survey recently released by the American Society for Quality (ASQ.)

According to the survey, which garnered 1,991 responses, customer satisfaction is the most widely-used quality metric by manufacturing organizations, with 98% using it. The percentage of on-time delivery is the next-most common measure of quality among manufacturers at 98%, followed by safety, internal failures, and percentage of products generating complaints (all 96%.) First-pass yield and defects per million fell considerably down the list, with 88% and 82% using them respectively.

Moreover, 56% of ASQ survey respondents said they agree or somewhat agree with the following statement: “Our belief is that the customer is the only person qualified to specify what quality means.” Only 33% of respondents disagreed or somewhat disagreed with that statement.

Another 68% agreed that their company shares product or service quality data with customers, while 81% said they agree or somewhat agree with the following statement: “Our organization seeks to understand product performance through our customers’ eyes.”

Do these results suggest a trend toward measuring quality in terms of customer response rather than internal defect results? Is your organization beginning to use customer-centric metrics to measure the quality of its products and services?



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Written by Jeff Moad

Jeff Moad is Research Director and Executive Editor with the Manufacturing Leadership Community. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program. Follow our LinkedIn Groups: Manufacturing Leadership Council and Manufacturing Leadership Summit



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