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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?

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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