Quality management is essential to long-term success, yet most vendors are competing on price and not quality.
Clients continually ask for more work at lower costs and completed in less time. An expectation of quality is implied by the standards and requirements of the industry but rarely does quality receive the recognition it deserves.
Let's Stop Competing on Price
The price war is getting tougher and tougher to wage. Most vendors are billing within a few percentage points of one another and completing jobs in nearly identical timeframes. Fighting a price war shortchanges the importance of the job performed and makes it almost impossible to differentiate one vendor from another.
Clients often coax vendors into this war by focusing the bulk of their negotiations on the bottom line, instead of everything that comes above it. When you compete solely on price, any vendor, regardless of skill level, safety record, or ability, can win the job simply by charging a little less. Operating in this way, devalues work and lowers quality expectations across the industry.
Quality is everyone's responsibility. – W. Edwards Deming
Quality is More Valuable than Cost
When you provide services at a quality that beats out your competitors, you differentiate your business based on your work – not just your price. Your company naturally wins more business as your reputation for quality grows. Your competitors will notice this change and either up their own quality game or deal with the consequences of becoming stagnant.
In either scenario, the value and output of the industry improve, which positively impacts every employee, customer, client, and vendor.
Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design. – Tom Peters
How to Raise Quality without Raising Costs
It is possible to increase quality without increasing costs, and doing so benefits both your business and the industry as a whole.
Step 1: Drive Consistency
Consistency equals quality. Consistent processes mature quickly, increase efficiency, and enable future improvements.
- Build process templates that can be followed by any worker on any job site.
- Make process templates available in the field from any mobile device
- Use process templates to guide projects and data collection
Step 2: Build Accurate Reporting
Consistent process templates, available in the field, gives your team the power to collect meaningful and accurate data. These are not dates and times filled-in at the end of the week or the end of the project. No. These are the real-time, auto-tracked results from the field. With data this accurate, you can create reliable estimates for upcoming jobs and plan labor schedules.
Step 3: Identify Opportunities
With consistent processes and accurate reporting in place, you have the tools and information you need to drive meaningful improvements. This could be as simple as more efficient crew routing or as significant as reworking an entire process. Either way, your decisions are based on accurate data allowing you to make changes within your business confidently.
Active Oversight drives quality management by allowing you to create customized project templates that meet the needs of your team, your clients, and your job. You do not have to change your current workflows – Active Oversight meets you where you are and gives you the tools you need to immediately streamline data collection and sharing. This immediate improvement helps your business quickly realize increased profits and better data quality.
Then, with accurate data collection through Active Oversight, you can establish reporting to drive your intelligent enterprise to the next level. Quality improvement does not happen overnight, and it is never "finished." Active Oversight grows with your business to ensure that you always have the tools and data you need to get to the next level.