It’s just not the same

According to quality management is the act of overseeing all activities and tasks to maintain a desired level of excellence. Quality management is an important part of operations management, and is one of the top priorities in a business that produces not only goods, but services. Lots of times companies encounter an issue where they have to compromise quality in order to increase profits. In our puppet class activity, we discussed the importance of having a unified quality standard. When one department thinks something may be acceptable, and the next department doesn’t let it go through then that becomes a vicious cycle of resource waste. What happens when a huge client or huge profits are on the line? In those cases this may result in ethical issues.

There are many people out there that choose the items they buy based on either the price, or the reputation of the company. It costs millions of dollars for companies to establish a reliable and trustworthy reputation; it also costs them to maintain that reputation. Eventually companies strive to increase their profit by increasing their productivity, without diminishing their quality. Productivity can be increased by perfecting the process by which the product is produced, or being able to obtain cheaper raw materials.

What happens to companies that have a wide breadth of products? We would hope that a company with a good reputation would make sure each and every one of their products is maintaining its quality; unfortunately that is not always the case.  Let’s take a look at a company that is widely respected, with a huge range of products.

Lancôme is one of those companies that has a wide breadth products. Although it’s all cosmetics, they range from face wash to eye shadows, to lipsticks. For the past couple of years I have been a huge fan of their voluminous mascara, and have suggested it to all of my friends. No matter how many new types of mascara Lancôme came out with, or other companies came out with; I never felt the need to make a change.

After a couple years of using that mascara, I felt it wasn’t doing the job quite the same. At first I thought it might have been a while that I had it, and it might have dried up. After I bought a couple more, I realized that the mascara was simply not the same. It looked the same, and was at the same price point, but it seemed that the quality had diminished. I don’t know if it was just the color or type I was buying, but I was no longer happy with the results.

I was very disappointed, and had to go through a few new ones to find one that I liked. I guess that’s what happens as new items are released by a company; more resources are put towards those products, and the old ones become less relevant. On the other hand,  the voluminous mascara is part of the cheaper line of products within the company. The low cost of the product might make it a little more difficult to maintain the quality when compared to their higher end products.

Do you guys think that companies with a more narrow scope of products tend to maintain quality a little better?

Is cost a direct reflection of the quality, even if it’s produced by a highly respected company?

Budget or quality? Or can we have both?

We all know and understand that all projects are not always successful.  There will always be projects and initiatives that will not have an expected positive result.

Chapter five discusses in detail about estimating project times and costs.  It discusses how it is important to understand the timeline for a project and understand the costs involved prior to heading into the project for it to be successful.

I work in an environment where the clients want tier 1 quality work but they only have budget for tier 3.  Often I hear the frustration from our sales staff that they had to decline a project at work because the expectations the client had, we could not meet with the budget they were playing with.

One would think that the client should know and understand the budget based on market rates.  However in the real world that is not the case.  The client wants the quality of the top company but will use the price estimates from a company that does not specialize in it.

For example, my company, Production Resource Group for many years partnered with NFL in providing the audio, video and lighting for the Superbowl halftime events.  The relationship between NFL and PRG had been really good as both sides were happy with the output.  In 2013, due to some budget constraints, NFL did not want to spend as much on the halftime show but expected a similar product as previous years.  After months of discussion back and forth, PRG determined they were going to decline the project as it was not possible for us to put on a high quality event with the given budget and PRG refused to provide a low quality output as PRG prides itself in the final product produced.

End result of the project was that 20 minutes after the halftime show ended the Superdome stadium where the Superbowl was being held, lost power.  When PRG goes into large project such as these, they often use the top companies in the industry to partner with.  Such as a power provider we use cost much more than what the budget allowed for.  Because the NFL went with multiple vendors to provide the audio, video and lighting for the halftime show, instead of PRG who is an all-in-one shop, there was a miscommunication between the vendors which resulted in a power loss.

Super Bowl Football

Chapter 5 talks about Strategic Misrepresentation where promoters underestimate the cost of a project and overestimate the project benefits in order to win approval.  This is likely the case that could have happened in this situation where the NFL was satisfied with the promises made by the vendors not realizing the consequences.

My question for everyone is that, when is the quality given a higher preference over cost?  Every day at work, all of us get opportunities to make decisions with this dilemma.  How do you determine whether to go with a proven partner vs. going with a new comer to save cost?


Superbowl Power Outage Article –