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  #1  
Old 8th December 2009, 08:45 AM
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Question Short Term and Long Term Quality Objectives

Our company is in the process of updating one of our objectives. One of our objectives was to "Increase quality performance with all customers." We measured the difference from one year to the next if there was an increase then we met our objective, if not we issued internal corrective action. (Our registration auditor wrote us a nonconformance because this objective was not measureable and had no documented target or goal- another story...)
So as part of our corrective action we sited that one reason we established our objective this way was to avoid setting an objective that was less than 100%. The president of our company was afraid that we would give our customers or potential customers the wrong impression.
So as a solution we have decided to set the objective as, ">99% quality performance with all customers" and tack on some verbiage to explain to our customers and potential customer that we ultimately strive for 100% quality performance with all customers.
Since we use this objective along with others to measure the overall effectiveness of our QMS we don't feel like 100% is a good measure, our system is still effective if we maintain >99%.
I have been assigned the task of coming up with this verbiage, any suggestions?? Does anyone else have objectives set up like this??

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Old 8th December 2009, 08:53 AM
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Re: Short term and long term quality objective.

Even though you might say you are going to "improve quality performance to >99% by yhe end of 2010" that does not mean that you are done striving for improvement relative to that metric. I would expect that you would then raise the bar for 2011.

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Old 8th December 2009, 08:57 AM
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Re: Short term and long term quality objective.

I am very interested to know how you measure this objective? What does the % represent? (I am looking to create a customer satisfaction index linking an objective to improve this where possible).

I think your long versus short term stance is a good one, so why not have an overriding and long term aim of striving for 100% for all your customers, but then map this out with the achievement of shorter term incremental objectives with individual customers. You may be able to identify areas that can be easily rectified to improve this score rapidly and other areas that will require longer term work and effort.

It could be argued that striving for 99% or greater is not only counter productive to your customer relationships but what about your internal customers? A high level objective that does not strive for excellence may also send the message to the troops that 99% is OK, not more is needed.

So I think it is OK to strive for 100%, but make it clear how you are going to achieve this and that it is a very long term project. It may become too big for you, I don't know how many metrics you have to consider!!?, but that is how I see it working.

Hope that helps in some way!!!

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Old 8th December 2009, 09:50 AM
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Re: Short term and long term quality objective.

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In Reply to Parent Post by Manix View Post

I am very interested to know how you measure this objective? What does the % represent? (I am looking to create a customer satisfaction index linking an objective to improve this where possible).
For this objective we are only measuring, qty. returned from customers vs. total shipped to customers. We have other objectives for customer complaints and positive customer feedback.


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I think your long versus short term stance is a good one, so why not have an overriding and long term aim of striving for 100% for all your customers, but then map this out with the achievement of shorter term incremental objectives with individual customers. You may be able to identify areas that can be easily rectified to improve this score rapidly and other areas that will require longer term work and effort.
As for multiple customers we have only a few. With LMCO representing about 80% of them. They are the only customer that we do not currently maintianing 100% with. So breaking it down in this manner, although a great idea, will not really work for us.
We build hundreds of products to print mostly for LMCO. So breaking it down by product would also be difficult.

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It could be argued that striving for 99% or greater is not only counter productive to your customer relationships but what about your internal customers? A high level objective that does not strive for excellence may also send the message to the troops that 99% is OK, not more is needed.
I wonder if our Quality Policy doesn't clarify that our company, of course, strives for 100%. Our policy has verbiage such as, "the highest quality and on time delivery that meets or exceeds our customer needs and expectations."

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So I think it is OK to strive for 100%, but make it clear how you are going to achieve this and that it is a very long term project. It may become too big for you, I don't know how many metrics you have to consider!!?, but that is how I see it working.
So do you think maybe we should consider doing two separate objectives? One short term of >99% and increase this each year as we increase our performance then one long term of 100%, but specify a time frame like 2015, if that was realistic?
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Old 8th December 2009, 10:13 AM
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Re: Short term and long term quality objective.

I've found it helpful to apply the S.M.A.R.T. method. Sems to me your stated objective isn't specific enough. Maybe it could be a long range umbrella goal with strategic objectives doing the heavy lifting:

"Reduce customer warranty returns due to compressor failure by 90% by end of 2010."

"Shorten billing cycle time by 50% by 2010 - while maintaining or improving upon current accuracy levels."

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Old 9th December 2009, 06:40 AM
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Re: Short term and long term quality objective.

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In Reply to Parent Post by JSRDE View Post

[COLOR=blue]
So do you think maybe we should consider doing two separate objectives? One short term of >99% and increase this each year as we increase our performance then one long term of 100%, but specify a time frame like 2015, if that was realistic?
Perhaps that could work, I still maintain (and I think Jennifer is also hinting at this) that you have the one longer-term 100% objective, but ensure your shorter term objective is contributing to it and of course that they are all realsitically achievable.

It is amazing how hard this is, I have the same issues in my company, we hardly ever come out of the management review with SMART objectives, we should and I am trying to change this, but it is very hard to say things like "we will improve all supplier ratings to an A rating within the next 12 months" because we simply don't see that as feasible and struggle to identify actions that would achieve this! Frustrating but it is worth working at!

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Old 9th December 2009, 06:58 AM
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Re: Short Term and Long Term Quality Objectives

I agree with Jennifer. Your objectives need to be more specific. I am sure that is what your auditor had the problem with. That objective might be different for each product line/customer/family of parts, etc.
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Old 9th December 2009, 09:20 AM
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Re: Short Term and Long Term Quality Objectives

Itís ok if your target is >99% mainly if there are X% uncontrollable. Yes, make your objective specific. When you dream about something, you imagine how exactly itís going to happen. You are likely to pursue objectives that you can easily imagine or picture in your mind compare o those that are vague or fuzzy. So create objectives that are SMART because it will allow you to imagine it easily. If you have a clear idea of what you really want, you will be more inspired to do everything necessary to accomplish it.
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