Now enters Goliath: the other extreme from my last post about quality. As opposed to the biblical tale, “Goliath” manufacturers don’t “lose” in the realm of quality assurance practices. They just have a different set of challenges to deal with than the smaller “David” companies. Instead of dealing with gaps in resource availability, bigger manufacturers are battling things like fixed mindset culture and big-project capital investment. Much of what I explained in my first post on quality isn’t applicable because the “Goliath” companies are well established, both financially and culturally.
That still begs the question: what is their strategy to improve? Especially when they have the “big bucks,” shouldn’t they be able to overcome any non-compliance by throwing money at it? Or, (to keep with our self-titled analogy) doesn’t David have enough strength and sword to beat out his David-like competitors? From my analysis: it’s yes…and no. Money says, “yes” and instilled culture (typically) says, “no.”
Though there’s a HUGE advantage with a bigger manufacturer’s financial capabilities at sourcing problem-solvers any time they need to alleviate the issues at present, most of this decision-making is made from top-down. This decision-making direction is NOT a bad thing. The devil’s advocate would argue, “how would the big boss know what to do in the trenches when there’s at least two degrees of separation between him and the actual work being done?”
What I’ve seen consistently in the few companies I’ve worked for is that there continues to be a BIG gap between C-level execs perception and the reality on the production floor when it comes to manufacturers with more than 100+ employees. The management/leaderships’ decision (though very well-intentioned) aren’t well executed to the true problem at hand. The lack of critical consideration of employee feedback, (I feel) is the sling to David’s strength. Big companies need to learn more humility that even though their process may have worked out so far, “times they are a-changing.” And to better weather the storm of increasingly-complicated customer demands, the entire organization needs to be more open to not just employee feedback on how to improve internal processes, but need to be open to customer input secondarily.
Your employees input and feedback can be even more vital that what your customers provide, which I want to discuss more in my next blog. In the meantime, please tell me about a big company that you admire because of their customer service devotion.
Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/486177722246440322/