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    QualitysQuality is a basic requirement and considered as a hygiene factor while choosing a product or service. Hence the manufacturers and the service providers always make an attempt to maintain quality at least to satisfy the customers so that they remain stable in the business. However, customers’ satisfaction level keeps rising as they too get exposed to better standards. This obviously pushes up the quality-bar and thus the producers need to work hard to cope with the rising standards.An easy way to understand this is to notice how the laptop design has undergone changes over the years. While the first laptop focused on making the machine portable and thus always looked for reducing weight, the subsequent designs focused on making the machine powerful with more features, and went on making the machine versatile and efficient. The later designs focused on long lasting battery, ability to handle multi tasks, safety and security, and of course the price. In all these evolutionary changes benchmarking played a role by pitching the producers against superior performers. This overall improved the product quality and the future products have more promising offers to the customers. Hence benchmarking can be a tool to improve quality by getting exposed to the gap between the top performers and others. The classic case of Xerox company bouncing back to the market by successfully benchmarking against the superior performers namely the Japanese manufacturers, is well documented in the history of benchmarking. However, benchmarking is a basically a learning process and the person or the organization should display the humbleness and willingness to learn form others.

    Author: Dr. R. Jagadeesh

     

    Course/s offered by the author:Benchmarking for quality improvement

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