No matter what product or service you provide you will have to face this issue of quality and systems. Whether it is distribution of services or streamlining of processes in manufacturing your product; you will need to address the issues of total quality management. Yes, you can call it whatever you like; change the name, but no matter what you must consider these issues or you are doomed to failure. I therefore recommend the book;
"Total Quality Management-Strategic Planning" by Stephen George.
It is a great book and great to see that Deming and Fredrick Winslow Taylor attitude of modern business of the World have been studied and re-invented processes to manage and improve the manufacturing techniques, which keeps the corporations of this country rolling. It is a good book to read this now in America as everyone has fallen on an easy life and unwilling to do what it takes to increase productivity at work. Now recently in an economic downturn of the few prior years we saw that many people were waiting around doing nothing and expecting something to change rather than focusing on their core businesses and looking for ways to cut costs and become more efficient. Even though the book's title itself is the buzz-word of the 80's it still provides clues to what is wrong with modern day fundamental management and processes of the Large Corporation, no wonder they are so easy to beat up on. They cannot compete because they waste and are drown in their own inactive methodology and attitudes, this of course while trying to deal with the unending Tsunami of over regulation which changes like the political wind.
I think it is good to re-read such books of their day and not dismiss them. This is one, which is a keeper, because our large corporations keep repeating the same scenario over and over again. How can we keep teaching the leaders of tomorrow, when we negate the past and methods that got us here and adapt some new unproven method without understanding the original problem? Thus compounding the original problem with a new problem from the result of the test methods? It is good to every once in a while have break though methods, but until you are able to prove them, you should simultaneously have incremental improvements on known quantities. And just because everyone else has fallen for pie in the sky new techniques does not mean they work. Things only work when they actually work, not because someone says they do.
Deming proved his methods to the World, and then they were accepted but modified, and modifications upon modifications ensued, eventually every job in a corporation was done with TQM in mind. Including bathroom placement of toiletries. Yet as soon as everything was in place they found out it was all wrong and everything was modified, yet it was modified as a copy, not from the original. It is like following the letter of the law instead of the intent. How can someone negate the past results, ones which actually worked and now teach something else that does not work based on theory of what could be? They say America's secret weapon is its Management Techniques? How can that be when all the workers are providing zero productivity? Obviously someone forgot to tell the organization that from the top to the bottom it is not working at all. Apparently the stock market is backwards, because when profits are up even if short term the organization is falling apart and then it regroups and when everything is getting fixed profits are down, so to keep profits up, simply keep destroying the inner workings of the company until it ends or goes to zero market capitalization like Enron. Yes, well of course things are not that bad, but it sure made for an interesting quote? The fact is no matter what buzz word you use, every company should address Total Quality Management and therefore every executive, supplier, large customer or employee ought to understand the process and read the book. Everyone who is in management of any business should read at least one of these type books per week from any era from Amsterdam to the present then you will understand what is said in this book review.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs