Puritas MD Trevor Cole reminds us that it’s never too late to learn … especially about the subject of quality and quest for continuous improvement
While a commitment to quality is hardly a new concept, it was a resurgent post-war Japan that formally elevated quality and continuous improvement to the very core of organisational culture.
The success that followed – particularly in Japanese manufacturing – caused many companies to pause and rethink their attitude to the standard of goods produced or services provided.
The battle is not won, however. Even in today’s world of highly demanding customers, the commitment to quality and search for continuous improvement may be a second order issue for some companies, perhaps more focused on growing customer base, reducing costs or securing an exit strategy.
For Trevor Cole, MD of local finance software developers Puritas, such an outlook may be short-sighted.
Grasping the quality concept
‘For Puritas, a commitment to delivering high quality products and services is hard-coded into company DNA,’ Trevor explains, ‘along with acceptance there’s always room for improvement. Customers for our advanced client onboarding, CDD, AML and risk management solutions appreciate this and expect nothing less.
‘We underline this position through commitment to an appropriate quality standard, qualifying for and maintaining recognised ISO accreditation.
‘But we equally appreciate that achieving quality and supporting continuous improvement means having a willingness to seek out and evaluate new approaches and techniques. And being prepared to make the organisational changes needed to implement them.
‘One way to start on this journey may be some personal improvement through a commitment to learning and development.’
Changing for the better
The subjects of quality and organisational change were included within an impressive training programme recently provided by Jersey Business.
‘I had an awareness of the subject matter from previous experience and workplace practice,’ continues Trevor, who attended all four of the programme’s focused workshops, ‘but the learning delivered proved an excellent refresher and relevant reminder of the importance of quality to any business.
‘We considered the well-known but often overlooked Eight-Step Organisational Change Model developed by international business guru John Kotter, for example, as a framework for use with local organisational change.
‘The programme also covered and demystified many of the quality philosophies around today, including Lean with its emphasis on eliminating waste, or Muda as it’s known, from an organisation’s processes, on reducing inconsistency, or Mura, to streamline operations, and on removing burdensome behaviours, or Muri, from employees.
‘There was a focus on understanding Lean success requires employees who feel engaged, encouraged and empowered to make changes necessary to achieve continuous improvement in organisational efficiency. And emphasis placed on breaking down silo-working by getting people to think of end-to-end processes, which requires motivating management.
‘Given the range of subject matter covered, there was definitely valuable learning on offer for everyone, whether completely new to the concept of organisational quality and change or experienced at delivering.’
Make the change … now
A commitment to quality and continuous improvement was the historic foundation of Japanese industrial success. The same approach adopted by many Western companies allowed them to fight back and compete on equal terms.
‘There are plenty of local organisations including Puritas already committed to delivering high quality services and to gaining recognised accreditation to underline this,’ Trevor concludes, ‘and I believe more and more interested in achieving the same standards.
‘I would urge other companies to start on the same journey as soon as possible – it’s always too late to change after your customers have moved to another supplier. Now, not tomorrow, is the right time to invest in some quality learning.’
Trevor Cole is always willing to discuss the Puritas approach to achieving a recognised level of quality assurance and the benefits of maintaining it – contact email@example.com to find out more.
Jersey Business are offering further opportunities to learn more about quality and continuous improvement through another Business Improvement programme in the autumn. Visit https://www.jerseybusiness.je/ to find out about future courses.