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Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

Customer Care

Quality Is Everything

The world affects your job, and you affect the world. Take pride in your work.

Published: Tuesday, December 24, 2019 - 12:03

What a year.

No matter your job, your industry, or your political beliefs, this year has been a heck of a ride. The (still ongoing) trade war with China, manufacturing gains (and losses), the 737 MAX, Hong Kong riots, North Korea, Brexit, impeachment. What a mixed bag of ups and downs that has influenced all aspects of our life. Including our work. (For insight on how our editorial director deals with all this on a personal level, read her op-ed here.)

But on a workaday level, we each continue to do our job as best we can. That’s what we are paid to do. We take pride in the product or service we provide and try our best to deliver what our customers want when they want it, despite what turmoil swirls around us. And quality professionals are critical to that effort. Whether you are an inspector, auditor, calibration tech, metrologist, quality manager—or for most of our readers in small companies, all of those—the economy would suffer without the work you do to oversee quality. A robust economy is built in large part upon the quality of the products and services it produces.

So it is not a stretch by any means to say that quality professionals are the backbone of the economy and, ironically, largely unknown and unsung. We all know that at our holiday gatherings we are going to meet some new people. Your niece’s fiancé, for instance. The conversation will invariably turn to what kind of work you do. Theirs will be something like accountant, engineer, heavy equipment operator, retail worker, or “entrepreneur.” And then they turn to you. What do you do?

“Well, I work in quality.”

“Riiight… What’s that?”

And then starts the long explanation of how every product or service, at some point, is inspected or reviewed to make sure that it does what it’s supposed to do. You try to keep the explanation of “quality” as short as possible, but in about 30 seconds you see their eyes flitting about the room looking for a way... any way... out. No wonder quality pros are always so grumpy. At least there are jokes about accountants.

Well, we at Quality Digest know exactly what it means to work in quality. We’ve been serving the quality community for nearly 40 years. Our goal is to give you the quality insights and tools you need to do your job. These can be as specific as how to use statistical process control (SPC) tools, to new technologies being developed that may eventually make their way into tomorrow’s test and measurement tools. We offer training videos and webinars on a wide range of topics covering areas of quality that many people haven’t even considered.

That’s because we see quality holistically, and always have. That means that we believe everything that takes place around us has an impact on quality... even politics, trade, and Brexit. The trick is to understand the connection. That connection can be the impact that heated discussions have on the workplace, or how the China trade war impacts the supply chain, which in turn affects product quality and delivery.

In the coming year we are going to try to draw those connections a bit more clearly and help our readers view quality more broadly. To do that, we need your input. What is affecting you at work? How do you deal with it? What have been some solid resources for you? All of that is valuable for us to know, so tell us what you think by using the “Contact” link in the upper right corner.

And at this year’s holiday gathering, if someone asks you what you do, tell them you make what they do better.


About The Author

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

Dirk Dusharme is Quality Digest’s editor in chief.


Happy Holidays

Thanks for this, Dirk. I miss chatting with you and the team (not to mention the Quality Digest audience) on a regular basis, but the lessons I learned at QD are still with me: The critical, cross-functional importance of quality, the way leaders make (or sometime break) company culture, the meaning of teamwork, and the value of bringing your real and authentic self to the office or site every single day. I appreciate you all and the intention you help set. Have a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic 2020!