Quality – A Journey, not a Destination

Say the word ‘quality’ and most people automatically think about quality control and inspection.

Alan Wilkin
Alan Wilkin – BOFA’s Quality and Systems Manager

But as BOFA’s Quality and Systems Manager Alan Wilkin says, ‘you can’t inspect quality into a business.’

BOFA’s global leadership in fume and dust extraction systems is a testament to the quality ethos that has always existed at the company, but part of embedding a true culture of quality into any organization is to seek better ways of doing things and to ensure that everyone is engaged in the process – from the shop floor up to the managing director.

"In some organizations, the quality manager is seen as being responsible for quality, but at BOFA there’s growing recognition that it is the responsibility of everyone…and that’s when quality becomes a way of working, not a target."

Critically, at BOFA, quality performance is measured through the eyes of customers. This goes way beyond legal compliance and the attainment of standards such as ISO9001, important though these are, by measuring the customer experience. This analysis tracks hard data from across the business along with customer feedback to measure overall performance.

Such a multi-dimensional approach requires everyone working at BOFA to take responsibility for their area of activity, thereby creating an ‘internal customer’ mindset that encourages collaborative working.

In this way, everyone is interlinked inside the quality circle, actively thinking about how they can help their colleagues rather than working with a ‘silo’ mentality. The result of this ethos at BOFA is a quicker resolution of any issues and a better experience for BOFA’s global customer base.

BOFA’s Quality Management System focuses on people, procedures, documentation, and evidence to track performance on a business-wide basis.

"I think it’s more accurate to describe the QMS as a Business Management System because it covers every area of activity, from production management, product development and customer services through to HR, financial controls and training,"

"It is by working collaboratively with our customers and suppliers, by developing staff competencies and by fostering creativity, empowerment and accountability that we can meet the very high-quality standards that we set ourselves for our products and services."

"Ultimately, quality is measured by our customers’ experience and the satisfaction of our stakeholders. By listening to customers, we can learn from them to ensure that our product innovation not only gives them what they need but also perhaps some new functionality that they weren’t expecting but which adds significant value to them. At BOFA, when it comes to quality, we never say ‘job done’ – it’s a journey, not a destination."