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Even today with quality improvement the battle cry of American industry, the quality programs in most companies are limited to "conformance to technical standards," according to quality expert Bradley Gale. While some have ventured a step farther to measure customer satisfaction, few of them, Gale demonstrates, have attempted to track market-perceived "quality" -- how buyers select among competing suppliers, why orders are won or lost, and which competitors are succeeding in which market segments.
Using cases including Milliken & Company; AT&T, United Van Lines, and Gillette, Gale shows how leading-edge companies have gone beyond the minimal achievements of conformance quality and customer satisfaction to focus on the third, higher stage, "market-perceived quality versus competitors" and aspire to an emerging fourth stage, "true strategic management." Drawing on his extensive research at AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, Parke-Davis, and other world-class companies, Gale provides new metrics for market-perceived quality that are straightforward and easy to interpret. His set of seven integrative tools for customer value analysis makes up the heart of the "war room wall" to help guide business-unit teams in their effort to outperform competitors in satisfying customers. The great value of these tools is that they are derived from a future-oriented strategic navigation system that tracks competitive information and market-perceived quality. Learning to master this system accelerates customer satisfaction from a slogan to a science and leads ultimately to true strategic management -- the fourth stage of Total Quality Management.
The processes described in this book provide an insider's perspective on the criteria of the Baldrige Award. Bradley Gale's insights and innovative methods for defining, measuring, and improving market-perceived quality will create an entirely new thrust for the worldwide quality movement.
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