Are You Sacrificing Brand Reputation for Faster Time to Market?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39747297@N05/

Do you remember the first time you bought a new car? How proud you were? The envious stares of your neighbors? But what happens to that feeling when your car doesn’t start in the morning and those same neighbors are laughing?

It’s the era of the product recall. Consumers are constantly looking at the make, model and serial number of their new car, electronic device or baby furniture to make sure they didn’t purchase that “bad batch” of whatever. Even the world’s most expensive and exclusive brands are not safe from the recall bug.

But what impact do recalls have on a company’s reputation and does it change the purchasing habits of consumers?

Well, yes, according to global public relations agency Weber Shandwick. Its report, entitled: “The Company Behind the Brand: In Reputation We Trust,” states:

“Corporate reputation and brand reputation are now nearly indivisible.  The importance of a firm’s reputation matters more than ever and is unified with the reputation of product brands to create one powerful enterprise brand. Consumers want assurance that their well-earned dollars, yuan, pounds or reais are spent on products produced by companies that share their values. They have higher expectations for the companies and the brands they like and are not hesitant to turn their backs when they are disappointed or fooled.”

A Google search quickly reveals that recalls are not isolated problems that only affect a certain industry, manufacturer or product. In today’s highly competitive global market, discrete manufacturers are attempting to meet the burdens of faster time to market and profit gains while also producing a quality product, and this juggling act sometimes has disastrous outcomes.

Recalls today are widespread. Visit these official recall sites to learn more:

Assuring quality, reliability, and safety is an integral part of product develop­ment. But companies often address product quality too late, using disjointed processes with inadequate cross-functional communication.

Not managing quality in an integrated way throughout the product lifecycle is costly to com­panies, both in profitability and reputation.

Achieving product quality is a multidimensional challenge for discrete manufacturers. To be most effective, quality should be managed early in the product devel­opment lifecycle and consistently throughout the entire process, using cross-functional, collaborative methods so that the quality information obtained in one lifecycle stage is available to relevant processes in other lifecycle stages.

What’s more, quality information must be highly visible throughout an orga­nization to ensure any and all decisions that may require quality data or impact product quality are informed in a timely, efficient, and accurate fashion.

Quality Lifecycle Management, or QLM, provides a formalized, systematic solution to manage all aspects of product quality, reliability, and risk using methods that are fully integrated into the product development lifecycle and highly visible to all personnel with a stake in product quality.

Do you feel that companies are sacrificing quality products in order to be the first to market? Does your company use a QLM solution? If so, why did you decide to implement it?

Photo Credit: Broken Egg by Samuel M. Livingston Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

This entry was posted in Best Practices, Product Lifecycle Management and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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