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Global Quality Research Spurs Change, Improvement Initiatives in Companies, Countries Worldwide

Global State of Quality assessments needed, leaders say

As part of World Quality Month, ASQ has published the “Global State of Quality Research: Insights and Continuing Conversations” report — the third of three separate releases of the first-ever ASQ Global State of Quality Research — which identifies gaps in quality and continuous improvement worldwide and establishes a baseline for business leaders to improve organizational performance.

“Insights and Continuing Conversations” features feedback about the research from stakeholders who praise the study but also provide opportunities for future iterations of the Global State of Quality Research.

“Insights and Continuing Conversations” follows the high-level “Discoveries 2013” report, which was released in May, and the “Analysis, Trends, and Opportunities 2013” report that offers comparative data based on organization location, sector and size.
In addition to the three main research reports, ASQ is publishing four short, topic-specific Spotlight Reports that provide a detailed account of significant themes that emerged from the research. The topics include, the Qustomer™ — a term describing the integration of customers and the quality process — quality as a competitive differentiator, quality in the Middle East, North Africa region and quality training and competencies.

To conduct the first-of-it-kind research, ASQ partnered with APQC, an industry leader in quality and continuous improvement benchmarking research.

The efforts of ASQ and APQC work toward a goal that provides “comprehensive, valid and reliable data regarding the quantitative impact that quality and continuous improvement processes and investments can have on organizational performance,” according to the “Insights and Continuing Conversations” report.

“We seek to provide organizations with the opportunity and platform to assess all aspect of their enterprise quality system — processes, practices, structures — to examine what could/should change and the potential impact,” the report says.
According to feedback from the global quality community, the inaugural Global State of Quality Research has already made strides in providing these opportunities and platforms.

Specific feedback about the research includes:

• “The ASQ Global State of Quality Research effort can provide a bridge to connect quality researchers across nations.”

• “Comprehensive studies like this lead companies and professionals around the world to question their way of thinking and acting.”

• “This study is important as it contributes to global companies and professionals who have a quality vision throughout the world.”

• “Increasing the number of conversations about the role of quality and how best to lead, resource and support is very helpful. Having ASQ convene these conversations is at the heart of being ‘The Global Voice of Quality.’”

In Finland, the Global State of Quality Research has prompted national debate about corporate quality performance. Under the leadership of the Finnish Quality Association, top CEOs were briefed of the data, and large newspapers and the Finland’s National Broadcasting Company featured the study quality-related successes.

“For Finland, this survey has been very important,” said Tani Jarvinen, Finnish Quality Association president. “We will see quality-related improvement projects and programs in the future.”

But there is room for improvement in further versions of the Global State of Quality Research, according to those who provided feedback for the latest report:

• Explore the main drivers of innovation that will produce sustainable competitive advantage. How do we make these drivers available in an organization?

• Identify processes that will develop sustainable quality culture throughout an organization, and extending to its business partners.

“The feedback about the Global State of Quality Research from the global quality community has been invaluable — validating the need for further research and data while offering opportunities to ensure the project grows and further impacts organizations’ decision making,” said ASQ Chair John Timmerman.

For more information on the Global State of Quality Research and to download “Insights and Continuing Conversations” report, visit
About ASQ

ASQ is a global community of people dedicated to quality who share the ideas and tools that make our world work better. With millions of individual and organizational members of the community in 150 countries, ASQ has the reputation and reach to bring together the diverse quality champions who are transforming the world’s corporations, organizations and communities to meet tomorrow’s critical challenges. ASQ is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., with national service centers in China, India, Mexico and a regional service center in the United Arab Emirates. Learn more about ASQ’s members, mission, technologies and training at

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