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Setting the Benchmark

Quality and the relationship between the organization and the customer

by Aimee Siegler / November 8, 2019

What is quality? Over time, the definition of quality has evolved from a focus on fitness for use to a focus on the customer experience. Since I started at Benchmark more than 19 years ago, one thing that I have seen consistently from the organization is a commitment to quality. November is World Quality Month and I've been thinking about the certifications that we hold at Benchmark and what that commitment means to our customers.

As an organization, our mission is to be our customers’ trusted partner; providing comprehensive solutions across the entire product lifecycle; leading through our innovative technology and engineering design services; leveraging our optimized global supply chain; and delivering world-class manufacturing services. None of this can happen without quality.

Personally, I define quality as understanding the needs and expectations of customers, and meeting or exceeding those expectations. This means continually improving the products and/or services delivered and building the relationship between the organization and the customer.

Management system certifications for the aerospace and defense, medical, telecommunications & industrial sectors require an organization to focus on the needs of the customer. Customer focus is, in fact, the first principle of quality management. This requires a firm understanding of customer requirements, and the ability to translate those requirements into actions, delivering designs and technology, services, and products that meet or exceed our customer’s expectations.

Sometimes quality management system certifications are viewed as a prize or an award, but when reading the standards themselves, this could not be further from the truth. Instead, the intent of certification is to enhance customer satisfaction through the implementation of an effective system that includes process for improvement while assuring the customer that they will receive products or services that conform with applicable statutory and regulatory environments.

Compliance-blog-graphicCustomer focus is woven throughout the standard, starting with understanding the context of the organization and the needs and expectations of interested parties to determine the scope of the quality management system and the processes needed. But perhaps the most telling is the fact that customer focus is part of the section on Leadership and commitment, and the statement, “Top management shall demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to customer focus." - ISO 9001

customer-satisfaction-01Personally, I define quality as understanding the needs and expectations of customers, and meeting or exceeding those expectations. This means continually improving the products and/or services delivered and building the relationship between the organization and the customer.
How do you define quality?

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Aimee Siegler

Aimee Siegler

Aimee Siegler (Global Compliance Manager, Quality and Regulatory) joined the Benchmark team in Winona, MN USA as a Supplier Development Engineer in 2000. Aimee has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in General Arts and Sciences, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Technology Management, and an MBA in Sustainable Business. Her certifications include American Society for Quality (ASQ) Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, and she is an ASQ Fellow. She works on the quality side of our global Quality and Regulatory team and supports our eQMS platform.

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