Ireland should try to emulate Japan by building a culture of quality at all levels of public and private sector activity, according to Dr Bob Kennedy when he announced details of the national quality management conference to be held in Dublin on October 15th. The Conference is being organised by Dr Kennedy in association with Quality Ireland and National Standards Association of Ireland.
Dr Kennedy, a lecturer in Quality Management at the Institute of Technology Sligo, said: “The quality manager is the eyes and ears of the customer and consumer. Codes, regulations and standards alone cannot guarantee quality. To build and underpin trust with the clients that their sectors serve, quality managers have to be ethical people who act in the spirit, and not just the letter, of the regulations.”
The inaugural “Quality in Ireland” conference last year was held in Sligo, where quality has been taught for 25 years, longer than any other higher education institute in Ireland. It is now to be an annual event and this year’s will be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry, on October 15, on the theme “Trust Quality in Lean Times”.
The current “lean” approach to cutting waste and costs in processes and outputs must never lead to a loss of quality, Dr Kennedy said.
The past 12 months had demonstrated the importance of trust and the devastating consequences when it is breached, he added.
“Trust is the foundation on which relationships are built and nourished. As supply chains grow longer and more complex, we very often put our trust in people we never meet. Central to the relationship of trust is the Quality Manager. We depend on him or her to protect our interests throughout the supply chain.”
Dr Kennedy said quality must be at the heart of what we do at every level of every sector.
“When we are promoting Ireland internationally as a ‘high-tech and knowledge economy’, why don’t we also promote it as a nation with ‘a culture of quality’?
“That is what the Japanese did after the Second World War. They set out and deliberately created that ethos. Everybody took quality seriously and started to think and talk about it. They experimented and learned to apply quality techniques that helped Japan become the world leader in quality.”
For further information about the conference and the full list of speakers click here