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Fundamental #14 – Honor Commitments

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Fundamental #14 – Honor commitments.  Our customers are counting on us, and we’re counting on each other.  Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it.  Follow through on promises and consistently follow up to ensure that everything is completed in accordance with the commitment you made.  If a commitment can’t be fulfilled, notify others the minute you know this, and agree upon a new commitment to be honored.

I want to start with the definition of commitment.  Merriam-Webster: 2a) an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date, 2b) something pledged, 2c) the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled.  Examples: The church has a commitment to helping the poor.  The boss noticed her strong commitment to her work.  No one doubts your commitment to the cause.

What I take away from that is there has to be an agreement or pledge to  something or it really isn’t a true commitment.  If someone doesn’t agree or see value in something (emotionally impelled), he or she is far less likely to be committed to  honoring that commitment.

Our quality policy is a commitment we have made as a company.  Webco Manufacturing Inc.’s employee owners personally expect, understand, and commit to providing the highest quality service to our external and internal customers the first time, on-time, every time.  We establish and regularly review our company objectives to continually improve ourselves, our processes, and our quality management system.

Have we as a company actually committed to this policy?  If every one of us have actually committed to provide the highest quality service to our external and internal customers the first time, on-time, every time what would that look like?  Would we have the PPM or on-time delivery numbers we have right now?  How much rework would we be doing?

What would it look like if every one of us was committed to continually improving ourselves, our processes, and our quality management system?  Would the ISO audit have gone the way it did?  How much ownership in the QMS would we see?   Wouldn’t we not only know and understand our processes but actually looking for ways of improving them?

I think before we can start thinking about honoring commitments we need to examine if we are really committed to being what we say we are and doing what we say we do. 

– Amy Ammer