When establishing Internal Quality Processes or Systems, one of the main errors frequently occurs – the Subjective Management of the Parameters. As a result: there are considerable ups and downs in quality both in the customer’s and producer’s eyes, which can affect new or established business relationships. That is why it is of a vital importance to remember, that
QUALITY is an objective process
The Clear Criteria must be paramount for the personnel that manage the Quality of the flower since the subjective management of parameters can trigger in important losses of the company’s resources. The subjective criteria involve many variables that can change from one day to another, even overnight, depending on the personal relationship between the evaluator and the evaluated.
Speaking of cut flower quality with a client, it is vital to establish Objective and Measurable Parameters for each evaluation process. Thus, each factor has an index of measurement and tolerance, and is not governed by a personal opinion or need of the client or the producer.
Recently the flower buyers’ professionalization has grown exponentially. Now when starting a new business relationship with the producer, it is common to send a Parameter Letter, specifying in detail requirements and purchasing standards based primarily on the demands of the market, to satisfy final consumers.
Frequently, this Letter will not advance beyond the commercial department. And since it does not reach the technical area, to be analyzed, it is not determined whether the product is appropriate or not for the customer’s needs.
A careful analysis of the requirements vs. the current offer of the farm – marks the beginning of a long-lasting business relationship. If the producer “assumes” compliance with the established parameters and sends the flower that often does not meet the standards may occur:
1. Devolutions in the cargo agencies.
2. Credits and claims from the client.
The most important thing to consider about the previous point is that the farm can begin to change or limit the shipments for a client, that has high index of credits and/or devolutions, losing a great long-term business opportunity. But this loss is avoidable through the proper analysis of the technical-commercial relationship conditions.
To avoid unfavorable situations, mentioned above, it is recommended to consider the following:
• It is essential that each production farm establishes Objective Quality Parameters.
• Each of the parameters must have an acceptable deviation standard. (Tolerable Limits)
• Implement an internal evaluation system to determine the quality range, based on the established parameters.
During the visit to a farm it is usual for the producer to ask: “What do you think?” Or “How do you see the flower?”, “How are we doing?”. Generally, the visitor is diplomatic and courteous, responds favorably about the flower and the processes, closing the issue in calm notes and avoiding compromising topics. Unfortunately, this may also hide possible problems or damages that the visitor may have noticed.
On the other hand, with these questions the producer perhaps exposes internal insecurities of the farm – originated by not managing measurable quality systems.
The most recent High Control Group service consists in application of an internal quality assessment, an aid for the farms to establish the Internal Quality Parameters so that they remain within the competitive factor of the industry and can compare their quality among several Ecuadorian and Colombian producers. This comparison helps to establish a range that does not depend on subjective comments.
The Quality Ranking became a fundamental tool in the administration and management of a farm. The analysis of this ranking allows to discover the weak points on which to focus and put more effort, to achieve a high range of competitiveness. In this way, it is possible to maintain a suitable, adequate level of production quality, and even make the farm “outstanding” among the other producers.
We motivate our clients to handle an Objective Purchase Parameters Letter and we also motivate the producers to work objectively in everything related to Quality, since it is the best strategy of a successful business.