Quality is NOT a Certificate on the Wall

Yes, it’s true. I am guilty of sitting in meetings and making the ridiculous statement “quality is a given”.


Sometimes I just don’t hear myself.  What I should have said was, “the quality that our customers expect is a given”. Providing quality product, quality service, quality response, quality delivery, well… that’s certainly not a given. But, when you do meet that expectation and do it every time, you are world class.  And frankly, it’s not as common as you may think. A lot of people talk the talk, but how many can walk the walk?


Quality doesn’t happen by accident. It doesn’t happen because you have great people but it takes great people with a passion for quality. Consistent reliable quality in any component of your business goes to the core, the heart and soul of who you are and what you do. Yes, DO! Not did. Quality is not a certificate on the wall.

At ESP International we are very proud to have some of the truly world class OEM’s as our customers.  And with that, we have been adamant about our culture to quality. To becoming world-class to our customers. We love it when our customers critically rate us and all their suppliers – we want it.  They know that when we are asked to provide a product or service that our processes and systems go to every conceivable detail to make sure that quality “is a given”. They have come to expect it from us.


I still remember going through the process of getting our first ISO Certification nearly 20 years ago. I remember wondering why is all this necessary? Am I doing it just because our customers are asking us to? Or, am I doing it to embrace the culture. In fact, it has become our culture. It’s not just a good idea, it’s a way of life… ESP life.  Are we perfect? I wish we were… but the quality of what we do gives us the best chance to get there. That is a given.


Don Grawe is Director of Seal Markets for ESP International. He has over 20 years of experience in the seal industry serving the OEM industrial marketplace. You can learn more about ESP International at http://www.espint.com

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