I rarely order a steak when I go out to eat. Regardless of how I communicate how I want the steak to arrive at the table, I’m usually disappointed in the result and regret the experience. You never really know who to blame: Is it my fault for not being clear about my wishes? Is it the waiter’s fault for poorly communicating the desired temp? Is it the cook’s fault for not properly executing the cooking of the steak? Is it the management’s fault for not checking the order before it was sent to the table? Either way I, the customer, am pissed.
At the Leadership meeting, we defined Quality as such:
• The execution is planned and the desired result is communicated.
• Execution is completed with supervision, avoiding the need for respray.
• The work is audited to measure the plan against the execution.
When it comes to delivering the “desired result,” it all comes down to the audit. As soon as a steak hits the plate is the critical moment in my dining experience, for Edko it’s as soon as the results of our work can be accurately assessed. We need to know whether or not what was planned has been executed. We do this through work quality audits, which entails either measuring a sizeable sample or all of the work that has been done. We then document these results and address any discrepancies through touchup and use the audit findings to coach crews on how to more effectively and/or efficiently achieve the desired results.
This seems like a simple concept, but one that is vital to achieving the level of quality we desire. At Edko, we want to decide how we are going to achieve quality, communicate this with our people, supervise the progression of the work and know, not think or hope, that the work was properly executed. The last thing we want is for a customer to be sitting with his arms crossed in front of a cold, half-eaten, undercooked steak that we could’ve delivered properly had we only checked on its doneness.