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“I Can’t Afford ‘Quality’ measures! My Customers won’t pay for all that AQAV stuff!” and other Myths

By now I’ve heard many objections to Quality Management along the path of the AV Quality Movement. One is more absurd than the other.

Why on earth would anyone object to lowering the costs for both the Provider and the Buyer? The Provider dramatically increases their profits, wins over customers, and improves employee morale and retention. The Buyer wastes less time on corrective actions, achieves measurable and documented consistency, gets fewer punch list items (means that the client is not prevented from using the room), faster completion, greater reliability, pays considerable less Total Cost of Procurement, and has a better chance in completing planned projects in the year it was budgeted for (and therefore less likely to lose that budget).

Rejecting all that is the real absurdity in my view.

Let’s take a few of the myths and consider them one by one.

“My customer won’t pay for all that testing” – The fact is, they did. They did not agree to pay for the defects, which are expensive. They expected what they ordered without the defects in products, functionality, performance and reliability. They expected you to test the complex systems you provided sufficiently to remove all those defects before claiming to be finished with the work.

This statement is as absurd as boarding a no frills flight, observing the pilot and copilot running through their pre-flight checklist even though the ground crew already went through it, and yelling at the flight crew to stop all that testing because you didn’t pay for that!

“AQAV just wants you to spend a lot of money to become ISO9000” – This one is usually offered by pundits that don’t attend AQAV classes, aren’t sure what any of the terms really mean, and need to save face by putting down the movement.

The fact is that while AQAV firmly promotes the management principles found in the international standard for quality management ISO9000, it admits fully that the audiovisual industry simply does not have the maturity at this time to handle it. The fact is that unless you are a vendor for the aerospace or automotive industries, the typical AV Buyer doesn’t require ISO 9000 Certification (or knows what it means for that matter). We suggest that you save your money on proving compliance and third party registrars.

Just learning the quality management principles and applying them gets you all the benefits (currently, at least) without the costs. Not learning the management principles and struggling to stay in business despite that is the real absurdity.

“I can’t afford all that test equipment!”

There is an assumption made when an AV Buyer gives an order to an AV company, and that company accepts the order, that the AV Company has the personnel that is trained, equipped, motivated, and competent enough to complete the order. When a customer sees the installer struggling to get something to work, they know that it is because the installer is not equipped to do the job, and is learning by trial an error on their jobsite. It’s obvious.

Note: studies have shown that 80% of dissatisfied customers never complain. They just avoid all contact with that vendor in the future.

“What if I get my people all that training, and they leave?”

The bigger absurdity to ponder is what if you don’t get your people the training they need, and they stay?

There are no meritorious objections to quality management. These objections are simply excuses for doing work in a manner that all can be proud of.

Visit Learn about how the AV9000 Standard can be used as the core of an AV company’s quality management system. Get your people trained to be “AV Auditors”.

Quality is the indisputable cure for poor profits, dissatisfied clients, and poor morale.


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