A reader writes: "I struggle with all the requirements that potential customers expect me to submit. Why can't I just give them some references and a good price rather than jumping through hoops?"

Having a viable Quality Control Program entails more than simply conducting periodic inspections during a site visit. The term "program" encompasses more than a few forms or records. It denotes a culture of quality that permeates your entire organization from communication with the customer to training to a standard that enables the front line workers to fulfill the contact in a timely manner. A Quality Control Program can be generic at one level in that you want to fulfill certain standards on any contract you service. This generic form should be designed to adapt to the specifications of each site in such a way that it reflects the intended goals and outcomes of the customer and their tenants.

First of all, your front line workers need to understand the Quality Control Program so that they embrace it rather than resent someone looking over their shoulder. The onsite supervisor should not only have a copy of the plan but be involved in periodically reviewing it to verify that it is actually working as intended. I have visited sites that the onsite supervisor had never seen the specifications and simply reacted to complaints from the customer.

The key is having a process that generates sufficient data without overwhelming the onsite supervisor with superfluous paperwork that no one reads or cares about. Scoring 0-100 or A,B, C, D, F in full and spot inspections can allow tracking and trending which is important to highlight potential issues.

Managing by complaint is never a good practice and will always lead to avoidable issues.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.