WHAT IS QUALITY? „ Quality is a customer determination based upon a customer's actual experience with a product or service, measured against his or her requirements, stated or unstated, conscious or merely sensed”. (Armand Feigenbaum) QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: How strong is the customers’ determination to buy your services? What is the customers’ experience with your services? What is the customers’ experience with your competitors’ services? What are your customers’ requirements? Are they stated and conscious or merely sensed? What can you do to increase and reinforce your customers determination?’ How can EAQUALS help you?
WHAT IS QUALITY? “The quality of something can be determined by comparing a set of inherent characteristics with a set of requirements. - If those inherent characteristics meet all requirements, high or excellent quality is achieved. - If those characteristics do not meet all requirements, a low or poor level of quality is achieved. Quality is, therefore, a question of degree. The quality of something depends on a set of inherent characteristics and a set of requirements, and how well the former complies with the latter. According to this definition, quality is a relative concept.” ISO 9000 Plain English Dictionary (Praxiom, Canada)
WHAT IS QUALITY? ” Quality is simply meeting the requirements of the ‘customer”. (John Oakland) QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Do we know what these requirements are? Do our customers know what their requirements are? If not, how shall we find out what they really want? Are we giving them enough quality, or maybe too little, or maybe too much? Maybe, with support from EAQUALS, we should tell them what their requirements should be?
INNOVATION What is innovation? Do we really need it? Why do we need it?
WHAT IS INNOVATION? from: www.effectiveui.com Innovation is the application of fresh ideas that enable a business to better compete in the future. Such ideas can include any new or significantly improved products or services, operational processes or managerial processes.
INNOVATION GOVERNANCE from: www.dcdr.dk What is needed for meaningful and effective innovation?
TYPES OF INNOVATION There are three types (areas) of innovation from: www.thinkforachange.com
QUALITY AND INNOVATION IN THE ECONOMIC CRISIS QUALITY AND INNOVATION IN THE ECONOMIC CRISIS Can we minimise the effects of the economic crisis with the help of quality control and innovation? … 2010, 2011, 2012 …
EAQUALS CONFERENCE - BERLIN, APRIL 2010 What are the effects of the financial and economic crisis? Shrinking markets Rising unemployment People suddenly realise that they have less money than they need Everybody starts to cut costs Better education may not mean more income What else?
THE ECONOMIC CRISIS How are language schools affected by the economic crisis? Fewer people can afford extra education. Those who can afford it are becoming more demanding. More people economise and choose less expensive solutions (cheaper schools, new online multimedia technologies). Students are demotivated more easily. Students want more and more for less and less money.
YOUR SCHOOL’S MONEY A typical budget of a language school comprises several main groups of costs. What are they? LANGUAGE SCHOOL EAQUALS
YOUR SCHOOL’S MONEY! COSTS OF TEACHING + ACADEMIC SUPERVISION + TEACHER TRAINING + TEACHERS’ RESOURCES, etc COSTS OF SALES + STUDENTS’ RESOURCES + OTHER SERVICES FOR STUDENTS, etc COSTS OF PREMISES + EQUIPMENT + SAFETY + MAINTENANCE + REPAIRS + CLEANING, etc COSTS OF ACCOUNTING AND ADMINISTRATION + OFFICE SUPPLIES + OFFICE EQUIPMENT, etc COSTS OF INFORMATION + MARKETING + PROMOTION + WEBSITE MAINTENANCE, etc
YOUR SCHOOL’S MONEY COSTS OF QUALITY CONTROL INTERNAL (by the management) EXTERNAL (by accreditation systems such as EAQUALS)
SAVE YOUR SCHOOL’S MONEY! ALL OUR ADMIN STAFF AND TEACHERS MUST LEARN TO SUPPORT THE SCHOOL’S ECONOMY, THUS ENSURING OUR BUSINESS SAFETY AND THEIR JOB SECURITY
SAVE YOUR SCHOOL’S MONEY! BY SAVING: electricity (lights, heating, equipment) paper (photocopies) and all office supplies telephone costs (by checking e-mail regularly, staying in touch, and responding promptly) What else?
SAVE YOUR SCHOOL’S MONEY! SAVE YOUR SCHOOL’S MONEY! BY PREVENTING: student complaints (caused by poor performance or professional neglect) frequent equipment failures and repairs (caused by ignorance and mishandling) frequent redecorating of classrooms (caused by inconsiderate use of blu tack) frequent repairs of classroom furniture (caused by sitting on tables, rocking on chairs, etc) What else?
SAVE YOUR SCHOOL’S MONEY! BY CONTRIBUTING to PR efforts (by attending events, supporting good grapevine and the school’s positive public image) to ensuring a proper level of continuation (by making students always satisfied, motivated and wanting more) To what else?
SAVE YOUR SCHOOL’S MONEY! BY INNOVATION There are always ways to do things faster and more effectively. There are always ways to do things in a less expensive way. Innovative and creative classes are the best way to motivate the students, keep them satisfied and wanting more.
SAVE YOUR SCHOOL’S MONEY! BY HIGH QUALITY PERFORMANCE The better our teachers do their class preparation and documentation, the less time is needed for academic supervision and additional communication with students The better our admin staff do their operations and keep their work records, the less time is needed for internal quality control The better our staff is trained, the less time will be needed fo additional clarification The clearer are our procedures, the less time is needed for staff training The better is our daily communication system, the less time and money is spent on telephone conversations
THINGS TO REMEMBER PRACTICE SHOWS THAT AT A TIME OF STAGNATION AND CRISIS CONSTANT CONCERN FOR QUALITY AND INNOVATION AT EACH AND EVERY POST IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY OF PREVENTING PROBLEMS AND PROTECTING ORGANISATIONS FROM FAILURE
THINGS TO REMEMBER THINGS TO REMEMBER Teachers (and other staff) who are resistant to changes, to in-service training, to constant professional development and to new technologies that save time are gradually reducing their market value as professionals.
THINGS TO REMEMBER THINGS TO REMEMBER If students know that their school cares about their problems they will stay there for a long time. Otherwise they will leave and find caring teachers and administrators at another school.
THINGS TO REMEMBER If teachers do not report problems to their DOSes, and administrators to the management, their problems will grow and eventually become everyone’s problems
THINGS TO REMEMBER Schools that do not prepare course documentation and student reports accurately and promptly will cause students’ (and parents’) disappointment leading to complaints and the overall impression will be poor – even if the teaching has been good.
THINGS TO REMEMBER Teachers (and other staff members) who try to offload their work on other colleagues automatically make the team weaker. Every team is like a chain. And every chain is as strong as its weakest link. Therefore, if you need to downsize and reduce your staff, start with the weakest links and make sure that the strongest links are with you.
THINGS TO REMEMBER Education is not a simple transaction. It is a relationship which either develops or dies. Education today is not about spending time together. It is about keeping the promises made to students and helping them to achieve results. Each course must be thoroughly prepared because students always know when it is not done and they are very sensitive about their time and money being wasted.
THINGS TO REMEMBER A teacher who does not make students feel they have learnt something new in each class is harming all colleagues and killing their workplace. Thus professional loyalty is one of the benchmarks of quality and the source os customer loyalty. from: www.crmtrends.com
THINGS TO REMEMBER High quality education must not ignore innovation. Each class must be dynamic and interesting. Dull classes kill students’ motivation and lead to drop-outs. Lack of clearly planned creative activities, regular homework (always checked) and thorough (fair!) assessment kills the students’ sense of progress and purpose.
CONCLUSIONS: During hard times the biggest mistake one can make is to save money by reducing quality control. Our quality control systems must remain strong and complete. As responsible management, loyal to our best staff, we cannot tolerate any lack of responsibility resulting in poor performance. Whenever there is a chance for improvement through innovation, our schools must be ready to provide adequate support. Smaller may mean easier to manage and improve.
EAQUALS CONFERENCE - BERLIN, APRIL 2010 EAQUALS CONFERENCE - BERLIN, APRIL 2010 CONCLUSIONS We must work harder on quality control because in times of crisis the market is more sensitive to consumers’ opinions. When the budget for commercial advertising gets very tight our efforts to produce good word of mouth must be reinforced. Bad news travels swiftly and spreads very fast on the Internet. In the past dissatisfied students would inform no more than 10 to 12 friends about their bad experience. Now bad comments on popular Internet forums reach thousands of people within hours. Crisis can be a good reason for creative reflection, rationalisation and innovation which will help us to build a solid basis for a better future.
CONCLUSIONS DOES QUALITY MEAN PERFECTION? Nobody is perfect. Perfection is the process of demonstrating professionalism and competence while always striving for our best. Perfection is a visible process. Students who see we are striving for perfection will forgive us more, remain with us longer, come back after a break and also tell others.
EAQUALS CONFERENCE - BERLIN, APRIL 2010 Perfection is not the top of a mountain. It is simply a hard pathway uphill.
Wishes for the future THANK YOU firstname.lastname@example.org