A long time ago I was a Blue Willow china fan. I collected pieces wherever I could find them, one at a time mostly, at garage sales, antique shops, and occasionally home goods stores. My collection was humble and yet it brought me much joy. Somehow the subtly Asian look to the pictures which seemed to be telling untold stories fascinated me. My grandmother had a complete set and it was a joy to eat and drink from them.
One day I decided to order a complete set so that my family could not just admire them, but also eat from them every day. Frugal person that I am, I was enticed into buying a big box of the set by mail order. This was long before Amazon or any kind of online ordering and the picture in the magazine looked great. I could hardly believe my luck!
Until the box arrived. It was a big box, to be sure, and carefully packed. The very first thing I saw though, at the very top of the packing material, was a roughly printed set of "instructions." The most striking notation was: "You may find some subtle differences in each piece. Variations in quality add to the charm."
Variations in quality do NOT add to the charm. But, they weren't kidding. There were variations in color, variations in definition, variations in placement, variations in size. The set was a complete mess. It looked far cheaper than it was and not at all charming.
Is your team producing quality? Do your customers know what to expect and do you deliver on that expecation? So many products these days have joined in the race to the bottom in order to cut prices and expenses. It seldom pays off. As it is so often said, "you get what you pay for." In Blue Willow china, and in just about any product you buy and any service you offer.
Variations in quality? They are not for you, and they are certainly not for me.
Let's do better than that. Let's consistently do our best and deliver top quality.
-- doug smith