HARMAN Luxury Update
November is Recognized Globally as Quality Month Across HARMAN
by Dave Tovissi
Vice President and General Manager, HARMAN Luxury Audio
Each year HARMAN selects a theme for celebration. This year we will showcase best practices and strategic imperatives that drive Flawless Execution.
As part of that drive, last month I wrote about the new generation of luxury buyers and how higher Quality is something that they will seek out and pay more for if a product or brand is committed to it. This month, HARMAN leaders across the globe are providing their testimonials about what the concept of Quality means to them and how they all work to ensure our products meet the highest expectations of our customers.
To better understand our commitment to Quality, I thought it would be beneficial to you if you could hear about it from our leaders.
Vice President, Global Operations
Sr. Director, Product Operations
Global Quality Manager
Earlier in the month, I caught up with Lily Guo, Vice President of Global Operations for Consumer Audio at HARMAN and asked her to share her thoughts about this topic. “Quality is the lifeblood of our brands and our company. It is what sets us apart from our competitors. Quality enhances our reputation and boosts the loyalty of our existing customers” stated Lily. She followed those comments up by reminding me that, just as quality can make our business great, poor quality can also break our business.
Lily then spoke enthusiastically regarding her team’s dedication to Quality across the entire global supply chain. “We start with giving quality the highest priority. We select competent sub-suppliers, we implement rigorous quality management systems, processes, methods and tools throughout the lifecycle of a product.”
Lily then encouraged me to speak with others on her team to get their opinions on this year’s theme of Flawless Execution, directing me to speak with George Yu, Senior Director of Product Operations. I was pleased to discover that George was equally passionate about the subject of Quality:
“Our successes in quality improvement do not always come from breakthrough innovations. Success also comes from flawless execution across every department and every function, every day!,” stated George. “We work to exceed customer satisfaction by never stopping improvement on the quality of our products and services.”
That is reflected in our Luxury Audio quality results. Our Cost of Quality (COQ) has achieved targets over the past four years. George then told me how that was being accomplished. “We keep enhancing key suppliers’ competence level. For instance, a Home Audio supplier was recently chosen to manufacture Luxury Audio three years ago. Over that time HARMAN’s Quality Team has worked closely with this supplier to develop best-in-class fabrication processes on wooden cabinets.” This partnership was celebrated earlier in the year by awarding this same supplier with the opportunity to manufacture the JBL L100 Classic 75 loudspeakers.
From product development, engineering, manufacturing and post-sales service, we listen to the voice of the customer. Directed by that, we are driving continual improvement by integrating learnings into the design process.
Even with the highest commitment to quality there have been instances where a specific part or process has failed, and we needed to quickly determine the root-cause and implement an engineering change or process improvement plan.
I spoke with Dale Seidlitz, Luxury Audio Global Quality Manager, specifically about this topic and here is what he had to say. “Our quality engineers are on site closely working with every manufacturer to make certain that our processes and procedures are followed to our exacting quality standards. Our goal is always to catch any defect in-house prior to shipment,” Dale shared. “If we find a defect or if a product later fails in the field, we go through a very strict root cause and corrective action procedure to prevent the issue from occurring again,” he added.
As we celebrate Quality Month in November, we should all be reminded by what Henry Ford once said about this topic. “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”
Your feedback regarding quality is valuable to us, and we welcome it. Please feel free to share your feedback with me by sending me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.