FIANA Dossier

Have you ever thought about applying the "Q" Factor to your business, or to your life? The "Q" I'm referring to is for "Quality." Often in our rush to create quantity, we fail to achieve quality in our careers or our lives. Stop and think about that a minute.

In our careers, regardless of whether that might be in the floor covering industry, sales, manufacturing or installation, the most discussed measure of our business acumen is not how good we are at what we do, but rather how much we do.

If it's in sales, your compensation is generally tied directly to how much merchandise you sell, too often, regardless of the quality of the product sold. The salesperson selling inexpensive floor coverings, for example, must sell more floor coverings than a person selling high-end quality floor coverings, just to make the same money.

Which would you rather be? I think I would rather be selling the high-end quality floor coverings myself. The manufacturer who relies on volume usually does not make the best quality product. In the rush to make more and more, quality must be sacrificed to some degree. In the case of the manufacturer, the one who makes high-end, high-quality products can make as much profit on less product. Which would you rather do, sell more product or sell quality products, if at the end of the year the total profit earned were the same? I for one would rather sell quality.

As for installation, the installer is usually the first to blame when an installation does not go right, regardless of whose fault it really might be. It could be a bad substrate; it could be defective flooring material; it could be the installation was oversold by the salesperson; it could be the customer expected more for less. In any event, this is an area that really lends itself to a comparison of quality vs. quantity. A really professional floor covering installer will never sacrifice his goal of achieving a quality installation on every job in favor of producing a larger volume of flooring installed. I would rather install 100 square yards of carpet and do it right, than install 200 square yards and just cover the floor. For one thing, a real quality installation brings repeat and referral customers back to the store for more. An inferior installation often causes upset customers who don’t come back for more and certainly don't recommend the store to their friends. In this instance everybody loses, plus we as an industry get failing marks with the consumers.

In your personal lives, do you constantly strive for more of everything, regardless of the sacrifices that must be made in the quality of our lives in order to do this? Take a look around you; nearly everything is judged by quantity, not the quality of life.

In any industry, the people within that industry who constantly strive for quality usually make more money than those who try to achieve quantity by sacrificing quality. Not only that, but the purveyors of quality instead of quantity always seem to be successful over the years. Our objective should be to achieve a quality of life and pursue a career that rewards quality instead of quantity.

Both quality and quantity start with Q and end with Y, but in between there is an awful lot of difference. Judge your life and your career by the using the "Q" Factor.