NEW YORK — Top-level executives and quality professionals see a direct connection between the success of their continuous improvement or performance excellence initiatives and the success of their organizations as a whole, according to new research from Forbes Insights and ASQ. In fact, close to half of all survey respondents say their quality efforts have resulted in increased profitability and have enhanced important key functions across their organizations.

The report—“The Rising Economic Power of Quality: How Quality Ensures Growth and Enhances Profitability”—focuses on the links between quality efforts and corporate performance, as well as the evolving business value of quality.

The research draws on the responses of 1,000 senior executives and 869 quality professionals worldwide from a multitude of industries. The survey was conducted online in March 2017.

The results reveal that quality has a direct impact on profit growth. Organizations embracing continuous improvement or performance excellence in a significant way are more likely to see higher levels of productivity than those who are lagging in quality efforts. The areas of the business that benefit the most from quality initiatives include boosting customer growth and sales, followed by efficiency gains. Areas most likely to be touched by quality initiatives include operations, customer service and production.

“The speed of business just keeps accelerating, and disruptions are multiplying,” said Bruce Rogers, chief insights officer at Forbes Media. “Thriving in this environment means infusing quality through every part of the enterprise.”

“Organizations that implement effective and innovative quality initiatives often experience increased profitability because of their emphasis on customer needs,” said ASQ CEO William Troy. “Quality can help organizations remain agile and responsive to meet the growing needs of its customers—customers who will offer repeat business as a result of quality products and services.”

Other Key Findings

Workforce preparedness and outdated processes are the greatest quality issues faced by organizations. Ongoing quality issues are hurting competitiveness and cutting into revenue. Negative quality issues are also proving to be a productivity sink, taking time away from employees’ jobs. The amount of time consumed with quality issues is rising.

A spirit of collaboration and open communication is more essential to quality success than other initiatives. Stakeholders need to know they can speak up as issues arise, or if they have improvement ideas. While quality encompasses a broad variety of activities and programs, the most common denominators include collaboration and risk management.

Quality measurement is widespread, but more data is needed. Less than one-fourth of enterprises have extensive metrics for their quality efforts in place. The ability to obtain the right data at the right time is a continuing issue. Customer satisfaction is the metric most often leveraged.

Digital transformation means new ways to approach quality. It makes speed essential in the ability to deliver quality outcomes, as well as to measure and report results.

Download the full report at