A great research study shows that there is a relationship between the interdepartmental interactions and product quality. We've known this for quite some time in the customer contact arena. The call center agents talk to more customers in one day than do any other employees the rest of the year. Yet, how many of us have the sytems in place that allow these agents to communicate what the customer is telling them? Here's what the study says:
"...the results of this study suggest that the relationship between interdepartmental interactions and product quality is strong. Thus, managers should implement interventions that increase interdepartmental connectedness-particularly in turbulent environments.
For instance, managers must carefully develop programs and incentives aimed at fostering cooperations among various functional units. Allowing greater decision-making authority to the line functions and breaking down functional silos or strict departmental structures will help build cooperative environment and, in turn, improve communications between key constituents. Such improved communications will assist companies deliver high-quality goods and services" (Menon, Jaworski, Kohli, 1997).
In the competitive market we face today, can any of us afford to have our silos dictate poor product quality?
What are others doing to help facilitate this cross-functional interaction? What programs or incentives are you using to foster cooperation? Are you allowing greater decision-making authority? We'd love to hear what you are doing.
Ajay Menon, Bernard J Jaworski, Ajay K Kohli. (1997). Product quality: Impact of interdepartmental interactions. Academy of Marketing Science. Journal, 25(3), 187-200. Retrieved May 28, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 12606198).