As a industry veteran of both owning my own business and a business that is manufacturing a product one of the most common phrases clients have to either listen or read is anthology that this supplier product is a quality product but how can all suppliers provide quality as we all have heard horror stories and more so what do we perceive quality to be as surely it is different from each location.
If one searches for a meaning in a dictionary which is a good resource to begin with the word means “the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.” and I felt that this was a good benchmark or starting point to examine closer.
Quality therefore means something that is measured against similar product and is better than that product so when a manufacturer writes it’s a quality product how has he made such a statement or claim did he measure his product with others most probably not so my understanding is quality has lost its relevance its loosely thrown into some marketing jargon but sadly many products aren’t defined in their build and assembly to be quality more than likely it is built as cheaply as possible and pushed through as quickly to.
Furthermore quality is on many occasions distracted when labelled “Made In China” again I find myself wondering why everyone automatically thinks Chinese made products are poorly made remember that China manufacturers so many products for global market more than US&EU combined could that not be in essence were we get jaded that we overlook or forget countless products that come out of China well made we zero in on that one bad experience.
So in what way does KT Group build on trying to achieve its slogan, a slogan that was borne out of a desire to reach a level that would allow us to build for some of biggest retailers or clients and to which we have reached as well I can proudly say, first and foremost we build and engineer a product based on 13 years of experience. In beginning we made many errors and mistakes it comes with territory but what we did not replicate was we didn’t make same error continuously we removed the errors and mistakes and furthermore we explored those previous errors to ensure that new products also didn’t get hit with similar issues so after a while you find that core team of skilled staff who started off working as professionals without background now have a background a side note here that KT Group isn’t about laying off staff in lean times we keep core staff on payroll at all times so that we have our resource in place to ensure continuous expertise and experience. Next step for our cornerstone to achieving quality was manufacturing location, its well-known fact that if you wish to achieve excellence you must have building blocks to do so and one such building cornerstone is right manufacturing partner in 13 years we have seen our fair share of manufacturing partners but as our success grew our thirst for improvements grow as with more complex designs required more advanced machinery and also expertise to interact with machinery to gain best results. With any product you start with raw materials in our case raw materials are based on metals primarily steel is material we use but we enhance our products with an array of other materials such as stainless steel, plastics, acrylics, aluminium’s are just some of the raw products that have been added the factor that relates to quality is ability to gain resources of these materials and confirm that materials are of high grade, only most experienced staff will know how to grade raw materials so that it can confirm that if we ordered a particular gage of steel plate and type of steel plate that our qualified staff can visually inspect it and check documentation and see that it conforms such staff are far and few between. Assembly of product is another factor that many inexperienced will not know what to look for, whether its in finish of welding, powder coat paint finish or the type of hinges used to affix doors a kiosk has many hundreds of minute parts to make up a completed product and each item or stage is just as important as next because this sets aside products robustness, finish, appearance, lifespan as in more cases than not unexperienced will overlook facets which may not seem important at the time but play an important role for example rust and metal degradation can start to appear on enclosures that are painted but not primer beforehand that can extend both lifespans of unit and also the maintain appearance of the finished product.
Cabling is complex and the amount of errors I see from companies who claim to be experts is breathtaking as process to cable a unit is a complex undertaking it not only has to be thought out how best to reach from Point A to Point B to ensure that cables are routed out of way of service staff and also away from areas that can potentially damage the cables but also these cables are at heart to ensure that machines run uninterrupted so therefore a must is cable boxes and shields to protect cable itself against damage and wear and tear. A thorough cable diagram has to be starting point for each new kiosk project so that a plan is set into motion on how all connections connect together and at what points they should meet at, furthermore labelling of cables and using index cards for reference points are a must for each unit as dozens of cables are used in each kiosk to quickly and efficiently locate a specific USB or AC Cable should not be time consuming but more so also not stressful.
Manuals how many owners receive technical manuals with their purchases that should be mandatory for each kiosk that provides a detailed overview of the kiosk terminal, with detailed photos, schematics and short descriptions the manual is the cornerstone to any service technicians toolbox.
Finally primary components that come with kiosk cabinet, a host of specialised equipment that are designed for integration within a box the mechanical engineers who perform integration must have a well document past to understand unbeknown challenges that face both investors, service personnel, customers of kiosk all play important role to meet with deadlines for delivery, budgets, servicing fees and successes of deployments at heart are key to the success of kiosk projects.
Wait there is also more to word Quality, they may be more indirect but we also see such categories as Design, Service, Spares, Know-How as also factors to achieve a proud stamp to be called a quality supplier.
About the author, Kenneth Larsen is the owner of KT Group Ltd a kiosk manufacturer that specializes in designing unique bespoke kiosk machines for some of the top industry leaders in their field. Kenneth background is a 17 year veteran of which 13 years has been with KT Group the company he himself started as a sole proprietor back in 2005. Clients of KT Group include Chevron, NCR, UN, Nordisk Film, Snaitech, US Army, Danish Tourist Board, Volkswagen, GE, NASA.