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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Quality Is Free

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

By: Tom Walker

How many times have we used the phrase “you get what you pay for” in reference to quality and performance? Everyone has probably said it multiple times in their lifetime and career. In this blog, orginally posted by Tom Walker, he discusses just that, 

As a project superintendent in the late ‘80s, Walker believed we did not pay enough for quality, so he was not surprised when a subcontractor failed to produce a high-quality job. Once, at his weekly production meeting, he and his team were introduced to a company executive who had come in for a visit. During his talk with the superintendents, he made a statement that floored me. He said, “Quality is free.” 

Walker didn’t believe him at first, but what he said next has stayed with Walker for more than 30 years. In paraphrasing, he said we pay our subcontractors and vendors a fair price for what they provide, and they should produce a quality job in return. Whether you get a quality job from that subcontractor or not is totally up to you.  

For Walker, that was a paradigm shift. No longer did he accept excuses from subcontractors performing less than an acceptable standard. If they agreed to the scope of work for the price he and his team offered, it was their responsibility to perform quality work. Walker realized they were delivering a lower level of quality because they were allowed. To drive that nail home, many times the difference between quality and not quite quality work was simply how Walker managed it.

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