Quality of the Future

Successful approaches to shaping quality management for tomorrow
Markus Uellendahl | Oliver Stahl | Dr.-Ing Colin Raßfeld | Dr.-Ing Falk Behmer
Dec 2023 | Study | Anglais

Quality of the Future

Successful approaches to shaping quality management for tomorrow

In recent years, the scope of quality management (QM) has expanded beyond its original emphasis on products and now encompasses a wide range of comprehensive customer experiences. This includes services, for instance, in the mobility sector, where ensuring a suitable charging infrastructure is crucial for travel. It also extends to peripheral products like wall boxes, as shown by the example of charging infrastructures. Furthermore, quality management now incorporates megatrends such as digitalization and the ability to address contexts with multiple crises. Traditional QM organizations focused solely on functions face limitations in these areas. 

This study aims to shed light on the key areas of action for making quality management sustainable for the future and provides guidelines for actively shaping corresponding organizations. It examines topics such as the structure of QM organizations, ways of embedding quality-oriented mindsets into corporate cultures, implementing agile work methods, and leveraging digitalization for quality-relevant matters.


of respondents state that customer satisfaction is not or only partially the highest priority at their companies.

Only 55%

of respondents view data quality as a relevant part of QM systems major steps to analyze the workforce.


of the companies surveyed still operate in centralized, function-oriented QM structures.

Management Summary
  • There is no one-size-fits-all approach but rather some general principles on how to shape the organization of quality management (QM): effective central QM is essential for ensuring company-wide standards and generating synergies, while decentral QM departments must be capable of responding to variation in agile ways.
  • A shift in roles is well underway from “production police” to “internal sparring partner.” In addition to product and process quality, an increasing focus is being placed on software. The ISO 9000 family of norms continues to form the basis for how quality is understood throughout companies.
  • QM methods and tools need to keep up with the rise of agile project work. Cross-functional collaboration is a critical factor for success here. QM in supply chains is rapidly gaining significance in light of global crises.
  • Collecting data cannot be an aim in itself. For value to be added, targeted analyses are needed to derive knowledge of interest. When digitalization projects are launched, quick wins also have to benefit QM. In addition, quality indicators should focus not only on results but also on enabling processes.

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