This past month, ASQ released the 2013 study on the Global State of Quality. It's a fascinating read that I highly recommend.
Here is one finding that surprised me - only 68% of all organizations share information on product/service quality with customers. In a world that's becoming more and more transparent, I see this changing dramatically. What if I said that only 68% of organizations share price information with customers? You'd laugh at me - it's inconceivable for customers to make buying decisions without knowing their cost. But why isn't it equally ridiculous to make purchase decisions without knowing about quality?
This is already the norm in many industries - when was the last time you bought a car without knowing the basics about reliability, performance, and other quality metrics. I believe the percentage quoted in this study is going to quickly reach 100% in the next couple years. Organizations will either figure out how to track and communicate quality data, or they'll simply cease existing. Regardless of how you define quality, today's customers are far too shrewd to not factor it into buying decisions - and I think this goes for both end consumers and B2B clients.
The global state of business is changing, and it's going to make us all get better!