Keeping up with the rising bar of quality

Join us at the Chocolate Room to talk about why innovation is essential to maintaining high quality services and products over time.

Roger O'Donnell

Roger O'Donnell

Global Audit D&A Initiative Leader, KPMG (US)

+1 212-872-3683

Video transcript


Ralph Erenzo
: In the beginning, our batches were uneven. I would say they’re craft. They’re never going to be the same. It’s hand made. But customers rely on the quality of the product. We had to resolve that, and that’s when the innovation happens.

Joie Chen: So we’re here at the Chocolate Room, the home of the best chocolate cake in the universe. And we thought it was the perfect place to talk about why innovation is essential to maintaining high quality services and products over time. What’s the relationship between innovation and quality?

Roger O’Donnell: Innovation will change what we focus on to achieve quality. For audit, innovation will drive quality. For KPMG, for audit, innovation will driving quality. It means no longer using the tried and true methods.

Title: Innovation: Keeping up with the rising bar of quality

Ralph Erenzo: I remember pulling up to a stoplight and hearing a car bass: boom -boom -boom. And I realized we could do that with the liquor, with the interior completely used. That was an innovation that hadn’t been used before in the whiskey business.

Joie Chen: And similar to your business, you’re taking something with a lot of history, and adapting it with innovation to make it better.

Pim Koeslag: Exactly. There are over two hundred and fifty components in one watch. Everything is mechanically programmed. And this has to last for generations. Technology plays a big role in using innovation to improve the quality.

Courtney Zeppetella: For us, auditing has been around for over 100 years and it’s no longer very manual. We’re able to use our IT tools to examine thousands of transactions, to leverage that technology to perform more effective quality audits.

Factoid: Nearly half of finance executives are looking for a more forward-trending audit

Courtney Zeppetella: Sometimes, companies will focus on their competitors, but they don’t necessarily focus on their customers. Because of that they try to innovate, but they’re not really understanding what their customer wants.

Pim Koeslag: I had this discussion with a customer. When you correct the date you have to find a toothpick or a pen to adjust it. This is very complex. So we invented a system to adjust everything by the crown. This has never been done before.

Roger O’Donnell: One of the things that we’ve learned is that you can no longer just do things on your own. So we’ve partnered with Microsoft, IBM, and whether it be cloud based infrastructures or cognitive capabilities with their products, all of these are enabling our people to do our jobs better.

Factoid: 78% of finance executives believe auditors should use more sophisticated technologies

Joie Chen: Ralph, you’ve had to train the next generation of your business.

Ralph Erenzo: Yes, we didn’t have a single employee that came to us with experience in distilling. And we could teach them, and we could give them also an appreciation for the craft of it.

Pim Koeslag: For us, it’s exactly the same. So the students coming from watchmaking school still have a lot to learn, so we started a training program for new watchmakers.

Joie Chen: You’ve done that too,

Roger O’Donnell: Yes. We’ve partnered with nine universities to create a Masters of Accounting Program to invest in the future workforce. At KPMG, we always think about how we can we be more effective at what we do, by innovating and identifying different ways to do things.