Quality, the Salvatori way
What does “quality” really mean?
When speaking about products and service, the term “quality” is often bandied about and used to reassure customers and potential customers that they are in good hands. But what does “quality” really mean? Whilst bodies such as ISO may attempt to quantify it through certification standards, it really is a subjective concept, dependent on a number of factors, environments, expectations and criteria, particularly in the natural stone and design sectors.
We have given a lot of thought to this topic, especially as it is a value we hold dear, and we believe it can be determined through 5 key aspects. Each of these is different, but together they create a template for creating products that merit being associated with quality.
In this article, we take a look at them.
Respect for officially-recognised and certified quality standards is always an absolute priority, as is combining them with our design style and artisanal know-how when it comes to working with natural stone. Reflecting on this concept, we have identified 5 aspects of quality that provide the guidelines that we work to:
- Quality raw materials
- Quality of imperfections
- Quality of the final product
- Functional quality
- Quality control
Let’s take a look at them, one by one, and find out what they actually mean in practice.
At Salvatori, quality is defined through a combination of recognised standards (such as ISO) and an innate feel, born of decades of working with natural materials, ie stone and wood. To create a product that is both beautiful to look at and functional, the starting point is, of course, to choose hardwearing and suitable raw materials. In other words, quality materials.
We work with suppliers throughout the world who understand and share our rigorous standards. If a slab of stone or plank of wood does not meet those, we will not accept it. Perhaps it has potential weak points, knots or fractures in it. Maybe the colour or veining does not meet our criteria, and here we are not talking about a science, but about an eye and that indefinable instinct.
Some might define quality as producing an item that is free from defects, but when it comes to natural materials such as stone and wood, that logic goes out the window, because it is their very imperfections that make the final object unique and authentic. If we think about wood, for example, its irregular veins may seem to be flaws to the inexpert eye, but they actually represent what you could almost call a mark of quality, the proof of its natural essence.
We can apply the same way of thinking to natural stone. Our Silk Georgette® limestone is a perfect example. Its minute red lines are not cracks, nor are they flaws, but instead are part of what makes it such a distinctive material. They make look like hairline fractures, but they pose no risk to the strength and hardwearing properties of the stone. This is what we mean we talk about the quality of imperfections.
Each of our products represents our artisanal values and this is something we are proud to stand by, and why we carry out extremely rigorous checks. Every product bearing the Salvatori name passes through the hands of a member of our production team. It is up to them to determine whether it will go beyond the gates of our Tuscan premises and even the tiniest chip, maybe indiscernible to the layperson, is enough for a product to fail the Salvatori quality test. This is how we know that we can safely promise our clients that they will only receive the very best of Made in Italy design and craftsmanship.
Anyone who is familiar with our brand knows that we are all about creating beautiful products, but we also believe that this shouldn’t come at the cost of functionality and that is another key aspect of Salvatori quality. Every product is approved by a series of professionals from different backgrounds who ensure that it not only meets design and engineering standards, but also the expectations and usage habits of the end user.
It’s the small details that count, such as testing that the drawers of our storage modules will stand up to being opened and shut numerous times a day. To check our packaging is robust enough, we subject items to a level of impact and rough treatment that would raise the eyebrows of many courier drivers. This is what we mean by quality.
The final, and perhaps most important aspect, is quality control, and here we turn to the real experts. The ultimate test of quality for us comes from you, via the feedback we receive from customers around the world, expressing the pleasure they get from owning a piece of Made in Italy design, no matter whether that is an entire wall in one of our textures, a bathroom item or a small accessory such as a toothbrush holder or wall hook.
We have taken an indepth look at what quality really means, going beyond the surface of a word that is commonly used, to explore its many aspects. These are the criteria we work with to ensure the products we create will delight whoever uses them and will last for decades, if not longer.
If you would have any questions or would like to find out more about our Made in Italy designer products, we invite you to browse our website or get in touch.