Definition: those features of a product or service that allow it to satisfy (or delight) customers. 

Tangible messures of quality

  • Appearance
  • Reliability
  • Durability
  • Functions (added extras)
  • After-sales service: cost, promptness and effectiveness.
  • Repair and maintenance needs

Intangible measures of quality

  • Image and brand
  • Reputation
  • Exclusiveness
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Benefits of having a quality system

Quality system: the approach used by an organisation to acheive quality. Most quality systems can be classified as either quality control or quality assurance. 

- Impact on sales volume

- Creating a unique selling point

- Impact on selling price

- Pricing flexibilty

- Cost reductions

- The firms reputation

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Issues involved in introducing and managing a qual

- Costs

- training 

- disruption to production

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Quality Control

Quality control: A system that uses inspection as a way of finding any faults in the good or service

Benefits of inspection

  • Inspection at the end of the process can prevent a defective product reaching the customer, this eliminating a problem with a whole batch of products.
  • It is a more secure system than one that trusts every individual to do his or her job properly.
  • inspectors may detect common problems throughout an organisation, so mistakes can be put right more efficiently. it is possible that an incorrectly trained group of workers will not realise that their work does not reach the right level of quality.   
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Problems of inspection:

  • By placing responsibilty for quality failures on the inspector, it does little to encourage individuals to improve the wuality of their output.
  • Employing an inspection team is a expense that could be viewed as unnecessary if the products are produced 'right first time'.
  • Giving workers responsibilty for their own work helps to increase the interest, variety and responsibitly within a job, and thus helps to motivate workers. 
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Quality assurance

Definition: a system that aims to achieve or improve quality by organising every process to get the product 'right first time' and prevent mistakes ever happening

Benefits of quality assurance

  • Ownership of the product or service rests with the workers rather than with an independant inspector, giving them greater responsibility.
  • Theorists such as herzberg argue that there are posibive effects on motivation because of this sense of owenership and recognition of the workers responsibilty.
  • Costs are reduced because there is less waste and less need for reworking of faulty products. Under inspection, it is possible for a fault to occur at the first stage of production and yet for many more components to be added before the product is deemed unsuitable. 
  • With all staff responsible for quality there should be higher and more consistent level of quality, which can lead to marketing advantages for the firm. 
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Systems of quality assurance

The most widely recognised quality assurance system is total quality management, often know as TQM. Definition: a culture of quality that involves all employees of a firm.

Kaizen: a policy of implementing small, incremental changes in order to achieve better quality and/or greater efficiency. Continuous improvement

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Quality Standards

Quality Standard: a set of criteria for quality establihsed by an organisation. The standard also requires an organisation to have systems for implementing and monitoring its standards. 

BS 5750:a british standards award granted to organisations that possess quality assurance systems that meet the standards set. 

ISO 9001: the international standard of quality assurance that is equivalent to BS 5750

The beenfits of having these awards are:

- marketing advantages from the acknowledgement of higher quality standards.

- assurance to customers that products meet certain standards - some organisations insist on these awards before agreeing to trade with a firm, as this helps to guarantee the quality of their supplys.

- greater employee motivation from the sense of responsibilty and recognition. 

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