Quality is meeting customer specifications on a conisistent basis.
Tangible measures of quality:
- Appearance - For the fashion industry this is the all important factor.
- Reliability - Machinery will be in constant use, so reliability is needed.
- Durability - A firm hiring lorries would expect strength and a long-lasting vehicle.
- Functions (I.E. added extras) - Mobile phones are made more attractive by such a range.
- After-sales service: cost, promptness and effectivess - e.g. essential for IT network as breakdowns will be costly.
- Repair and maintenance needs - a car that requires servicing and few repairs would be considered to be of high quality.
Intangible measures of Quality:
- Image and brand and reputation.
Quality System – the approach used by an organisation to achieve quality. Most quality systems can either be classified as either quality control or quality assurance. Benefits are:
- Impact on sales volume – a business is more likely to retain customers who are happy with the quality of their product.
- Creating a unique selling point - businesses can use the level of quality as a USP for their product.
- Impact on selling price – businesses can charge a higher price if their goods and services are of high quality.
- Cost reductions – a quality system can reduce the amount of wastage and therefore the business’s cost.
- The firm’s reputation – A good reputation is good for a firm’s competitiveness/profitability.
This is the process of checking products in order to reduce rejects in the production process and returns customers. It involves the measuring of performance against known standards.
- Inspection at the end of the process can prevent a defective product reaching the customer.
- It is a more secure system than one that trusts every indiviual to do his or her job properly.
- Inspectors can detect common problems, so they can be resolved.
- It does little to encourage individuals to improve the quality of their output.
- Employing an inspection team is an expense that could be seen as unnecessary if the products are right first time.
- Giving workers responsibility for ther own work helps to motivate workers.
The process of planning for prevention, through structured systems throughout the design and production stages. Quality is everyones responsibility and assurance is then built into the whole process, not erely checked for at the final stage.
- Gives people more responsibility which motivates them.
- Costs are reduced as there is no need to pay for inspectors.
- Not all employees might do their self-checking correctly.
Total quality management (TQM) means the whole workforce has to be committed to quality improvements.The idea is to build quality at every stage. TQM organisations consist of quality chains, whereby every employee has to treat the receivers of their work as if they were external customers.