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One of the most important issues that businesses have focused on in the last 20-30 years has been quality. As markets have become much more competitive – quality has become widely regarded as a key ingredient for success in business. In this lesson, we introduce what is meant by quality, why quality is important and how quality can be delivered.

What is Quality?

In order to understand the concept of quality, let us take a few examples from our daily life.

How do feel when any one of the following happens with you:

  • You receive a dish different to what you ordered at a restaurant
  • You are unable to open the shampoo sachet while taking bath
  • You are not delivered the pizza at your home within the promised 30 minutes
  • The refrigerator seller doesn’t care for the faults after delivering the product
  • AC in a train is either too cool or is not adequate
  • A staff in a bank is unreasonably rude to you
  • The electric iron you bought gives you a shock
  • The pen you bought does not write smoothly
  • The expensive gift items that you bought have scratches over them.

Naturally, your immediate response would be that of being dis-satisfied or sometimes highly dis-satisfied or even having been cheated by the supplier of goods or services.

This is a feeling of not having received quality.

Or in other words, all the above instances can be termed as quality failures.

If this is not quality, then what is quality?

Different people have defined quality differently. Some of the important definitions on quality could be:

  • “Conformance to requirements”
  • “Fitness for use”
  • “Value for money”
  • “Peace of mind”
  • “Reliability”
  • “Safety”, etc.

You will be surprised if we tell you that all the above definitions are correct & valid.

The reason for having so many different definitions of quality is that a customer will define it differently depending on his needs or the type of product.

For example, in case of an automotive component, ‘conformance to requirements’ as given in the drawing is essential, whereas in case of expensive machinery, ‘fitness for use’ or ‘reliability’ is more important. Similarly, if you are looking for a pen that writes smoothly but does not cost much, you are looking for ‘value for money’. In case of an electric iron, you may be more concerned for the ‘safety’ issues. When you buy a product to solve a repetitive problem, the definition of quality will be ‘peace of mind’.

So depending upon the need or requirement at hand, the customer will emphasize differently and hence the difference in the definition of quality.

From the above, we can conclude two things:

  1. Quality is defined by the customer, and
  2. It is something which meets the customer’s needs

In other words, an appropriate definition of Quality may be: Customer Satisfaction

…to be continued.

For more information & articles on ‘quality’, visit our websites: www.5squalityposters.com; www.qpg.co.in

  1. Monika Gautam on Monday 7, 2011

    This is a wonderful article on ‘QUALITY’. Quality concept has been very interestingly elaborated with the help of simple and lucid examples. Very nice! Thought provoking.

  2. Dr. Arif on Monday 7, 2011

    Good Concept to Explain The Term QUALITY.

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