What is Quality?
Quality refers to the ability of the product or service to satisfy customer expectations and needs. It is judged by comparing the product with other similar products.
Quality is a vague concept. It is subjective in nature. Every person has their own definition of quality. It is the perception of people toward the product or service. In general, it is the excellence of the product or service to make feel customer it is better than other similarly priced products.
Quality is the distinguishing feature of any product that affects its ability to satisfy the stated and implied needs of consumers. It is the ultimate taste or feeling of organizational performance and excellence of products.
The concept of product or service quality, however, is a relative matter in terms of the price that people are willing to pay. In this sense, the quality of the product refers to the ability of the product to satisfy its intended purpose in relation to the price.
Dimensions of Quality
Harvard Business School Professor David A. Garvin has provided eight dimensions for measuring the quality of products or services. They are:
- Performance – It refers to the primary operating characteristics of the product which are specified when the product is produced.
- Features – It includes a product or service’s extra or different features as compared to other similar products.
- Reliability – Products should work finely within their specified period.
- Conformance – It is the degree to which the product conforms its specification.
- Durability – It is the life of the product of how long it will be useful.
- Serviceability – It is the ease with which a user can repair a faulty product or get it fixed.
- Aesthetics – It is a subjective dimension of quality. It involves the looks, tastes, sounds, and smells of products or services.
- Perceived Quality – It is related to how customers perceive the performance of any product or service.
Factors Affecting Quality
Various factors are responsible for the quality of products and services. Some of the most common factors affecting it are mentioned below:
Other than the material, design, and equipment, the key contributor to quality is the workforce. The employees are in charge of taking the materials and turning them into finished goods.
Employees must be trained by management not just in the technical skills required to produce and supply high-quality products, but also in a quality-conscious mentality.
The finished product would be as expected only when the good materials are used to produce it. As a result, managers need to set standards for raw materials in order to stop the production process from using inferior materials.
The management sets policies for the excellence of the products. These regulations outline the minimum level of quality that must be present in a product. So, the quality of the products produced by the company is mostly determined by management policy about quality.
Engineering and Design
The engineer or designer must create a product that will appeal to customers at a reasonable cost. Engineering and design are the basic factors to define shape, size, color, texture, etc. which make the product competitive.
Equipment and Technology
Quality of equipment, tools, machines, and technologies used in the production, promotion, and distribution process are vital determinants of quality. These elements determine the cost, quality, and efficiency of the product.
The organization’s top management should be strategically committed to quality improvement. The top management should prioritize preserving and even enhancing the level of technology. To increase quality, sufficient finances should be set aside for this.
Research and Design
It is essential to satisfy the customer’s needs, fashion, desires, and interests by providing quality products. For this, R&D in technology, goods, and services, and even in consumers changing preferences is necessary to invent new and developed products.
Importance of Product Quality
The following are some importance of the quality of products in the organization. They are:
One of the characteristics of a quality product is that it meets the expectations and needs of customers which is the main reason customers get satisfied with the product.
Since quality meets the needs of the customer, they consistently favor the same product. This aids in overcoming the fierce market rivalry. Because of its superior quality, the product distinguishes itself from those its competitors.
Quality reflects the image of the organization. If customers are satisfied once, they always put the organization on the top rank. This helps to improve the image of the organization.
Quality is directly related to productivity. In order to improve quality, one must think about productivity. This is why, while improving product quality, productivity also gets improved side by side.
Improving Cost Effectiveness
By improving quality, wastage, and defects can be reduced substantially. Resources can be properly utilized and hence the cost of production gets reduced.
Improving the Market Position
As the image of the organization gets improved by improving quality and satisfying the needs of customers, they always prefer the same producer as well as recommend it to their peers and others. This helps companies to increase their market.