iwhatqual

What is Quality ?

 

This is the text of an article published by Peter Griffin

The official definition is:-

"THE TOTALITY OF FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS OF A PRODUCT OR SERVICE THAT BEAR UPON ITS ABILITY TO SATISFY STATED OR IMPLIED NEEDS"

This highlights that the service must satisfy a given need, and that is the need of the customer. Quality is providing a product or service that is "Fit for the Purpose". In many areas the popular choice of purchase is not the cheapest but it is chosen because its quality and reliability are perceived by the customer as being the best value for money. An alternative definition could be:-

"QUALITY IS THE SUM OF ALL THE FACTORS THAT ENABLE OWNERSHIP SATISFACTION AND BRING CUSTOMERS BACK TO BUY A PRODUCT OR SERVICE AGAIN AND AGAIN"

Quality could therefore include:-

a) Knowing the Customer's Needs

If the Customer's needs are not identified they can only be achieved by accident, and any amount of trial and error causes delay and additional cost.

b) Designing to Meet Them

If the Customer's needs are to be satisfied, they must be documented to clarify the extent of the contract and, if appropriate, agreed with the Customer. Failure to document them means that they are passed by word of mouth and subject to individual interpretation of the recipient.
Planning involves positive decisions on such items as definition of the correct equipment, identifying the type and quantity of tools, defining the correct grade of manpower for each activity, identifying any special accommodation or facilities required, etc.

c) Reliable Bought-In Equipment and Materials

The equipment and materials must be fit for the intended purpose if the Customer is to be satisfied and the company is to avoid rectification and warranty costs. The choice of suppliers is an important factor in avoiding these costs.

EXAMPLE :
If an installed system proves to be faulty, the defective item will normally be replaced free of charge by the supplier, however the costs associated with locating the fault, removing the offending item, liaison with the supplier, receiving the replacement, re-installation, re-testing the system, etc., are all borne by the company, and represent a very real cost.

d) Clear and Precise Instructions

Many people and organisations are involved in fulfilling a contract, and each one requires communication of clear instructions. Production personnel cannot be expected to achieve the correct results (FIRST TIME) if they do not possess clear instructions. Anything less causes unproductive rectification costs.

e) Punctual Delivery

Poor delivery is a major cause of Customer dissatisfaction. in addition to the company's own control of programme, the choice of supplier must be taken with a sound knowledge of their historical delivery performance.

f) Faultless Production

Quality of production not only requires good instructions and equipment, it demands staff capable of performing a professional service. Training and experience is vital to ensure faultless production.

g) Effective Support Services

This is the company operating as a team! If one person is unsure of their objectives, others come to their aid in order to avoid lost time due to shortage of correct information, tools, materials, equipment, etc.

h) Feedback of Field Experience

If things go wrong they should be regarded as an opportunity to learn for the future, and represent the best method for identifying improvements in the company's performance.

EXAMPLE :
If a supplier has provided faulty equipment it has increased the
company's costs. In the future it would be wise to change to a more reliable supplier in order to reduce avoidable costs.

Quality Assurance is designed to aid reduction of avoidable costs and satisfy given needs, however this must be achieved in such a way as to maximise profits.

Editor's Notes

Peter Griffin is managing consultant of P Griffin & Associates (PGA); one of the leading quality management consultancies operating in Europe and the USA.

P Griffin & Associates have assisted 260 companies (ranging from 3 employees to multi-national corporations) to achieve improvements in quality and ISO9000 Registration.

While the majority of companies fail to achieve ISO9000 certification at the first attempt, 98% of PGA's quality assurance clients have achieved first-time success.

Please pass your comments/ suggestions/ requests to

help@quality.co.uk

To gain more information contact Peter Griffin & Associates on
E-mail pgrifster@gmail.com
 
 

Quality Network Home

P Griffin & Associates Index

Last Updated November 19, 1995
Thank you for visiting