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quality
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QUALITY SYSTEM & MANAGEMENT:

Definitions: QUALITY, QUALITY ASSURANCE, QUALITY CONTROL

INTRODUCTION:

Quality of product signifies the "degree of its excellence and fitness for the purpose. Although some of the quality characteristics can be specified in quantitative terms, but no single characteristics can be used to measure quality of a product on an "absolute scale".

So, quality of a product means all those activities which are directed to maintaining and improving such as

(i) Setting of Quality Targets,
(ii) Appraisal of Conformance,
(iii) Adopting Corrective Action

where any deviation is noticed, analysed and planning for improvements in Quality.


DEFINITIONS OF QUALITY

1. General: Measure of excellence or state of being free from defects, deficiencies, and significant variations. ISO 8402-1986 standard defines quality as "the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bears its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs."

2. Manufacturing: Strict and consistent adherence to measurable and verifiable standards to achieve uniformity of output that satisfies specific customer or user requirements.

3. Objective: Measurable and verifiable aspect of a thing or phenomenon, expressed in numbers or quantities, such as lightness or heaviness, thickness or thinness, softness or hardness.

4. Subjective: Attribute, characteristic, or property of a thing or phenomenon that can be observed and interpreted, and may be approximated (quantified) but cannot be measured, such as beauty, feel, flavor, taste.


In business terminology, Quality is perceived as the superiority of a product or services. To common man the term "Quality" conveys different meaning to different people, never the less, everyone understands the intrinsic meaning of quality. Like, to a customer, quality translates into better fit, finish, appearance and performance of a manufactured product, where as in service sector it translates into the degree of satisfaction of the consumers.

So, we can say,
(i) Quality is nothing but the conformance to requirements.
(ii) Quality is fitness for use.
(iii) Quality ensures the smooth degree of uniformity and dependability with a quality standard suited to the customer.
(iv) Quality is the degree to which performance meets expectations.
(v) Quality provides a reliability which means the probability that certain system can perform its intended function for a specified interval.


CHARACTERISTICS OF QUALITY:

(i) Quality in business, engineering and manufacturing has a pragmatic interpretation as the non-inferiority or superiority of something.

(ii) Quality is a perceptual, conditional and somewhat subjective attribute and may be understood differently by different people.

(iii) Consumers may focus on the specification quality of a product/service, or how it compares to competitors in the marketplace.

(iv) Producers might measure the conformance quality, or degree to which the product/service was produced correctly.

Numerous definitions and methodologies have been created to assist in managing the quality-affecting aspects of business operations.

Many different techniques and concepts have evolved to improve product or service quality.

QUALITY RELATED FUNCTIONS:

There are two common quality-related functions within a business.

(a) One is quality assurance which is the prevention of defects, such as by the deployment of a quality management system and preventative activities like FMEA.

(b) The other is quality control which is the detection of defects, most commonly associated with testing which takes place within a quality management system typically referred to as verification and validation.

BUSINESS DEFINITION OF QUALITY:

(a) The common element of the business definitions is that the quality of a product or service refers to the perception of the degree to which the product or service meets the customer's expectations.

(b) Quality has no specific meaning unless related to a specific function and/or object. Quality is a perceptual, conditional and somewhat subjective attribute.

QUALITY & PRODUCTIVITY:

In the manufacturing industry it is commonly stated that “Quality drives productivity.” Improved productivity is a source of greater revenues, employment opportunities and technological advances.

CHARACTERISTICS OF MODERN QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

However, there is one characteristic of modern quality that is universal. In the past, when we tried to improve quality, typically defined as producing fewer defective parts, we did so at the expense of increased cost, increased task time, longer cycle time, etc. We could not get fewer defective parts and lower cost and shorter cycle times, and so on.

However, when modern quality techniques are applied correctly to business, engineering, manufacturing or assembly processes, all aspects of quality - customer satisfaction and fewer defects/errors and cycle time and task time/productivity and total cost, etc.- must all improve or, if one of these aspects does not improve, it must at least stay stable and not decline. So modern quality has the characteristic that it creates AND-based benefits, not OR-based benefits.

The most progressive view of quality is that it is defined entirely by the customer or end user and is based upon that person's evaluation of his or her entire customer experience. The customer experience is the aggregate of all the touch points that customers have with the company's product and services, and is by definition a combination of these. For example, any time one buys a product one forms an impression based on how it was sold, how it was delivered, how it performed, how well it was supported etc.

Quality Management Techniques:
_____________________________________
# Quality Management Systems
# Total Quality Management (TQM)
# Design of experiments
* Continuous improvement
* Six Sigma
* Statistical Process Control (SPC)
* Quality circles
* Requirements analysis
* Verification and Validation
* Zero Defects
* Theory of Constraints (TOC)
* Business Process Management (BPM)
* Business process re-engineering
* Capability Maturity Models

Quality Awards:

* Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
* EFQM
* Deming Prize


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