In technical usage, quality can have two meanings:
(i) The characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs.
(ii) A product or service free of deficiencies.
ISO 9000 defines Quality as “A characteristic that a product or service must have”. For example, products must be reliable, useable, and repairable.
These are some of the characteristics that a good quality product must have. Similarly, service should be courteous, efficient, and effective.
These are some of the characteristics that a good quality service must have. In short, a quality is a desirable characteristic.
However, not all qualities are equal. Some are more important than others. The most important qualities are the ones that customers want.
These are the qualities that products and services must have. So providing quality products and services is all about meeting customer requirements.
It’s all about meeting the needs and expectations of customers. So a quality product or service is one that meets the needs and expectations of customers.
There are four main contributors to product quality:
1. Quality due to proper understanding and defining the needs of our Customers. This is usually accomplished as part of a Customer proposal review or sometimes through market surveys.
2. Quality due to designing and specifying products that meet the defined needs of our Customers. Design qualification and review programs are key activities in this effort.
3. Quality due to conformance to the product design through maintaining day-to-day consistency as we provide product to our Customers.
Manufacturing or Service activities must be defined and controlled to assure conformance.
4. Quality due to product support throughout the product life cycle. This support can be in the form of information, customer training, or responding to Customers’ problems.