How Does Your Customer (Not You) Define Quality?

[This content is from Zontec’s The Book of Statistical Process Control.  You can download a free copy here.]

In a separate post on quality itself, we defined quality.  This is not an easy task since quality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. We identified five points we can all agree on that equate to quality.  More important than this though is how your customer (not you) defines quality. When it comes to quality, your customer is concerned with three different areas: design quality, manufacturing quality, and performance quality.

Rails

Credit: flickr: Particularly Everything

Design Quality

Design Quality is the intended shape, size, color and function of the product. The designer must assess the needs of the customer and select characteristic values that will create the greatest customer satisfaction. 

Manufacturing Quality

Manufacturing Quality is how well the product meets the design. It is this type of quality that is the main subject of our free e-Book, The Book of Statistical Process Control. The better the manufacturing quality is, the better the product quality will be. And if this type of quality is good, product quality will be more consistent. Keep in mind, however, that while improving manufacturing will improve a product to a certain extent, it will never improve a poor design.

Performance Quality

Performance Quality is a measure of how dependable a product is. The level of this type of quality is affected by how often a product fails, the time between failures, the time it takes to repair, and repair costs.


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This is all well and good, but unfortunately, most customers don’t tell the manufacturer what they want directly. They tell them by buying or not buying. To stay competitive, a company must consider how their customers look at quality and act accordingly.

In this post, you can see how two different companies can exercise quality in different, yet equally conscious ways, but get completely different results in terms of customer buying choices and satisfaction.


This content is from Zontec’s The Book of Statistical Process Control.  You can download a free copy here.