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BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF QUALITY

Posted in Total Quality Management

The word quality has many different definitions and varies from the conventional to the more strategic. Conventional definition of quality directly describes the characteristics of a product such as: performance, reliability, easy to use, aesthetics, and so forth.

Strategic definition states that quality is everything that is capable of meeting customer needs or desires. Privileges or advantages of the products can be measured through customer satisfaction. This feature not only consists of the characteristics of the products offered, but also the service that accompanies the product, such as marketing, payment, delivery accuracy and others. Privilege directly related to customer satisfaction is obtained directly in consuming products that have superior characteristics such as products without defects, reliability and others.

Attractive privileges associated with that customer satisfaction is obtained indirectly by consuming the product. Attractive privilege often gives greater satisfaction to customers compared with the direct privileges. Examples of attractive features, such as a bank open on Sunday, 24-hour service at no extra cost, purchase and delivery of products over the phone at home and so on. Attractive privileges can increase customer satisfaction quickly, although it requires innovation and continuous development.

In ISO 8402 (Quality Vocabulary), quality is defined as the totality of the characteristics of a product that supports its ability to satisfy specified or applied. Quality is often defined as customer satisfaction or conformance to requirements or conformance to the requirement.
It should be noted since the beginning of understanding the product as defined in ISO 8402, that the product is the result of the activity or process. A product is tangible, intangible or a combination of both.

Thus the three categories of products can be identified here, namely:
• Goods, such as: tires, paint, telephone, computer cables and others.
• Software, for example: a computer program, the financial statements, procedures or instructions in the ISO 9000 quality system and others.
• Services, such as banking, insurance, transportation, warehousing, education, training and others.