Quality, grade

publication date 06.06.2012

Quality represents the aggregate of specific parameters that a particular product, service or system possesses. These parameters characterize what the product is really like and they can include, for instance, the dimensions,  data recording speed, price, etc. It is the customer supposed to be using it who decides whether a product is high-quality or not. In line with their intention (the purpose that the product is planned to be used for) the customer decides whether the given parameters are high-quality.

Let us take cars as a case study to explain what quality really is. What is a quality car: a Fabia or an Audi A8? From the perspective of someone whose needs include the low price, short driving routes, low consumption, it is, of course, a Fabia. On the contrary, someone whose needs include long driving routes, out-of-town driving, high reliability, travel comfort, it is, naturally, Audi A8. The latter may not consider a Fabia being a quality car. Likewise, the former may not consider an Audi as being a quality car, because for them the price/performance/comfort ratio will be absolutely disproportionate. So even a single parameter (the price, for instance), with a particular target group, can brand a product as inferior quality. 

The quest for the product´s best parameters may not have any sense, since one of the parameters is the price, the dimensions, etc. The product would, indeed, be technically excellent, but still impracticable. 

A product´s parameters to characterize its quality can be found in the following spheres, for instance:

  • BASIC PARAMETERS – dimensions, reliability, appearance, ergonomy, ...
  • SAFETY - fire penetration, no sharp edges, ...
  • ECONOMY  - price, profitability, return on insvestment, ...
  • ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS - lead-free composition, decomposition time, ...
  • LOGISTICS - volume of a single consignment, number of pices per packaging, delivery to a specified location, demanded quantity, delivery time,  ...
  • SERVICE - availability (24/7), troubleshooting time, ...
  • ORGANOLEPTIC PROPERTIES - taste, smell, appearance, ...

It would be ideal, if all the parameters were measurable. Then it would be easy to decide on a product´s quality. Sadly, it not always the case (taste, aesthetical qualities, ...) Which parameters to watch and assess depends on the industry we are in and what our customers need. 

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Jiří Střelec Jiří Střelec

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