Concepts of Product and Service Quality
It is not easy to define the word Quality since it is perceived differently by the different set of individuals. If experts are asked to define quality, they may give varied responses depending on their individual preferences. These may be similar to following listed phrases.
According to experts, the word quality can be defined either as;
- Fitness for use or purpose.
- To do a right thing at first time.
- To do a right thing at the right-time.
- Find and know, what consumer wants?
- Features that meet consumer needs and give customer satisfaction.
- Freedom from deficiencies or defects.
- Conformance to standards.
- Value or worthiness for money, etc.
“Product quality means to incorporate features that have a capacity to meet consumer needs (wants) and gives customer satisfaction by improving products (goods) and making them free from any deficiencies or defects.”
Meaning of Product Quality
Product quality mainly depends on important factors like:
(i) The type of raw materials used for making a product.
(ii) How well are various production-technologies implemented?
(iii) Skill and experience of manpower that is involved in the production process.
(iv) Availability of production-related overheads like power and water supply, transport, etc.
Product quality has two main characteristics viz; measured and attributes.
- Measured characteristics
Measured characteristics include features like shape, size, color, strength, appearance, height, weight, thickness, diameter, volume, fuel consumption, etc. of a product.
- Attributes characteristics
Attributes characteristics checks and controls defective-pieces per batch, defects per item, number of mistakes per page, cracks in crockery, double-threading in textile material, discoloring in garments, etc.
Based on this classification, we can divide products into good and bad.
So, product quality refers to the total of the goodness of a product.
The (5) five main aspects of product quality are depicted and listed below:
(i) Quality of design: The product must be designed as per the consumers’ needs and high-quality standards.
(ii) Quality conformance: The finished products must conform (match) to the product design specifications.
(iii) Reliability: The products must be reliable or dependable. They must not easily breakdown or become non-functional. They must also not require frequent repairs. They must remain operational for a satisfactory longer-time to be called as a reliable one.
(iv) Safety: The finished product must be safe for use and/or handling. It must not harm consumers in any way.
(v) Proper storage: The product must be packed and stored properly. Its quality must be maintained until its expiry date.
Company must focus on product quality, before, during and after production:
Importance of Product Quality
Image depicts importance of product quality for company and consumers.
(i) For Company: Product quality is very important for the company. This is because, bad quality products will affect the consumer’s confidence, image and sales of the company. It may even affect the survival of the company. So, it is very important for every company to make better quality products.
(ii) For Consumers: Product quality is also very important for consumers. They are ready to pay high prices, but in return, they expect best-quality products. If they are not satisfied with the quality of product of company, they will purchase from the competitors. Nowadays, very good quality international products are available in the local market. So, if the domestic companies don’t improve their products’ quality, they will struggle to survive in the market.