Quality refers to a parameter which decides the superiority or inferiority of a product or service. It is the degree of excellence a product or service provides. When it performs most preferably, it is believed that it has quality. Quality denotes level of performance or level of excellence.
Quality can be defined as an attribute which differentiates a product or service from its competitors. Quality can also be defined as the totality of characteristics and features of a product or process which facilitates realization of given requirements.
For a customer, quality depends on the performance of the product. Some customers consider dependability and durability of the product to express quality. Companies always try to increase quality of their product as they believe that with better quality products, they can effectively compete in the market. That is why companies started quality management.
Quality management is the management process to ensure quality of the product. Under quality management, the management team verifies all activities related to design, development and manufacturing of the product and ensure that all tasks are performed at the desired level.
Steps in Quality Management
Quality management has three steps. They are
1. Quality Planning, 2. Quality control and 3. Quality improvement
Quality Planning: When the planning process, aims at improving and maintaining quality output, such planning is called quality planning. When the planning is done well, the next steps will also be well and good. Therefore, the first plans such as vision, mission, goals, objectives, policy etc. should be well set, considering all quality aspects.
Quality Control: Control is the process of evaluating the actual performance, and comparing it with the planned performance, with a view to find out variations and also to correct them. Quality control is the process of evaluating the performances of different areas of organization so as to ensure that they are functioning as per quality planning. Under this control process, continuous evaluation of the performances is conducted with a view to detect the deficiencies at the earliest and to correct them immediately.
Quality Improvement: When the management reviews and revises the quality efforts of the organization, with continuous evaluation process, it is called quality improvement. Thus, the quality efforts are monitored regularly for further betterment of quality.