Quality Is Free!
Quality is a result of quality management in a firm, and quality management is the key to profitability. The notion that quality is free is derived from the idea that ensuring quality within the product at the onset, before it reaches the customer, will always cost a certain amount of money. However, if not done, and the product reaches the customer with defects, then it has the potential to cost the firm far more in damage control than had they simply put in the initial amount of effort to shield themselves from this new onslaught of costs. Thus, the term quality is free, is meant to hold that in the long run, quality is in some cases entirely without cost or is in fact less expensive than the lack thereof. It is a return on investment and thus can be said to be free.
The transactions and relationships upon which companies run each and every day are a necessary component in that firm’s success. Each individual number in every single transaction is enough to alter their outcome. Every component and mechanism in the assembly process presents an occasion to create a defected product or present a customer with a failed service. In order for quality management to be successful, management must make a deliberate effort to create a working environment where transactions are completed correctly each and every time and near perfect relationships are established with employees, suppliers, and consumers.
There are huge failure costs directly related to poor quality investment, some more easily quantified than others. Poor employee courtesy in the customer service department can lead to a loss of customers to your competitors. If it is a pervasive issue, it can also lead to a loss in reputation within that market. A defective product that was poorly designed or manufactured due to issues on the assembly line will lead to huge repair and warranty costs and in the worst of circumstances, the very likely possibility of lawsuits and their massive...
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