There has always been a debate on the measurement of quality. Quality could be a difficult concept to define despite its natural sense. David A. Garvin, formerly C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School have stated Eight dimensions of product quality management, which could be effectively used to analyze different characteristics of quality.
Dimension 1: Performance
Performance is the primary operating characteristic of product. This dimension involves measurable characteristics, whether the product do what it is supposed to do, within its defined tolerance. This is also often a source of controversy between customers and suppliers, particularly when deliverables are not satisfactorily defined within designations.
The performance of a product itself often leaves impacts on the profitability or the reputation of the end-user. As such, many contracts or designations include impairments related to unsatisfactory performance.
Dimension 2: Features
Whether the product or the services itself maintain all of the characteristics specified, or required for its designed goal?
While this dimension may seem simple and obvious, performance specifications seldom describe the required features of a product. Thus, it’s crucial that suppliers creating product or services based on performance specifications, that are close to its intended uses, and maintain close relationships with the users.
Dimension 3: Reliability
The reliability of a product could be strictly linked to performance. Reliability is the major contribution to brand or company image, and is considered a fundamental dimension of quality by most users, which could likely increase the customer's loyalty and stakeholder's satisfaction.
Dimension 4: Conformance
Conformance quality whether the final product meet a certain standards determined by the producer. In other words, it’s a measure of how close products and services come to meeting planned criteria once they are delivered. If a product strictly meets target specifications, it is categorized as excellent conformance quality. On the other hand, if the product varies greatly from the planned design, that product is said to have poor conformance quality.
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