Almost everyone would agree that the quality of a product is important, but not everyone has the same idea of what constitutes high quality. For example, some people consider a product high-quality if it’s luxurious or durable, whereas others may value efficiency or ease of use.
Regardless of the definition, product quality affects companies’ purchasing decisions and profitability. Quality isn’t just about profits and loss or beating out a competitor. It’s about safety, delivering on a promise and meeting the very basics of customer expectations. But, by meeting quality standards, companies often reap better profits and reduce losses. Those that exceed quality standards stand out above their competitors and further their potential for profit and consumer loyalty. Therein rests the benefit of quality standards.
What constitutes product quality?
Product quality describes a product’s capability to meet user standards. Here are some questions to consider when evaluating a product’s quality:
Does it solve a problem? No product would exist if it weren’t solving or improving something. The extent to which it fixes the intended problem helps to determine its quality.
Is it easy to use? A high-quality product shouldn’t be complicated to use. Customers shouldn’t have to spend too much time trying to figure out how to assemble or work it.
Is it polished? Colors, dimensions, fonts (if applicable) and other elements of design should be in alignment. The product shouldn’t appear cheap in any way.
Is it efficient? The product should not only get the job done but do so efficiently. In other words, it should deliver quickly and require minimal effort from the consumer.
Is it tailored to your customers? The product should be tailored specifically to users’ needs, showing that you understand your customers and are willing to accept any recommendations they voice.
Differences Between Quality Assurance and Quality Control
Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) are two terms that are often confused with one another and hence, used interchangeably. This is mainly because both of them are inter-related aspects of major quality management that ensure that the deliverables are of high-quality, meeting the expectations of customers. That being said, there are a number of distinctive differences between the two that we will delve deep into in a discussion on quality assurance vs quality control.
Before moving onto the major differences between quality assurance and quality control, let’s first clearly define the two, according to the guidelines given by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9000).
A way of ensuring that quality requirements will be fulfilled – the product will be “Fit for purpose” and made “right the first time”.
A process of fulfilling quality requirements by thoroughly reviewing the quality of all factors involved in production.
Quality Assurance vs Quality Control (QA Vs. QC)
You can be more clear after reading quality assurance versus quality control table.
|Main objective of quality assurance is to prevent defects and mistakes||Main goal of quality control is to fix defects
after first identifying them
|Preventive technique and pro-active measure||Corrective technique and reactive measure|
|Process oriented – directly related to the systematic and planned activities involved in making the product||Product oriented – related to the operational activities as well as techniques that are used to inspect and ensure that requirements of quality have been met|
|Involves managing quality by defining the processes, strategies, and policies, developing checklists, and establishing standards that need to be followed throughout the course of the project||Involves following the set guidelines as the project progresses and products are being made to verify quality, discover defects and correct them|
|Responsibility of all the individuals involved in developing the product or service||Responsibility of a particular team that tests the product or service to check for bugs and fixes them|
|When statistical tools and techniques are applied to end products, they are referred to as Statistical Quality Control (SQC) and they become a part of quality assurance
|When statistical tools and techniques are applied to processes they are referred to as Statistical Process Control (SPC) and they become a part of quality control|