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17. Quality control
Questions for Discussion
Exercise 1. Use your target vocabulary to replace these definitions.
that you can make any necessary changes_
Exercise 2. Complete these sentences using your target vocabulary in the appropriate form.
Tips for Topic Development
In current management writings “Quality” has come to refer to a whole gambit of practices which themselves have resulted in beneficial side-effects.
Attaining Quality has something to do with satisfying the expectations of the customer. Concern for the wishes and needs of customers becomes the focus for every decision. What the customer wants, the company provides. This is not philanthropy, this is basic survival. Through careful education by competitors, the customer has begun to exercise spending power in favour of quality goods and services; and while quality is not the sole criterion in selecting a particular supplier, it has become an important differentiator.
Where the product is a service, Quality is equated with how well the job is done and especially with whether the customer is made to feel good about the whole operation. In this respect Quality often does cost more, but the loss is recouped in the price customers are prepared to pay and the increase of business.
The clearest manifestation of Quality is in a product’s reliability: that the product simply works. To prevent problems from arising after the product is shipped, the quality must be checked beforehand — and the best time to check quality is throughout the whole design and manufacturing cycle. The old method of quality control was to test the completed product and then to rework to remove the problems. Thus while the original production time was short, the rework time was long. The new approach to quality simply asserts that if testing becomes an integral part of each stage of production, the production time may increase but the rework time will disappear. Further, you will catch and solve many problems, which the final “big-bang” quality check would miss but which the customer will find on the first day. (from Gerard M Blair's How to Build Quality into Your Team)
Agree or disagree with these statements.
To achieve good quality requires an environment where the identification of errors is considered to be “a good thing”, where the only bad bugs are the ones which got away. One of the most hallowed doctrines of Quality is that of zero defects. “Zero defects” is a focus, it is a glorious objective, it is the assertion that nothing less will suffice and that no matter how high the quality of a product, it can be improved. It is a paradox in that it is an aim which is contrary to reason. This is why the advocates of Quality often seem a little crazy: they are zealots.
The key to success is clarity of purpose. Any plan to improve quality must contain:
By insisting on this format, you provide the plan-owners with a simple mechanism for peer recognition (through the displayed notice board) and yet enable them to manage their own failure with grace, (from Gerard M Blair’s How to Build Quality into Your Team)
Say which of the statements below are true and which are false.