It seems that sometimes even people who’ve been in the quality assurance industry for 10 years don’t have a ready answer to the question: “What is quality?” Here are the most common responses gathered by the American Society for Quality during a recent survey:
I guess one could argue that there are several definitions, depending how high up in the sky we choose to be:
At the micro level: “meeting the customer’s specifications”
In a slightly less narrow view: “fitness for use” combined with “never stopping to improve processes”
In terms an accountant understands: “ensuring customers come back and products do not”
On a more macro level: “doing the right things in the right way through the practice of excellence”
Unfortunately, most Chinese companies are still at the micro level. Producing a quality product means complying with rules imposed by a customer. With that mindset, higher quality means extra inspectors, who cost more money.