ABSTRACT

We begin this chapter with a historical overview of how quality became a major, strategic, management and business tool in the United States and other parts of the world. We then explain the meaning of the term “quality”—a consensus definition of the term is necessary to discuss the topic and benefit from it. Then the need for a total quality system and an associated management philosophy for achieving quality in products is explained. The chapter concludes with a discussion on how quality impacts the economic performance of an enterprise, which includes a discussion on quality cost analysis. Detailed definitions of quality costs are provided, along with an explanation of how a quality cost study can be conducted. The usefulness of such a study in evaluating the quality-health of a system, and for discovering opportunities for quality improvement and reducing waste is explained.