The business environment has become highly competitive over the last couple of decades. Consumers’ demands have increased and the pressure on business organizations to meet these demands has continued to pile. In addition, more business organizations are coming up and competing to get the best share of the market in terms of number of customers.
It is for this reason that the issue of quality has become of greater significance in the current business world compared to any other time in the past. It is important to note that customers always want to get the best quality at the least cost possible. Any organization that wishes to succeed has to emphasize on quality products and services.
Quality production is effective in securing customer loyalty (Nohe, 2009). This paper is a case study that explains what quality is and what it is about in detail. In giving the explanation, practical examples of organizations that have succeeded on the basis of quality will be given. One of these organizations is Apple with its Smartphones production. A summary will be given at the end of the article.
What is Quality?
Quality can be defined as the characteristics or features of an item that distinguish it from the others. In business, quality can be defined as the superiority that a product possesses above others. The same definition can be used in the field of engineering, as well as manufacturing.
The quality of a product or a service can be viewed differently by different people since it depends on the perception that people have on the product in question (Barofsky, 2012). In addition, quality is conditional and its attributes are subjective in nature. Thus, different opinions on the quality of a particular product or service by different people are likely to come up when talking about quality.
In identifying the quality of a product, customers will always compare it with other similar products in the market, or they are likely to look at the specification quality. On the other hand, conformance quality is what producers will focus on in identifying the quality of a product. Moreover, the level of correctness at which the product was made is also looked into by the producer when assessing and defining quality.
The concept of quality of a business organization has five aspects. These are: producing, checking, quality control, quality management, and quality assurance. Producing involves bringing into existence or bringing forth a product. Checking refers to the process of observing to ensure that the product has been made in the right way. It is a very important function in ensuring quality.
Quality control entails making sure that the production process results into products that meet customer expectations. Quality management is the aspect of guiding a firm to ensure that it exploits its resources fully in the quest of improving performance.
Finally, quality assurance is the process of assessing a product to ensure that it is satisfactory. It is a very critical activity since it is during assurance that any defect should be identified and corrected. Therefore, the products released to the market might be of low quality if quality assurance is not effective (Barofsky, 2012).
Managers and leaders of an organization are held responsible for ensuring that the products or services offered by a business organization are of high quality. Managers exercise quality management to ensure quality production. The function involves four major components.
These include: quality control, quality planning, quality improvement, as well as quality assurance. Managers should ensure that the production of products and services is consistent.
It is imperative to note that quality management is guided by eight principles, which include customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, process approach, system approach, improvement, decision making, as well as beneficial supplier relationships.
The manager should ensure that all these principles are followed. This is effective in ensuring that the products or services offered are of high quality and they meet most, if not all, the needs and demands of the customers (Summers, 2009).
There are a number of organizations that have succeeded due to their quality production. Among them is the Apple Inc., an American company that deals in the manufacture of electronics and mobile devices.
One of the major successes of Apple Inc. is the iPhone. Apple Inc. has been the leading company in the production of Smartphones since the year 2006. For instance, the company has been able to release a new iPhone every year since the year 2007. Each of the Smartphones released has new and unique features different from the earlier ones (Linzmayer, 2012).
In addition, each Smartphone is an improvement to the earlier one in terms of quality. One of the factors that indicate the quality of Apple Smartphones is the company’s dominance in the world market. Together with Samsung, the two companies are said to enjoy almost 100% market share in the world in the production of Smartphones.
Apple Inc. was said to enjoy about 57% of the total profits in the Smartphones market across the world in the early months of the year 2013. The company is said to be highly innovative and it produces high quality Smartphones. Most of Apple’s Smartphones usually receive 4-star rating. This is an indication of the high quality of these products.
Apple Inc. normally has a stringent quality control in the production of its Smartphones. One of the ways the company ensures that it maintains its quality production is by accessing the parts that work and those that do not work over time. The information it collects from these surveys is used in the manufacture and production of better and improved products.
There is information that can be gathered from a code called QR code on Apple’s iPhone. This information is used in troubleshooting any problems in the iPhones. The information gathered is useful in improving the gadgets in the future.
This has been very useful in ensuring quality of Smartphones for Apple. Quality check, therefore, is one of the ways Apple ensures quality for its Smartphones. However, the whole production process is done with a lot of care to ensure quality (Linzmayer, 2012).
During production, there are also quality checks that are meant to ensure that the process is going on as expected. Any drift from the expected results are noted early enough. Any defects that may result will be protected in time and the end product will be of good quality. The managers and leaders of the company execute quality management effectively and efficiently (Linzmayer, 2012).
They ensure that the right people are given the production job. They also ensure that there are enough resources for the production process. Quality assurance (QA) is done after the whole production process is completed. QA is done to assure that the product has met its expectations. Apple has been able to score highly on customer satisfaction as a result of its quality production. It has also scored highly in winning brand loyalty.
Measures of quality
These are the tools that are used to measure the quality of a product or a service and whether it meets its set goals and objectives. Measures of quality evaluate whether the products meet customer demands, as well as whether they meet the objectives of the organization.
Quality can be measured through evaluation. The product is evaluated under various parameters to ascertain whether it has achieved its set goals. For instance, in the case of Apple, the marketing director can carry out a research to find out the response of customers on the Smartphones.
Their response will give Apple a feedback that will enable it in quality measurement. There are two models that are commonly used to measure quality. These include the SERVQUAL conceptual model and the LibQUAL+TM model. The two models focus on the response by customers (Nohe, 2009).
The issue of quality has become very important among business organizations. This has followed the increased competition and the need for business enterprises to win larger market shares to make higher profits. Any organization that is willing to succeed is obliged to embrace quality. The organization has to produce quality products and services to satisfy its customers.
Apple has been a leading company in the production of Smartphones for a relatively long period of time. This is why Apple has been able to dominate the market in the production of quality computers and Smartphones. The company works tirelessly to ensure that its customers are always satisfied with what it produces. It carries out quality measures to find out what needs to be improved in order to maintain quality production.
Barofsky, I. (2012). Quality: Its definition and measurement as applied to the medically ill. New York, NY: Springer.
Linzmayer, O. W. (2012). Apple confidential 2.0: The definitive history of the world’s most colorful company. San Francisco, CA: No Starch Press.
Noah, M. (2009). Implementation of quality control measures in project management and its impact on customer satisfaction. München: GRIN Verlag GmbH.
Summers, D. C. S. (2009). Quality management: Creating and sustaining organizational effectiveness. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.