Quality can be divided into two categories product quality and process quality. The level of quality in a product’s design will vary as to the particular market that it is aimed to serve. Obviously a child’s first two-wheel bicycle is of significantly different quality than the bicycle of a world-class cyclist. The use of thicker sheet metal and the application of extra
coats of paint are some of the product quality characteristics that differentiate a Mercedes- Benz from a Hyundai. One advantage of offering higher-quality products is that they command higher prices in the marketplace. The goal in establishing the proper level of product quality is to focus on the requirements of the customer. Over designed products with too much quality will be viewed as being prohibitively expensive. Under designed products. on the other hand. will lose customers to products that cost a little more but are perceived by the customers as offering much greater benefits.
Process quality is critical in every market segment. Regardless of whether the product is a child’s first two-wheeler or a bicycle for an international cyclist or whether it is a Mercedes-Benz or a Hyundai customers want products without defects. Thus. the goal of process quality is to produce error-free products.