What is Your Definition of Quality?


Lithexcel Communications Services Provider posted a new blog entry on G2lithexcelpress.blogspot.com today. The topic: quality. The definition of quality and how to measure quality can prove to be a lively discussion among business owners, especially those in the digital print industry.

Waleed Ashoo, CEO and President of LithExcel Service Providers was asked if quality standards similar to those that exist for offset printing should be develop for digital print. Ashoo explained that color standards do exist; however, other standards are proprietary to equipment manufacturers.

Ashoo took the opportunity to put the concept of quality into a broader perspective. “Quality is more than standards and guidelines. Standardized output and guidelines do not address customer satisfaction, strengthening supplier partnerships, the fostering of an atmosphere of continuous improvement or encouraging quality as a way of thinking and a way in which people interact and work together,” said Ashoo.

Wikipedia defines quality as “..the perception of the degree to which the product or service meets the customer’s expectations. Quality has no specific meaning unless related to a specific function and/or object. Quality is a perceptual, conditional and a somewhat subjective attribute.” Furthermore, the customer defines quality based on their entire experience, which is “...the aggregate of all the touch points that customers have with the company’s product and services....”

“In business quality is generally defined as the conformity of a product to a specification, code or guideline. In the world of the consumer, however, quality is defined by how one product or service compares to another in the market,” said Ashoo. “I’d add three possible outcomes to this definition of quality: the product either meets the customer’s expectations, the product exceeds expectations, or the product does not meet expectations.

How do you measure quality then? “You can’t measure it by numbers alone,” said Ashoo. “You need to look at everything: market share, customer satisfaction, how you rank in comparison to your competition, employee morale, cost of waste, efficiently use of capital, and levels of productivity. It’s a measure of all the elements that make up a business and getting all the indicators moving in the right direction at the same time, which is not easy.”

How do you measure quality? Should an industry digital output standard be developed beyond manufacturers’ proprietary standards and ISO13660/19751, which limited to B&W digital office equipment. Your opinions are valuable.