1.) Define the term quality.


Ans:     Quality is the ability of a product or service to consistently meet or exceed customer expectations.


2.) Explain why quality is important and the consequences of poor quality.


Ans:     Quality is important to business organizations and can benefit them in a variety of ways. Some examples include: an enhanced reputation for quality, the ability to command premium prices, an increased market share, greater customer loyalty, lower liability costs, fewer production or service problems, and higher profits to name a few.


             The consequences of poor quality include: loss of business, liability, productivity, and costs.


3.) Identify the determinants of quality.


Ans:     The degree to which a product or a service successfully satisfies its intended purpose has four primary determinants:


         1.  Design.

         2.  How well it conforms to the design.

         3.  Ease of use.

         4.  Service after delivery.


4.) Describe the costs associated with quality.


Ans:     Any serious attempt to deal with quality issues must take into account the costs associated  with quality. Those costs can be classified into three categories: appraisal, prevention, and   failure.


Appraisal costs relate to inspection, testing, and other activities intended to uncover defective products or services. They include the cost of inspectors, testing, test equipment, labs, quality audits, and field testing.


Prevention costs relate to attempts to prevent defects from occurring. They include costs such as planning and administration systems, working with vendors, training, and quality control procedures.


Failure costs are incurred by defective parts or products or by faulty services. Internal failures are discovered during production and External failures are discovered after delivery to the customer.           


5.) Describe the quality awards.


Ans:     Quality awards have been established to generate awareness and interest in quality. The      Malcolm Baldrige Award, the European Quality Award, and the Deming Prize are well-     known awards given annually to recognize firms that have integrated quality management  in their operations.


Baldrige Award is a annual award given by the U.S. government to recognize quality achievements in U.S. companies.


European Quality Award is a European award for organizational excellence.


The Deming Prize is named in honor of the late W. Edward Deming, and is Japan’s highly coveted award recognizing successful quality efforts.


6.) Discuss the philosophies of quality gurus.


Ans:     Walter Shewhart’s key contributions are control charts, and variance reduction.


            W. Edward Deming’s key contributions are the 14 points, special vs. common causes of                 variation.


            Joseph M. Juran’s key contributions are quality is fitness for use, and quality trilogy.


            Armand Feigenbaum’s key contributions are quality is a total field, and the customer                      defines quality.


            Philip B. Crosby’s key contributions are quality is free, and zero defects concept.


             Kaoru Ishikawa’s key contributions are cause and effect diagrams, and quality circles.


            Genichi Taguchi’s key contributions are the Taguchi loss function.


7.) Describe TQM.


Ans:     The term total quality management (TQM) refers to a quest for quality in an organization.  There are three key philosophies in this approach. One is a never-ending push to improve,  which is referred to as continuous improvement; the second is the involvement of everyone in the organization; and the third is a goal of customer satisfaction. TQM systems are intended to prevent poor quality from occurring.






8.) Give an overview of problem solving.


Ans:     Problem solving is one of the basic procedures of TQM. In order to be successful, problem-solving efforts should follow a standard approach:


Step 1  Define the problem and establish an improvement goal.

Give the problem definition careful consideration; don’t rush through this step because this will serve as the focal point of problem solving efforts.


Step 2  Develop performance measures and collect data.

The solution must be based on facts. Possible tools include check sheet, scatter diagram, histogram, run chart, and control chart.


Step 3  Analyze the problem.

Possible tools include Pareto chart, cause-and-effect diagram.


Step 4  Generate potential solutions.

Methods include brainstorming, interviewing, and surveying.


Step 5  Choose a solution.

Identify the criteria for choosing a solution. Apply criteria to potential solutions and select the best one.


Step 6  Implement the solution.

Keep everyone informed.


Step 7  Monitor the solution to see if it accomplishes the goal.

If not, modify the solution, or return to step 1. Possible tools include control chart and run chart.


9.) Give an overview of process improvement.


Ans:     Process improvement is a systematic approach to improving a process. It involves a documentation, measurement, and analysis for the purpose of improving the functioning of a process. Typical goals of process improvement include increasing customer satisfaction, achieving higher quality, reducing waste, reducing costs, increasing productivity, and reducing processing time.    (Refer to table 9.8 on page 406 for more).


10.) Describe and use various quality tools.


Ans:     There are a number of tools that an organization can use for problem solving and process improvement. These tools include: flowcharts, check sheets, histograms, pareto charts, scatter diagrams, control charts, and cause-and-effect diagrams. (Refer to page 408 for examples of graphs and charts.)