Integral Logistics Management — Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Within and Across Companies

18.1.2 Product Quality

Intended learning outcomes: Identify product quality. Differentiate between a simple product and a product in a broad sense. Present the characteristics of the quality of products.



Product quality is the quality of products.

Products can be either of a material or a nonmaterial nature, for example:

  • Raw materials, purchased parts, semiprocessed items, finished items in an industrial or commercial enterprise
  • Insurance products, banking products, consulting products, travel arrangements in service industries.

Generally, a product represents the outcome of processes. Here, we are not interested in the quality of the processes, but rather only the quality of the product according to the characteristics listed below.

The second group of examples above also shows that services performed, that is, the outcome of the process with the customer, can be viewed as products. In this kind of process, products can also be used as components. Consider a trip by train or plane. Here various products can complement the primary service, such as meals or travel items. In some cases, espe­cially when various service providers have the same process quality, these products — although secondary at first glance — can be deciding factors.

In a buyer’s market, a product provider has to offer ever more services and advice along with the product. The product supplier in this way becomes a real systems supplier of a general contractor type. The outputs of the company are then the products as well as the processes that provide the products to the customer. The product concept shifts more and more to a product in a broad sense. In the insurance industry, for instance, the core product is a specifically assembled insurance policy. But it is complemented by services, so that in the end there is a package that is being offered as a product and perceived by the customer as such. Product and process thus stand ultimately in a dual relationship.

Product quality is judged according to certain subjective or objective characteristics of quality of products. Figure 18.1.2.1 shows several features of quality.

Fig. 18.1.2.1       Characteristics of the quality of products.

Quality targets are derived from these characteristics. Costs and delivery lead time, in contrast, do not belong to the characteristics of the product, as long as we are not viewing the product in its most comprehensive sense. Costs and delivery lead time can be influenced rather by logistics management; for example, by type of stockkeeping or resource use.




Course section 18.1: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes

  • 18.1 Quality: Concept and Measurement

    Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on the quality of processes, products and organizations as well as its measurability. Present the concept of quality measurement and Six Sigma.

  • 18.1.1 Process Quality

    Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on process, service, and a service provided to dependents. Present the characteristics of the quality of processes. Identify process quality, process time, and process load.

  • 18.1.2 Product Quality

    Intended learning outcomes: Identify product quality. Differentiate between a simple product and a product in a broad sense. Present the characteristics of the quality of products.

  • 18.1.3 Organizational Quality — Quality of Organizations

    Intended learning outcomes: Identify organizational quality. Describe the concept of quality toward the stakeholders of an organization.

  • 18.1.4 Quality and Its Measurability

    Intended learning outcomes: Explain the problems of the measurability of indicators and the step from measurement to corrective actions. Describe the issue using the example of the measurement of customer satisfaction.

  • 18.1.5 Quality Measurement and Six Sigma (6σ)

    Intended learning outcomes: Describe the metric of six sigma (6σ) and the sigma conversion table. Identify Six Sigma Quality. Differentiate between three Sigma and Six Sigma process reliability.