Josie just bought herself a brand-new Health Watch. She is hoping that her $300 investment lasts and that the watch is of good quality. Pear Products is the manufacturer of the Health Watch, and they believe their product has been manufactured to be a high-quality product. Do you think Josie’s perspective on quality is the same as Pear Products’? In this lesson we will explain how consumers and producers each have a different perspective on quality. Let’s first examine Josie’s view regarding the term quality.
Consumers’ View of Quality
When Josie refers to her Health Watch as having good quality, she is communicating two perspectives of quality, which are fitness for use and quality of design. In regards to fitness for use, she wants her watch to do what it is supposed to do. What this means is that Josie expects for the watch to tell time and run the applications that it was advertised to have supported.
In addition, she expects quality of design in that there are specific quality elements that have been instilled in the product. Josie also wants her watch to look cool while performing all of its functions. Many times, the quality of design perspective is communicated through a higher price and sleek marketing.
Josie also expects these quality elements to exist in any services she purchases, such as haircuts, lawn care and babysitting. Let’s look at another example with Josie purchasing a service.
Josie usually patronizes an upscale salon to get her hair cut and styled. Today she was in a rush and she stopped in for a $15 cut at Cut & Go. Both of her service experiences provided fitness for use in that she ended up with a haircut. When it came to a quality of design perspective, though, Josie felt that her upscale salon provided her additional quality elements that surpassed her Cut & Go experience. These were things such as free neck massage, free coffee, extra hot oil treatment and a more modern cut for her look.
In summary, consumers generally will pay for the type of product or service that they can afford. If the consumer is happy with their purchase and feels that they are getting what they paid for, the product or service is deemed quality in nature.
Producers’ View of Quality
Pear Products and Cut & Go have their own perspectives of quality. Pear Products believes that their watch is a quality product because it has quality of conformance, which means that the products are designed and produced to specifications. Their perspective is focused on production. If the watch stops telling time, then Pear Products would view that the product does not match production specifications.
Cut & Go also believes that their service of haircuts is of good quality because every stylist is trained to cut hair according to the company specifications. This means that customers should not leave with crooked cuts or purple hair (unless that’s what they wanted!).
A producer can achieve quality if the production process, machinery performance, materials, employees and quality control methods are all up to standards. Any issues with employees causing production errors or machines failing will result in a quality issue for the company.
A consumer’s view of quality differs from a producer’s perspective. Consumers think about fitness for use, which means that a product should do what it is supposed to do. Quality of design means that there are specific quality elements that have been instilled in the product. Producers believe that a quality product has quality of conformance, which means that their products are designed and produced to specifications.
Glossary of Related Terminology
- Fitness for use: consumer expects the product to do what advertisers claim it can do
- Quality of design: specific quality elements that have been instilled in the product
- Quality of conformance: products are designed and produced to specifications
The act of studying this lesson can prepare you to:
- Compare and contrast the fitness for use and quality of design of products
- Recite the meaning of quality of conformance