Introduction to the Principles of Textile Testing - MA WildingTesting10-Quality-Conclusion.doc 1
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A course in testing which does not address, however superficially, theimportant question of quality, cannot claim to be in any way complete.To begin with, what do we actually mean by "quality"? In many respects itis a rather abstract and elusive concept. In essence, though, it isassociated with "fitness for purpose". There are several definitionsavailable, some of which are (fortunately!) of practical use. Saville(Chapter 11) offers the following five:
This term refers to a certain “something” possessed by a product(or service) which renders it superior to its competitors. Thedisadvantage of this as a definition is that it is vague, subjective andvirtually impossible to quantify.
2. Product based
This is a more useful definition: quality is judged purely on the basisof a product's performance. Thus, for example, if it were a garmentit might include abrasion resistance, wash/colour fastness and soon. It is quantifiable, and usually objective.
3. User based
This addresses the extent to which a product satisfies customers’ preferences and expectations. Inevitably these vary considerablyfrom person to person, and it is therefore highly subjective. Again itis difficult to quantify, although there are ways around this problem.
4. Manufacturing based
Manufacturers generally set their own internal production standards.This definition relates to how well the product matches its statedspecifications, as determined by the organisation itself. It isgenerally quantifiable and objective.
5. Value based
This is a broader definition of quality which takes into account notonly how well a product performs, but also its price. It is therefore ameasure of "value for money". It is of course consumer-based, andtherefore largely subjective.