Quality - a magic term in change
Autor: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.h.c.* Dieter Deublein (Aidewise GmbH) *granted by Amansholov University Öskemen
Societies change. Values shift. Terms lose their meaning. The term quality is changing.
The word quality has its roots in the Latin "qualis", which today is translated as "how to maintain features".
Thus, quality was originally understood to mean the features of a product. It was certainly difficult to keep the quality of a product constant without machines and complex devices. If it succeeded, the designation as a quality product was certainly appropriate.
Today, people talk about quality of life, a person of special quality and quality journalism, and by this they mean special properties.
In the ISO standards amended in 2015, special inherent properties are defined as quality features, i.e. measurable properties that can be limited by specifying tolerances. The price of a product is not included, because it is not inherent, i.e. an unchangeable property.
However, quality is an emotional expression. Quality can be grasped and felt with the senses and cannot be calculated objectively. Every person has a different perception of quality. Quality enchants.
The definition of the term quality in the older ISO standards was better suited to this. In it, quality was associated with the expectations of customers. It spoke for special quality, if the expectations of the customer were exceeded.
High customer expectations can only be met by excellent supplier performance. So the term quality is closely related to the performance of the supplier. Performance is physically work per time. Since working time has to be paid for, quality corresponds to value for Money.
If one observes oneself once and also others more exactly, then one realizes fast that special achievements impress. However, the eyes only begin to shine with desire when the price is particularly low; i.e. the supplier has succeeded in delivering a convincing job and keeping costs low in an intelligent way.
Today, the considerations go even further. Intelligent solutions and outstanding performance are expected, taking into account the use of all resources. All kinds of resources should be used as little as possible and should be preserved for the children and grandchildren.
More and more customers are developing a feeling for such a modern quality and making their purchase decision dependent on their own benefit in relation to the general damage. Rationalism still plays a major role in decisions on base of this relation. But very soon they will be emotionally affected. Customers then will be fascinated by products and services.