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Making quality measurable

Everyone demands quality, but when it comes to the question of what quality is at all, most people come to a standstill. According to the DIN EN ISO 9001 standard, quality is defined as “the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics of an object meets requirements”. Quality can refer to a wide variety of things: products, services, concepts, designs, software, workflows, procedures and processes. Although there is a definition for this term, it is difficult to explain it simply and to make quality quantifiable. Quality is one of the decisive factors in achieving customer satisfaction, so we need to find ways and methods to quantify it and therefore to make it measurable.

How do you measure quality?

One frequently used option is to measure the scopes that customer complain about and the problems which are reactively solved. However, this option only provides a statement about the quality of a product after the quality defect has occurred. It makes more sense to make quality characteristics measurable before quality defects occur. Quality plays a role in all stages of the product life cycle, so the first step is to identify the right quantification option for the respective situation.

KPIs for performance measurement

One way of making quality characteristics quantifiable is the introduction of performance indicators, so-called KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). With their help, it is possible to transparently present certain processes or parameters in various company divisions, including their development. In this way, errors can be detected and countermeasures initiated before (product) delivery to customers and during the development process. Permanent monitoring of the key performance indicators and the derivation of appropriate measures therefore help to identify and eliminate problems at an early stage.

Determination of the correct KPIs

The greatest difficulty with the introduction of KPIs, however, is to define them meaningfully beforehand and therefore ensure their added value. Thanks to many years of experience in a wide variety of industries and companies and the support of projects at various stages of the product life cycle, the KBC team has sufficient expertise to support clients individually and specifically in this area. With our help you will be able to quantify and sustainably increase the quality of your products and processes.

Please feel free to contact us to talk about our experience.

Benedikt Budde
Partner

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