Quality of Design / Quality of Conformance / Quality of Market & Sales

Quality of Design / Quality of Conformance / Quality of Market & Sales


 - William Edwards Deming was an American statistician, professor, author, lecturer and consultant. He taught top management how to improve design (and thus service), product quality, testing, and sales (the last through global markets) through various methods, including the application of statistical methods.

 - Quality is a perceptual, conditional and somewhat subjective attribute and may be understood differently by different people. Consumers may focus on the specification quality of a product/service, or how it compares to competitors in the marketplace. 

 - Producers might measure the conformance quality, or degree to which the product/service was produced correctly. In Deming's view, the consumer is by necessity the most important part of the production system: without a consumer, there is no reason to produce. 

 -  The question then becomes one of what the consumer needs (or what the consumer thinks he needs or wants). The consumer is not, as Deming points out, always the one who pays the final bill: one or more middlemen may exist between the producer and the person actually paying for the product or service. 

 - The consumer is simply the end user of whatever product or service is being supplied. Deming cites one important example of where this distinction is frequently lost in an anecdote regarding the review of elementary school readers produced by a publishing house.

According to Deming Quality can be broadly classified into;

1. Quality of Conformance,

2. Quality of Design and

3.Quality of market and sales.

Quality of Design / Quality of Conformance / Quality of Market & Sales


 - It is the level of effectiveness of the design function in determining a product's operational requirement (and their incorporation into design) that can be converted into a finished product in a production process. 

 - Quality of Design is extremely important, and it is said that design is only 5% of the product cost, but has a 70% influence on quality, manufacturability, serviceability, and general acceptance in the market. Customer focused organizations must continuously work on improving the Quality of Design; and improving the quality of design will also have a positive impact on the Quality of Conformance. 

 -  For example if the specifications of the mating dimensions and other parameters are not optimal, there is a high probability of not obtaining the desired final product parameters; so meeting the specified design itself becomes difficult.

Quality of Design

Reasons for quality design

1. To be competitive by offering new products and services ahead of competitors.

2. Make business grow and increase profits.

3. Prevent defects that may occur during design process.

Design aspects

1. Increase emphasis on customer satisfaction and increase pressure to be competitive.

2. Increase emphasis on reducing the time needed to introduce a new product or service.

3. Greater attention to the capabilities of the organization to produce or deliver the item.

4. Increase emphasis on designing product and services that are user friendly.

5. Increase effort to use less material for product and less packaging.


 - This is a process that considers factors such as customer needs and expectation, new technologies, competition and government regulation. It must take into account its cost, target market and its expected function.

Diagram below shows the following design processes:

1. Conception or need identification-this includes the market needs, employee suggestions, designer's ideas and customer requirement(basic needs).

2. Feasibility study- here specification are shown to be achievable by mathematical calculations, preliminary drawing models or laboratory scale processes. New ideas are analyzed for feasibility and a question such as; will the product meet customers requirements? Is asked.

3. Execution of the design-implementation of the design is done here. Design reviews are frequently conducted to identify and eliminate possible causes of manufacturing and marketing problems.

4. Detailed engineering- Product is put in such a form that can be made within the organization and to the specification laid down.

5. Production process, design and development- qualities are produced sufficient to check the design equipment and specification.

6. Production evaluation and improvement- value analysis, value engineering and method study undertaken here.

7. Product used and commercialization- capacity planning, production planning and control also need to be addressed.

8. Market evaluation- after product has been commercialized; organization should undertake evaluation and follow-up so that any requisite changes can be addressed. This helps in continuous improvement.


 - This is the level of effectiveness of the design and production function in effecting the product manufacturing requirement and process specification, while meeting process control limits, product tolerance and production targets. 

 -  Typically organizations spend a lot of resources to ensure quality of conformance, which includes operational controls and inspection. Inspection and policing has become such a big activity because of noncompliance to systems and procedures. 

 -  I think while poor design quality could be due to lack of knowledge and competence, quality of conformance is more to do with discipline and attitude. Hence policing has become a major activity to meet quality requirements. 

 - I also think that this becomes a habit which evolves into a culture of being used to be policed to ensure that rules, procedures and systems are followed. This is evident not just in factories manufacturing products, but in almost all walks of life including the roads. 

 - On Indian road we see such a large police force deployed just to ensure compliance to traffic rules; I am not sure if any other country spends so much of resource for this activity. The level of policing is so high that at each traffic signal point we sometimes see a couple of constables and an inspector; and this seems to be quite normal for us. 

 - There is already a pretty good system of signal lights to control traffic, still why do we have police controlling the traffic? This is a clear case of resource being wasted in inspection or patrolling. The resource used here can be put to better use; may be making improvement plans and better designs.

 - There is no doubt that for growth and progress the quality of design has to improve, not just for purpose of customer delight, but also to focus on Design for Assembly, Manufacturability and Serviceability. But first we must ensure there is conformance, and this has to be met with improved techniques rather than utilizing human resource in excess inspection, patrolling and policing. 

- In manufacturing for instance improved fixtures, computer controlled closed loop equipment, gauging and error- proofing is adopted as compared to inspection of finished goods. 

 - Even with good controls in place it is essential that there is adherence to systems and procedures and this calls for positive attitude and discipline. Following procedures with little intervention and policing brings in a disciplined culture and maturity to the system.

There must be a concentrated effort to bring about this change in the system and it is to do with human resource development. 

The challenges are different depending on the nature of the business and the educational level of people being handled, for sure the most challenging is when the people involved is as vast and mixed as the public on the road; but every problem does have a solution. 

I think several things can be done to improve the situation on the road. Some things that come to my mind are:

1. Public awareness campaigns.

2. Clear and attractive displays of rules at the junctions including in the local language.

3. Awareness drives at selected segments like educational institutes, offices, taxi and auto driver associations.

4. Collecting data and identifying the major offenders and focusing more on that group; for example if auto drivers are identified as the major rule breakers, then there must be specific awareness for that group.

5. Involving public in the awareness campaigns.

6. Display of accident data with photographs, if possible at specific junction.

7. Heavy fines for breaking rules must also be imposed, but this should be only to bring in discipline initially and not the only way of control.

The same logic can be applied to any system to improve quality of conformance, and utilize resources more effectively, for improvement and progress of system and society.

Quality of Conformance

Quality of conformance is the degree to which the design specifications are followed during manufacturing. Again, the greater the degree of conformance, the higher the level of quality of conformance.

In software development, quality of design encompasses requirements, specifications and design of the system.

The requirements must be gathered formally and there should not be any ambiguity and must be complete in all respects. Specifications must be elaborated and defined formally. Design must follow the design and the resulting system meets its requirements and performance goals, conformance quality high.


 - Quality starts with marketing. Marketing establishes the true requirement for the product or service.

 - These must be communicated properly throughout the organization in the form of specification.

 - Deming's points apply to any type and size of business. Service companies need to control quality just as much as manufacturing companies. And the philosophy applies equally to large multinational corporations, different divisions or departments within a company, and one-man operations.

Quality of Market & Sales

Sales process engineering

 - Sales process engineering has been described as the systematic application of scientific and mathematical principles to achieve the practical goals of a particular sales process". 

 - Selden pointed out that in this context, sales referred to the output of a process involving a variety of functions across an organization, and not that of a sales department alone. Primary areas of application span functions including sales, marketing and customer service. 

Quality Sales Culture

There are three parties (constituencies) that are affected by the culture you build.

1. Clients

 - Your focus on making reasonable commitments and then driving over-delivery will pay offin a huge way. The Net Present Value of your client base is driven by retention rates and gross profitability. 

 - You can easily model the value of high customer satisfaction by raising your client retention rate by 5% and improving gross margins by 1%. This is the value of ensuring that your culture demands a high customer satisfaction rate.

 - You can achieve much better benchmarks if drive customer satisfaction into your sales culture. It will not only make them believers but their closing ratio's will be dramatically better.

2. Shareholders

 - This is the easiest constituency to satisfy or dissatisfy. If your Business Development Efforts focus on customer service delivery within a cross selling framework, and your sales efforts are highly disciplined around skill, will, execution and leadership it is nearly impossible to disappoint investors in your company. 

3. Employees

 - Why bother? Because clients and shareholders will never get the best possible outcomes if your employees are distracted.

 - Sales people and account managers should get all the direction & support they need to create healthy, profitable client relationships. 

 - People who are distracted by poor leadership, non-existent training or poor customer service attitudes will never be able to deliver to their potential.

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