The Concept of Quality

The concept of Quality is much more complicated than it appears to be.  Every expert defines quality in a somewhat different way.  There are several aspects that can be taken into account at the moment of defining Quality.

Quality refers to a parameter which decides the superiority or inferiority of a product or service. Quality should play an essential role in every business. It is an attribute which differentiates a product or service from those of our competitors.

Why would a customer come to us if our competitor is also offering the same product? The difference must be in our Quality. Our product or service needs to stand out.

 A Few Definitions Related to Quality:

Quality assurance (QA) is a broad concept that focuses on the entire quality system including language service providers and consumers of the product or service.  It includes all activities designed to deliver products and services of appropriate quality.

According to ASQ, QA includes all those planned or systematic actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that a product or service will satisfy given needs. [Source:  ASQ Statistics Division, Glossary & Tables for Statistical Quality Control, 1983].

Quality control (QC) has a narrower focus than quality assurance. Quality control focuses on the process of producing the product or service with the intent of eliminating problems that might result in defects.

According to ASQ, QC includes the operational techniques and the activities which sustain a quality of product or service that will satisfy given needs; also the use of such techniques and activities. [Source:  ASQ Statistics Division, Glossary & Tables for Statistical Quality Control, 1983].

Quality management is the totality of functions involved in the determination and achievement of quality (includes quality assurance and quality control).  [Source:  ASQ Statistics Division, Glossary & Tables for Statistical Quality Control, 1983].

Total Quality Management

The concept of Total Quality Management was developed by W. Edwards Deming, Joseph M. Juran, and Armand V. Feigenbaum. Total Quality Management originated in the manufacturing sector but it can be applied to almost all industries.

Total Quality Management is defined as the continuous effort of language service providers to ensure long-term customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. Remember, a happy and satisfied customer will bring many new customers. The Quality of your product or service can be continuously improved through proper feedback and research.

We need to give something extra to our customers to expect their loyalty in return. If we apply Quality Management processes, we can ensure accuracy, confidentiality, and good timing, among others.

In W. Edwards Deming’s PDCA cycle, Total Quality Management is divided into four categories:

  • Plan
  • Do
  • Check
  • Act

Planning Phase

Planning is the most crucial phase of total quality management. In this phase, linguists are required to do the necessary research and collect relevant data which would help them find solutions to all the problems.

Doing Phase

In the doing phase, strategies are devised and implemented to overcome the challenges faced by the language team. The effectiveness of solutions and strategies is also measured in this stage.

Checking Phase

The checking phase is the stage where linguists check the text data to confirm the effectiveness of the processes and measure the results.

Acting Phase

In this phase, linguists document their results and prepare themselves to address other issues.

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