What is it about?

Purpose – Nowadays companies in the world are selling products by keeping quality as a central value for the customer. Quality-related costs arise from a series of activities performed in order to maintain the quality of product or service. Like other activities of business, quality costs can be programmed, budgeted, measured and analysed to attain the objective of better quality at lower cost. The purpose of this paper is to formulate a decisive methodology to optimize total quality cost (TQC), comprehensively. Design/methodology/approach – The TQC borne by any small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) is the authentic base, which decides budget and other financial policies for running its ongoing quality programmes. To minimize TQC, one has to make sufficient cut backs in the total failure cost (TFC). Through regression analysis, TFC has been statistically modelled with primary quality costs (like preventive costs (PC) and appraisal costs (AC)). Subsequent graphical analysis has been delineated to elaborate relevant behaviour of different quality costs. At last, potency of suggested methodology has been strategically verified by executing a successful case study in an Indian Auto SME. The requisite optimization has been achieved by using Minitab Statistical Software and its practical validation is checked by conducting a two-sample t-test, exclusively. Findings – It has been found that TFC has a direct positive correlation with TQC and it increases with time. Further, TFC is inversely proportional with PC and AC. PC and AC act as independent costs, while TFC is a dependent or secondary quality cost. If the authors strategically allocate PC and AC in advance by using statistical advanced tools, then internal failure costs and external failure costs will diminish amply.

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Why is it important?

Practical implications – Data related to quality costs is well available with practitioners but generally lying ignored. The case findings will motivate quality practitioners to use the proposed step by step approach for sustainable reduction in overall quality cost. Originality/value – SMEs find it difficult to lower their TQC due to severe scarcity of resources and funds. Moreover literature provides mainly the theoretical or qualitative cases which remain ineffective to propel SMEs towards the real world savings. But this manuscript will act as a unique road-map to de-code the behaviour of different quality costs quantitatively without ignoring the existing constraints of SMEs, especially in the developing nations.


Research limitations/implications – It inspires practitioner to harvest profits by inculcating quality cost optimization through lodged statistical behavioural investigation. Proposed approach is verified after performing an empirical study only on an automobile manufacturing SME. Further research is indeed required to testify the given methodology for more complex process configurations.

Dr Bikram Jit Singh
MMDU Mullana

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Unleashing a decisive approach to manage quality costs through behavioural investigation, Business Process Management Journal, November 2015, Emerald,
DOI: 10.1108/bpmj-07-2014-0064.
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