Quality Metrics Tools

by Tamara Wilhite; Updated September 26, 2017
Quality metrics measure quality levels.

Quality is defined as meeting customer expectations at a price that they are willing to pay. Quality metrics measure how frequently a product or process meets quality standards and where the process output is in relation to the ideal quality standard. Quality metric tools can also help improve the current quality level until it meets or exceeds the desired quality level.

Definition of Quality

Quality can be measured by how well it meets its planned design. Quality can be measured by its conformance to customer specifications. A quality product is free of defects during its manufacture and has deficiencies when compared to customer expectations.

Six Sigma Quality Metrics

Six sigma quality is defined as having 34 or fewer defects per million products or processes. Six sigma quality is a quality metric. The six sigma DMAIC process, which stands for define, measure, analyze, improve and control, is a tool for improving the quality level of the existing process. Six sigma projects are a tool to improve the quality level of an existing product or process.

Surveys

Surveys measure quality as defined by the customer.

Quality is defined as meeting and exceeding customer expectations. Surveys of existing customers provide a measure of how well current customers are satisfied with the product. Quality is measured by the level of customer satisfaction or by the percentage of customers who return positive results. Surveys provide real-time metrics of how well a company meets its customers' quality standards.

Cost of Quality

A cost-benefit analysis identifies the cost of different projects and the financial benefit of each project. The ideal project has a low cost compared to the benefit it produces. Cost of quality is a cost-benefit analysis of losses and defects of a current process. The costs are the lost labor spent making ruined product, reworking defective products and refunds to disgruntled customers. Additional costs of quality include the cost of preventing the defects through increased inspections, new equipment or better software debugging algorithms. The cost of quality weighs the costs of higher quality metrics against the benefits of increased sales from a superior product versus the cost to repair a defective product. Cost of quality helps identify those quality improvement areas that have the greatest costs and those quality improvement projects that have the greatest impact for the least cost.

About the Author

My expertise includes product data management software. I provide first and second level technical support for this class of software as well as write FAQs, user manuals and troubleshooting guides for first level staff. My personal finance expertise has been showcased repeatedly on "The Dollar Stretcher" frugal living website and magazine.

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