DIRECT MEASUREMENT OF QUALITY
In the following, the technique of quality measurement will be described via two cases from Danish trade and industry. In both cases the consumers are regarded as being heterogeneous.
MEASUREMENT OF SUBJECTIVE QUALITY: CASE FROM A DANISH TEXTILE FACTORY
The mercantile manager, who had a theoretical business background and had always been employed in the textile industry, stated the following quality dimensions for his products:
1. Smart design;
2. Nice colors;
3. Highly processed colors;
4. Inviting presentation.
According to the mercantile manager, there must of course be a certain technical level but when this level has been reached, e.g. through a suitable inspection of incoming material, the technical aspects are not of importance to the customer’s assessment of the quality.
Quality= the Degree of Defined Imperfection
The dimensions on which imperfection can be defined were stated as the following (unaided):
1. Creasing resistance (non-iron);
3. Fastness of colors to wash;
4. Fastness of colors to light;
5. Rubbing resistance (wet and dry);
6. Tearing strength;
7. Pulling strength;
The first seven dimensions are defined as technical standards and the eighth is the only subjective element. ‘Griff is the overall evaluation of the cloth by an experienced producer when he touches the cloth.
9. Design and color of the pattern;
10. Design of the model.
Optimization of the quality of design: The following procedure for a continuous optimization of the quality of design (including color) was used from then on:
1. The design department produces n different design proposals on paper.
2. The proposals are screened internally and the proposals accepted are painted on textile.
3. The painted proposals are assessed by a consumer panel on an itemized five-point rating scale, using products from the existing product programme as well as competitors’ products.
4. The results are analyzed statistically by means of multidimensional scaling (internal procedure) and the underlying factors (latent quality dimensions) are identified if possible.
5. The results are communicated to the design department, which is asked to come up with new proposals in accordance with the results from point 4.
6. The new proposals are test-printed and manufactured.
7. The resulting product proposals are assessed again by a consumer panel and the best proposals are selected for production, supplemented, however, with marketing analyses of cannibalization, etc.
MEASUREMENT OF SEMI-OBJECTIVE QUALITY: CASE FROM A DAIRY:Through market surveys the dairy knew approximately what quality dimensions the market generally valued in refreshing drinks but because of extremely strict legislative requirements the dimensions that could be played on were limited to the following:
1. The acidity (pH value) of the product, 2. The fat content (%) of the product., 3. The type of juice added., 4. The homogenization pressure (kg/cm3) used., 5. The protein content (%) of the product.
The data from such an experiment can be analyzed in several different ways. External MDS is a possibility or, like here, a multifactor analysis of variance.