The Sage Course Companion on Operations Management is an accessible introduction to the subject that will help readers to extend their understanding of key concepts and enhance their thinking skills in line with course requirements. It provides support on how to revise for exams and prepare for and write assessed pieces. Readers are encouraged not only to think like an operations manager but also to think about the subject critically.



In order to understand programmes such as Total Quality Management (TQM) it is first necessary to consider more closely the meaning of quality itself. If the objective of a business is to produce goods and services that meet customer needs then the concept of quality should be related to how well these needs are met from the customer's point of view.

Feignbaum defines quality around the notion of the combination of product and service characteristics through which the product or service will meet customer expectations. However, since different customers will have different product needs and requirements it follows that they will have different quality expectations.

Garvin defines eight dimensions of quality or quality characteristics which the customer looks for in a product:

  • Performance
  • Features
  • Reliability
  • Conformance
  • Durability
  • Serviceability
  • Aesthetics
  • Other perceptions.

The customer will trade-off ...

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