Quality Management

Quality is an important aspect in the production process and requires careful attention. Quality management begins with purchasing of raw materials that meet quality standards and continues through the final packing of the finished product. The export market pays close attention to quality. If products are poorly made, materials are of low quality, or the quality is inconsistent, buyers will be reluctant to place an order. Once an order is made, careful attention needs to be given to maintaining the quality that is expected.  If a product is not made to the correct specifications, arrives damaged, or has poor craftsmanship, it is unlikely that the buyer will purchase again.

Importance of good quality products

The international crafts market is very competitive.  Buyers have such a wide range of products to choose from, so good quality makes a big difference in their decision about what to buy. Customers are also used to a high level of quality and will return items they have purchased if they feel unsatisfied with the product. Quality can mean different things to different people, but in the export market buyers pay close attention to details.  If you watch a customer in a store looking at products, they will check small details:  fabric will be inspected for flaws, zippers and fasteners will be checked to make sure they work properly, the item will be observed on the inside and outside to make sure that the everything was finished well.

Impact of bad quality

The costs of poor quality are great. Entire shipments of products may be rejected because they were made improperly. These mistakes are costly for the artisan on several levels. The artisan may not be paid for those products, or will be paid at a reduced rate, and the buyer may lose confidence in them and choose to not re-order from them. On the buyer’s end, they can lose thousands of dollars in sales if a product comes in wrong and their final customer is unsatisfied. Poor quality thus results in both the loss of orders and the loss of reputation.

Importance of good quality products Risks of bad quality products
–  People want to buy the products-   The products last – do not break-  The customer is pleased and will buy in the future ensuring regular orders.-   The customer will tell their friends to buy the product i.e., word of mouth marketing.

–   The market is more and more competitive so we cannot afford for customers to be dissatisfied.

–   Lose customers-   Buyers stop buying products-   Buyers cancel the order-   Loss of money

–   Loss of reputation

From Report on Quality Management Workshop, Asha Handicrafts, June 18, 2008


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