Quality’s expanding role: from manufacturing to marketing

Given the broad scope of applicability quality management has adopted in the past two decades, it is understandable that some level of abstraction clouds its purpose.

Before ISO 9001 — indeed, before its 1971 precursor, BS 9000, a set of standards published by the British Standards Institution (BSI) to guide quality management in the electronics industry — and even before the popularity of statistician and quality management pioneer Edward Deming, the need for robust quality management was quite concrete, especially in a military context.

During World War II, the inadvertent detonation of munitions in a weapons factory as the result of sloppy handling or process oversight carried particularly disastrous results: the loss of life, raw materials, time, money, manpower and military advantage. It was this very context that spurred the consistent documentation of specific control processes and procedures; the methodical execution of activities that conformed to documented standards; and the ongoing … Read more...