Total Quality Management

The quality of a product is ultimately determined by the customer. The customer may be the retailer or the consumer. If the customer likes the packaging, the price, the look, the eating characteristics and it is safe to eat or if he can sell it in the market conditions the quality is good.

The definition of a product’s quality is a best guess of the its measurable characteristics. The quality is established when the product is developed but it may be refined as a result of feed back from production and marketing. There should be a company policy of continuous improvement to ensure that the product meets both customer and manufacturing needs.

The management of product quality includes three principal aspects,

1. Checking the nature of all ingredients and packaging materials against specification and checking finished packed product against specifications.

This is described and dealt with under the section Quality Control.

2. Facilitating checks and measurements during the manufacturing process and co-ordinating records produced.

For the purposes of this account this is called Process Control and is dealt with here.

3. Monitoring hygiene and product safety arrangements and procedures through the factory.

This is described and dealt with under the section Management of Safety.

The management of Quality and Process control together with Hygiene and Product safety is usually administered by a Technical Department.