Quality Overview 111

Quality Overview provides a comprehensive introduction to the importance of quality and how to achieve it in both processes and products. A quality organization meets the needs of both internal and external customers. To do this, all the departments of an organization must work together and be equally focused on quality. Organizations use various methods, such as quality management systems and quality standards to ensure quality.

After completing this class, users will have a greater understanding of how each department of an organization plays a role in achieving quality as well as common approaches to improving quality. This knowledge helps emphasize the importance of quality and prepares users to learn more about specific quality management methods so that they can help contribute to quality efforts. This leads to cost reduction and improved organizational success.

  • Difficulty Beginner

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 15

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • The Importance of Quality
  • Quality Products and Processes
  • Internal and External Customers
  • Quality Organizations
  • Review: Quality Introduction
  • Quality and Engineering
  • Quality and Purchasing
  • Quality and Production
  • Quality and Sales
  • Review: Quality Across Organizations
  • Quality Management Systems and Standards
  • Lean
  • Six Sigma
  • Total Quality Management
  • Review: Quality Management
  • Describe the importance of quality.
  • Describe quality in products and processes.
  • Distinguish between internal and external customers.
  • Describe traits of an organization committed to quality.
  • Describe the role of engineering in quality.
  • Describe the role of purchasing in quality.
  • Describe the role of production in quality.
  • Describe the role of sales in quality.
  • Describe quality management systems and standards.
  • Describe lean manufacturing.
  • Describe Six Sigma.
  • Describe total quality management.
Vocabulary Term


An examination of an organization's activities or products to determine if it is following policies as claimed. Audits are often used to measure an organization's compliance with a Quality Management System.


An examination of an organization's activities or products to determine if it is following policies as claimed. Audits are often used to measure an organization's compliance with a Quality Management System.


The practice of comparing one set of data to another set of data. Benchmarking can allow companies to compare themselves to competitors or compare current and previous data to determine results.

black oxide

A coating used to add mild corrosion resistance to metals. Black oxide changes the appearance of metals and also increases their life spans.

check sheet

A quality control form that uses simple marks to collect and record information about a problem by tracking categories and occurrences. Check sheets are typically simple forms that can be filled out quickly and easily by employees.

cost of poor quality

COPQ. The expenses associated with products or services that lack quality. The cost of poor quality is caused by scrap, reinspected parts, product returns, and excess inspection.

cost of quality

COQ. The expenses associated with products or services that emphasize quality. The cost of quality is caused by prevention and assessment measures such as training, inspection, and audits.


Factual information that is used for analysis and problem solving. Data is often in the form of values or numbers.


An imperfection in a part that prevents it from operating correctly. Defects can lead to reworked or scrapped parts, which increases the costs of a manufacturing operation.


The process of creating the specifications for a part. The design phase involves the engineering department defining product requirements based on customer needs.


Six Sigma's five steps for quality improvement. DMAIC stands for define, measure, analyze, improve, and control.


The department within an organization responsible for creating the design of a product. Engineering uses customer requirements to create product specifications.

external customers

An outside organization or individual that receives a product or service from a company. External customers dictate a product's key quality characteristics.


The examination of a product during or after its creation to confirm that it adheres to specifications. Inspection allows manufacturers to identify and correct product defects.

internal customers

A department or individual within an organization that relies on others to satisfy the external customer. Internal customers work together in a multi-step process.


A document that describes the transactions between the purchasing department and a supplier. Invoices list the goods provided by the supplier and their costs.

ISO 9000

A series of standards intended to guide an organization on the implementation and continual improvement of a Quality Management System. Certification and registration to ISO 9000 indicates an organization is striving to meet the quality requirements of its customers.

ISO 9001:2015

The core standard of ISO 9000. ISO 9001:2015 contains the requirements used to verify conformity of a Quality Management System.


An approach to manufacturing that seeks to reduce the cycle time of processes, increase flexibility, and improve quality. Lean approaches help to eliminate waste in all its forms.

machine tools

A powered piece of metalworking equipment that is used to manufacture parts by guiding a tool. Machine tools include mills, lathes, and presses.


A document containing all the instructions necessary to manufacture a part. A print includes a part drawing, dimensions, and notes.


A set of activities that uses resources to transform inputs into outputs that are provided to a customer. A process' quality determines the quality of the outputs, or products, it produces.


The department within an organization responsible for manufacturing a finished product for a customer. Production includes many manufacturing processes as well as quality assurance efforts.


The goods that a company makes or provides for a customer. Products include manufactured parts, software, and processed materials.


The department within an organization responsible for acquiring parts and raw materials necessary to make a product. Purchasing primarily involves selecting and retaining suppliers.


The satisfaction of customer requirements. Quality products conform to specifications, are free of defects, and meet the requirements of their anticipated use.

quality assurance

A system of managing quality by regulating the quality of materials, assembly processes, products, and components. Quality assurance is a proactive approach to preventing errors.

quality control

A system of managing quality by inspecting finished products to make sure they meet specifications. Quality control relies on error detection and correction.

quality management system

QMS. The objectives and processes designed to focus a company toward quality and customer satisfaction. A quality management system consists of written documents that outline the necessary activities and procedures.

quality manual

A key document of a QMS that outlines all existing practices and describes the interaction among processes. A quality manual is required for certification to ISO 9000 and many other quality management systems.

raw materials

An unprocessed substance or component that has not yet been manufactured. Raw materials in manufacturing include metal, plastic, and ceramic.

root causes

The underlying issue that leads to a problem. The root cause is the fundamental problem, as opposed to any resulting symptom or effect.


The department within an organization responsible for processing customer orders for products. Sales ensures prompt and accurate delivery of the finished product to the external customer.


Any material not used to create the final part. Scrap often occurs in the form of chips.

Six Sigma

A management philosophy and process improvement method that uses data to identify problems and point to improvements. Six Sigma's goal is to reduce the number of defects to less than 3.4 per million opportunities, which is near perfection.


Statistical process control. The use of statistics and control charts to measure key quality characteristics and to control the related process. SPC separates special causes of variation from common causes.


A description of the essential physical and technical properties of a part or product. Specifications outline important information including finished part dimensions and how the part must respond to forces acting upon it.


An established policy regarding a particular practice or method. Standards within the ISO 9000 family are concerned with establishing and managing quality systems.

statistical process control

SPC. The use of statistics and control charts to measure key quality characteristics and to control the related process. Statistical process control separates special causes of variation from common causes.


An organization that provides products or services to manufacturing companies. Suppliers pass products on to the manufacturer, where they are processed and then passed on to the customer.


An unwanted but acceptable deviation from a given dimension. Tolerances indicate the allowable difference between a part feature and its intended design.

total quality management

TQM. An approach to managing an organization that focuses on maximizing customer satisfaction to achieve long-term success. Total quality management ensures that all stakeholders work together to continuously improve quality.


Any deviation from what is normal and consistent. In manufacturing, variation can cause or indicate errors.


Any element of the manufacturing process that does not add value to a product. The goal of lean manufacturing is to eliminate waste.