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Tradogram Procurement Management

Mitigate the risk of "Quality Variation" in three steps...

Posted on Friday, April 21, 2017 by Hani

What is Quality Variation?

Quality variation refers to all the recurrent and random changes in the quality of the purchased product or service over a period of time. It is the inconsistent increase and/or decline in quality. Say for instance, you go to a barbershop to get a haircut. There are times that the barber will give you a very good haircut. At other times, his services may be unsatisfactory. That difference (variation) is what is referred to as quality variation.

Why is Quality Variation worth considering?

Everyone wants to receive the best quality product/service for his or her money - including you. In fact, it is most likely the number one deciding factor on whether you will stick with a particular brand/supplier or not.

However, there are times you are willing to compromise a little quality for your budget. This happens when you feel that the quality of the product/service is pretty okay and saves you some money compared to when you go for the highest quality. As long as the quality remains constant, you are okay with the brand/vendor.

What is not acceptable is when at the same price rate, the quality of the product/service becomes inconsistent. At times like that, you might get confused, even angry. You might even consider giving the brand/vendor a bad review and switching to another. Simply put, quality variation can have some serious negative effects on any business/brand.

What causes Quality Variation?

A number of factors could account for quality variation. One of these is a poor description of the item to be purchased. This will lead to unmet expectations on the part of the customer.

Sometimes, it could just be bad communication between the buyer and the seller. It is easy for messages sent via emails, phones, and other means to be muddled up and confusing. The language could be unclear, the words spoken too fast, or the information was misplaced - lost.

It can also sometimes happen that there is a disconnection - the person who places the order has different information from the person who meets with the supplier down to the person who receives the order.

It also happens that despite poor performance and noticed quality variations, customers who do not keep track of their purchases properly can end up buying from the same source over and over again, leading to more disappointments and unmet expectations.

How can the risk of "Quality Variation" be mitigated?

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