Is quality free? Philip Crosby in his book, Quality is Free, believes it is when we adopt a Zero Defects policy. An enterprise can achieve quality in its products and services without having to pay more.
Quality may be free but value is not. At least to consumers searching for the best products and services. We have to pay more for better value.
Consumers may perceive a Mercedes car as better value than a Toyota, for example. This may be because a Mercedes Benz car runs faster than a Toyota on an autobahn or expressway. If the consumer’s criteria are a car that can go fast and at the same time has a luxurious interior, the Mercedes would win over a Toyota. The consumer would need to pay more for the Mercedes, however.
There’s no cost to getting products to conform 100% to specifications. Enterprises just need to ensure systems are following instructions to meet the standards that lead to zero-defects quality.
But there is a cost if we want a product to be superior than another in a particular performance category.
Quality is free for the managers who oversee their operations to reduce defects.
It isn’t free for the customers who expect better value.