No business worth the name can survive without quality in its products
or services. In business, quality dominates at every stage of its transactions;
it must have quality raw materials; it must have quality production mechanism
and it must maintain the quality that has made it possible for the company to
claim some share in the market.
In logistics, failure of quality leads to adverse consequences like
hike in transportation cost and, much more significantly, loss of the customer,
leading to potential loss of revenue to the company. In the world of business,
Total Quality Management (TQM) has become for quite some time a ceaseless buzz
word, the primary preoccupation with the management administration.
Supposing the quality of a product is not the usual one but fails to
reach the standard , it leads to a series of actions that ultimately increases
the cost of logistics and dissatisfies the customer, two major defects that
will pull down any business. First, if
not detected early by chance, the customer refuses to accept the product from
the retailer; the retailer who cannot afford to lose a regular customer has to find a replacement if not immediately
, at least as soon as possible. He has to send it back to the agent or the
stockist from whom he normally makes the purchase. The stockist sends it back
to the warehouse which in all earnestness must send it back to the
manufacturer. Each transport from the retailer to the manufacturer costs thus
enormously increasing the logistics cost of the business.
The logistics cost once incurred cannot be reversed. It falls on the
company to meet the additional logistics cost, in the end of the process.
Here, a word must be said about TQM. It is a management
quality-assurance mechanism. It expects all those connected with the business
transaction must be conscious of quality at every step of their
transaction. No link in the chain of the
business processing can afford to be rather indifferent to quality standards
lest the whole chain gets affected. And logistics plays a vital role in
maintaining TQM; in other words, it must be, among other things,
Its responsibility becomes all the more complex and heavier if the business
spans many geographical regions, sometimes, across the globe; because,
transportation operations are carried out day and night, national and
international areas when the logistics personnel may not be there in person to
oversee the operations.
Quality improvement and assurance form the most serious commitment of