Cost of Quality (COQ) in the apparel sector is still a widely understood misconception. The term often gets associated incorrectly with the price of creating quality merchandise. Actually, it is the other way round i.e. the amount of money incurred because the product was not manufactured right at the first time. Thus, the concept of quality costs in the garment industry is a means to quantify the total cost involved in quality-related efforts and deficiencies pertains to a manufactured apparel product.

Although it is not very easy to calculate COQ for any industry, research shows that the costs of poor quality can range from 15%-40% of business costs (e.g. rework, returns or complaints, reduced service levels, lost revenue). Most of the apparel units do not know what their quality costs are because they do not keep records on a daily basis. A large portion of resources is consumed in finding and correcting mistakes in the merchandise or related processes. Typically, the cost to eliminate a failure in the customer phase is five times greater than it is at the merchandise development or manufacturing phase. Every time work is redone, the cost of quality increases. The obvious examples in the apparel sector include:

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Originally published in Apparel Views: February 2009

About the Author

Dr. Das is presently working with Central Silk Technological Research Institute, Central Silk Board, Govt of India. He is a Textile Graduate of Kolkata University, did his Ph.D and Masters from IIT Delhi in the field of Textile Technology and Fibre Science & Technology, respectively. He is having two decades of working experience in shop floor, research & development quality assurance and teaching in the area of chemical processing.