Product quality is one of the most important factors for a business trying to gain and sustain competitive advantage. Garvin’s 8 dimensions of quality model is used to assess and evaluate a product’s quality according to 8 different factors which are discussed below. The model was developed by David Garvin in 1987 and has been widely used until today.
The first factor is performance and it refers to the product’s primary operating characteristics. Here, we look into how the product performs against the manufacturer’s claim as well as the consumer expectations. This can range from tangible aspects like physical design, to intangible elements such as speed.
Next, the model considers the additional features that are added to the products. Again, these can either be tangible or intangible features such as warranties, after-sales service, guarantees, customer support and much more. Additional features can add significant value to the product.
Another important element according to Garvin is reliability. Here, we need to look into how trustworthy the product is. Is it going to function over its expected lifetime as promised by the manufacturer? How much do consumers rely on this product? Do they trust it over the long term?
After examining reliability, we also need to ask how durable the product is. How is it going to behave with daily use? Will it function properly if it is in the hands of a heavy user? These sorts of questions let us evaluate the durability of the product in question.
Another aspect that comes into play is conformance. Does the product conform to internal standards and specifications? Does it comply with industry’s rule and regulations? A highly relevant area to be looked is the recent GDPR policy that has affected hundreds of companies.
Moving on, we examine the serviceability of the product which is the speed and easiness in which the product can be repaired and be put back into work. This also includes the people that have the capabilities to repair the product. If service people are limited, then it means that serviceability is also limited and as a consequence the product will be costly to repair.
As the name implies, aesthetics is the general appearance of the product and how attractive it is for the consumer. This can include design, color, graphics and much more. This dimension can sometimes be subjective since what is appealing is a matter of personal preference and may be different to each person.
The last dimension of the model is the perceived quality of the product. Branding and marketing communication play a key role here. If consumers perceive your brand as premium then they will have a very different perception of quality in contrast to a product that is considered inferior in the market.