Quality is a measure applying to transactions among bodies. The level of quality is high if all involved bodies’ needs have been met.
Consider a simple transaction along a simple supply chain – the purchase of an appliance in a retail shop. There are seemingly two bodies involved in this transaction: the buyer and the seller. But in fact there are many more bodies involved, all are stakeholders in this transaction: other users of the item bought, passers-by who may be influenced by its noise or pollution etc., the item’s manufacturers and distributors, service sites and personnel, government (regulations), local authorities and more.
But if we concentrate on the basic side A (seller) and side B (buyer), the needs of the seller may be the making of a reasonable profit, enabling him to survive and prosper. The buyer's needs may be to receive an expected service from the item to his complete satisfaction, with no unwanted effects (the emission of noise, smell, gas, radiation, vibrations, failing official safety inspections, excessive energy intake etc.). High quality describes a win-win transaction, in which all parties are rational, understand the rules and regulations of the trade, understand each other's needs, and are basically cooperative and trusting.
This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.