Appraisal costs are a type of quality cost incurred by a company to ensure that its products or services meet quality standards and customer expectations. These costs are associated with the inspection, testing, and evaluation of products or services to detect defects or nonconformities before they reach customers. The primary goal of appraisal costs is to identify and correct issues early in the production process, reducing the risk of customer dissatisfaction and potential returns, warranty claims, or reputational damage.
Examples of appraisal costs include:
- Inspection of raw materials: Ensuring the quality of raw materials before they are used in production.
- In-process inspection: Checking the quality of products at various stages of the production process.
- Testing: Performing various tests on products to ensure they meet performance, safety, and quality specifications.
- Quality audits: Conducting internal audits to verify that quality management processes are being followed.
- Calibration of measuring and testing equipment: Ensuring that equipment used for testing and measurement is accurate and reliable.
- Quality training: Providing training to employees on quality standards and the importance of maintaining quality in the production process.
It is important to strike a balance between appraisal costs and other types of quality costs (prevention, internal failure, and external failure costs) to minimize the overall cost of poor quality while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction.
Example of Appraisal Costs
Let’s consider a fictional company, XYZ Electronics, that manufactures smartphones. To ensure that their smartphones meet quality standards and customer expectations, they incur various appraisal costs throughout their production process.
- Inspection of raw materials: XYZ Electronics inspects incoming raw materials, such as electronic components and phone casings, to ensure they meet the required specifications and are free from defects. This helps prevent faulty components from entering the production process.
- In-process inspection: During the assembly process, XYZ Electronics checks the quality of smartphones at various stages. For example, they inspect the soldering of electronic components to the circuit board and verify the correct placement of cameras and other hardware.
- Testing: Once the smartphones are fully assembled, XYZ Electronics conducts a series of tests, such as battery life, display quality, and performance benchmarks, to ensure the devices meet the required specifications.
- Quality audits: XYZ Electronics periodically conducts internal quality audits to verify that their production processes are adhering to their quality management system and industry standards.
- Calibration of measuring and testing equipment: The company ensures that the equipment used for testing and measurement, such as multimeters and display colorimeters, are properly calibrated and maintained to provide accurate and reliable results.
- Quality training: XYZ Electronics provides regular training to its employees on quality standards, best practices, and the importance of maintaining quality throughout the production process.
By investing in these appraisal activities, XYZ Electronics aims to minimize the risk of defects and ensure that the smartphones they deliver to their customers meet the expected quality standards. This, in turn, helps reduce warranty claims, returns, and potential damage to their reputation.