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Product quality optimization vs production capacity optimization: an analytical perspective

Mohit Goswami (Operations Management Group, Indian Institute of Management Raipur, Raipur, India)
Yash Daultani (Operations Management Group, IIM Lucknow, Lucknow, India)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Article publication date: 2 February 2022

Issue publication date: 24 February 2023




This study aims to devise generalized unconstrained optimization models for ascertaining the optimal level of product quality and production capacity level by modeling both product price and production cost as a function of product quality. Further, interrelations among investment for quality, product quality and production volume are considered. This study contributes toward the extant research, in that nuances related to price, production volume, and product quality are fused together such that two broad operational strategies of product quality optimization and production capacity optimization can be contrasted.


To achieve the research objectives, the authors evolve unconstrained optimization models such that optimal product quality level and optimal production capacity level can be obtained employing the principles of differential calculus aimed at maximizing the manufacturer's profit. Specifically, nuances related to quality technology and efficiency, and quality loss cost has also been integrated in the integrated model. Thereafter, employing numerical analysis for a generalized product, the detailed workings of evolved models are demonstrated. The authors further carry out the sensitivity analysis to understand the impact of investment for quality onto the manufacturer's profit for both operational strategies.


The research demonstrates that the manufacturer would be better off adopting production capacity optimization strategy as an operational policy, as opposed to product quality optimization policy for the manufacturer's profit maximization. Further, considering the two operational strategies, the manufacturer does not obtain the highest possible theoretical profit when pertinent variables (product quality and production capacity) are set at highest possible theoretical level. This research discusses that in low-volume and high-margin products, it might be useful to adopt a product quality optimization strategy as a production capacity optimization strategy results in significantly high quality loss cost.


The findings of our study have a significant implication for industries such as steel-making, cement production, automotive industry wherein the conventional wisdom dictates that higher level of production capacity utilization always results in higher level of revenues. However, the authors deduce that beyond certain production capacity utilization, striving for higher utilization does not fetch additional profit. This work also adds to the extant research literature, in that it integrates the nuances of product quality, production volume and pricing in an integrative manner.



Goswami, M. and Daultani, Y. (2023), "Product quality optimization vs production capacity optimization: an analytical perspective", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 801-819.



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