Quality Levels (quality + level)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Need vs. opportunity recognition in household car replacements

Agneta Marell
Abstract It is hypothesized that an intention to replace the owned car initiated by need recognition (a decrease in perceived current quality level of the old car) or opportunity recognition (an increase in aspired quality level of the new car) will result in purchases of different new cars. A sample of 1083 car owners were interviewed over telephone every fourth month during 2.5 years. The results showed that replacement intentions were not affected by how the intention was formed but that the choice of model year of the new car was. A younger car was chosen if the aspired quality level increased faster across interview waves than the current quality level decreased, and an older car was chosen if the current quality level decreased faster than the aspired quality level increased. As a consequence, if replacement intentions are the result of opportunity recognition, rejuvenation of the car fleet will be faster than if replacement intentions are the result of need recognition. [source]

Does the introduction of the Euro have an effect on subjective hypotheses about the price-quality relationship?

GŁnter Molz
Product prices are often considered to be an indicator for quality. In our experiment we focussed on the question if consumers' hypotheses can be biased by exchanging the digits on price displays due to currency changes. We found that high numbers in a price expressed in terms of a currency with a relatively low value (German Mark) lead to a higher perceived quality level than an equivalent price expressed in terms of relatively high listed currency (Euro). Contrary to our expectations we could not prove that this effect is stronger for premium than for low-budget products. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Health economics of asthma: assessing the value of asthma interventions

ALLERGY, Issue 12 2008
J. D. Campbell
The aim of this systematic review was to summarize and assess the quality of asthma intervention health economic studies from 2002 to 2007, compare the study findings with clinical management guidelines, and suggest avenues for future improvement of asthma health economic studies. Forty of the 177 studies met our inclusion criteria. We assessed the quality of studies using The Quality of Health Economic Studies validated instrument (total score range: 0,100). Six studies (15%) had quality category 2, 26 studies (65%) achieved quality category 3, and the remaining eight (20%) studies were scored as the highest quality level, category 4. Overall, the findings from this review are in line with the Global Initiative for Asthma clinical guidelines. Many asthma health economic studies lacked appropriate long term time horizons to match the chronic nature of the disease and suffered from using effectiveness measures that did not capture all disease related risks and benefits. We recommend that new asthma simulation models: be flexible to allow for long term time horizons, focus on using levels of asthma control in their structure, and estimate both long term asthma specific outcomes like well-controlled time as well as generic outcomes such as quality adjusted survival. [source]

Competing with channel partners: Supply chain conflict when retailers introduce store brands

Hans Sebastian Heese
Abstract Private-label products are of increasing importance in many retail categories. While national-brand products are designed by the manufacturer and sold by the retailer, the positioning of store-brand products is under the complete control of the retailer. We consider a scenario where products differ on a performance quality dimension and we analyze how retailer,manufacturer interactions in product positioning are affected by the introduction of a private-label product. Specifically, we consider a national-brand manufacturer who determines the quality of its product as well the product's wholesale price charged to the retailer. Given the national-brand quality and wholesale price, the retailer then decides the quality level of its store brand and sets the retail prices for both products. We find that a manufacturer can derive substantial benefits from considering a retailer's store-brand introduction when determining the national brand's quality and wholesale price. If the retailer has a significant cost disadvantage in producing high-quality products, the manufacturer does not need to adjust the quality of the national-brand product, but he should offer a wholesale price discount to ensure its distribution through the retailer. If the retailer is competitive in providing products of high-quality, the manufacturer should reduce this wholesale price discount and increase the national-brand quality to mitigate competition. Interestingly, we find the retailer has incentive to announce a store-brand introduction to induce the manufacturer's consideration of these plans in determining the national-brand product quality and wholesale price. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2010 [source]

How Should a Firm Manage Deteriorating Inventory?

Mark E. Ferguson
Firms selling goods whose quality level deteriorates over time often face difficult decisions when unsold inventory remains. Since the leftover product is often perceived to be of lower quality than the new product, carrying it over offers the firm a second selling opportunity, a product line extension to new and unsold units, and the ability to price discriminate. By doing so, however, the firm subjects sales of its new product to competition from the leftover product. We present a two period model that captures the effect of this competition on the firm's production and pricing decisions. We characterize the firm's optimal strategy and find conditions under which the firm is better off carrying all, some, or none of its leftover inventory. We also show that, compared to a firm that acts myopically in the first period, a firm that takes into account the effect of first period decisions on second period profits will price its new product higher and stock more of it in the first period. Thus, the benefit of having a second selling opportunity dominates the detrimental effect of cannibalizing sales of the second period new product. [source]

Service Quality and Benchmarking the Performance of Municipal Services

David H. Folz
How can local officials select benchmarking partners whose best practices have the most potential for applicability and success in improving service performance? This study suggests the process for selecting the most appropriate benchmarking partners and for making fair performance comparisons will be advanced if local officials initially address the issue of what level of input service quality level is desired or can be provided. Using data collected from a national survey, the study presents a framework for measuring service quality for municipal solid waste recycling programs. It examines the connection between input service quality and service outcomes and describes the results of analyses of the contextual factors and best practices that distinguish the top recycling performers and potential benchmarking partners in each service-quality class. The study suggests a model for how local officials can use this type of information to select an appropriate benchmarking partner. The study shows that a quality-of-service framework for municipal services can advance local decision making about what citizens and stakeholders expect and will support in terms of input service quality. It also can help local officials identify benchmarking partners that provide a service at the desired level of quality. [source]


Rosella Levaggi
I11; D81 ABSTRACT Quality of health care is the product of several factors as the literature has long recognized. In this paper we focus on the relationship between quality and investment in health technology by analysing the optimal investment decision in a new health care technology of a representative hospital that maximizes its surplus in an uncertain environment. The new technology allows the hospital to increase the quality level of the care provided, but the investment is irreversible. The paper uses the framework of the real option literature to show how the purchaser might influence the quality level by setting a quality-contingent long-term contract with the hospital. The investment in new technology is in fact best incentivated within a long-term contract where the number of treatments reimbursed depends on the level of investment made when the technology is new. In this way, asymmetry of information does not affect the outcome of the contract. In our model in fact the purchaser can verify the level of the investment only at the end of each period but the purchasing rule has an anticipating effect on the decision to invest. [source]

Does Prospective Payment Really Contain Nursing Home Costs?

Li-Wu Chen
Objective. To examine whether nursing homes would behave more efficiently, without compromising their quality of care, under prospective payment. Data Sources. Four data sets for 1994: the Skilled Nursing Facility Minimum Data Set, the Online Survey Certification and Reporting System file, the Area Resource File, and the Hospital Wage Indices File. A national sample of 4,635 nursing homes is included in the analysis. Study Design. Using a modified hybrid functional form to estimate nursing home costs, we distinguish our study from previous research by controlling for quality differences (related to both care and life) and addressing the issues of output and quality endogeneity, as well as using more recent national data. Factor analysis was used to operationalize quality variables. To address the endogeneity problems, instrumental measures were created for nursing home output and quality variables. Principal Findings. Nursing homes in states using prospective payment systems do not have lower costs than their counterpart facilities under retrospective cost-based payment systems, after quality differences among facilities are controlled for and the endogeneity problem of quality variables is addressed. Conclusions. The effects of prospective payment on nursing home cost reduction may be through quality cuts, rather than cost efficiency. If nursing home payments under prospective payment systems are not adjusted for quality, nursing homes may respond by cutting their quality levels, rather than controlling costs. Future outcomes research may provide useful insights into the adjustment of quality in the design of prospective payment for nursing home care. [source]

Quality of histopathological reporting on melanoma and influence of use of a synoptic template

Lauren E Haydu
Haydu L E, Holt P E, Karim R Z, Madronio C M, Thompson J F, Armstrong B K & Scolyer R A (2010) Histopathology56, 768,774 Quality of histopathological reporting on melanoma and influence of use of a synoptic template Aims:, To evaluate the quality of histopathological reporting for melanoma in a whole population, to assess the influence on quality of the use of a synoptic template and thus to provide an evidence base to guide improvement in reporting melanoma pathology. Methods and results:, Histopathology reports of all primary invasive melanomas notified to the New South Wales Central Cancer Registry between October 2006 and October 2007 (n = 3784) were reviewed. A detailed audit of histopathology reports for consecutively diagnosed primary invasive melanoma over 6 months (n = 2082) was performed to assess the quality of each report based on compliance with the 2008 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Melanoma in Australia and New Zealand. Only half of the initial excision specimen reports included the essential components necessary to stage a melanoma patient according to the 2002 American Joint Committee on Cancer/International Union Against Cancer melanoma staging system. Report format was strongly correlated with completeness and validity of reporting: reports in a synoptic format, with or without a descriptive component, achieved the highest quality levels. Conclusions:, Even in a population with a high incidence of melanoma, concordance of pathology reports with current guidelines was comparatively low. Wider adoption of synoptic reporting is likely to increase report quality. [source]

The impact of absenteeism on the quality of assembly line production: The importance of a specialization requirement

Ricardo Mateo
Absenteeism among manual workers is without doubt one of the most significant factors that affect the functioning of assembly lines. It is a widely held view that high levels of absenteeism have negative repercussions on the quality and costs of operations. According to the scientific theory of work, workers who temporarily stand in for their absent colleagues affect production quality levels because of a lack of work specialization and experience. However, new and sophisticated automation can eliminate the effect of absenteeism on assembly line production. This article gathered more than 960,000 products produced by different levels of absenteeism. The effects of absenteeism on the quality of products in assembly lines over the course of one year were analyzed. In contrast to established thinking, the empirical evidence presented here confirms that absenteeism does not always produce problems in the quality of products. This evidence can be explained by the need for specialization among manual workers has been reduced by the invention of more sophisticated and specialized machinery. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Phase ,: Tracking Down Material Defects

Wanted: Steel to Handle Extreme Demands of Petroleum Extraction
The quest for extraction of petroleum and natural gas requires superior competence from both humans and materials involved. The demands made on both go far beyond normal conditions. The materials used must be produced using the best raw materials and produced at premium quality levels. Then even the tiniest fluctuations in the composition of the steel used for drills, drill rods and their casing can influence and decisively alter their required properties , such as degree of hardness, ductility and malleability. [source]

Does compression affect image retrieval performance?

Gerald Schaefer
Abstract Image retrieval and image compression are both fields of intensive research. As lossy image compression degrades the visual quality of images and hence changes the actual pixel values of an image, low level image retrieval descriptors which are based on statistical properties of pixel values will change, too. In this article we investigate how image compression affects the performance of low-level colour descriptors. Several image retrieval algorithms are evaluated on a speciated image database compressed at different image quality levels. Extensive experiments reveal that while distribution-based colour descriptors are fairly stable with respect to image compression a drop in retrieval performance can nevertheless be observed for JPEG compressed images. On the other hand, after application of JPEG2000 compression only a negligible performance drop is observed even at high compression ratios. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Imaging Syst Technol, 18, 101,112, 2008 [source]

Transcoding media for bandwidth constrained mobile devices

Kevin Curran
Bandwidth is an important consideration when dealing with streaming media. More bandwidth is required for complex data such as video as opposed to a simple audio file. When delivering streaming media, sufficient bandwidth is required to achieve an acceptable level of performance. If the information streamed exceeds the bandwidth capacity of the client the result will be ,choppy' and incomplete with possible loss of transmission. Transcoding typically refers to the adaptation of streaming content. Typical transcoding scenarios exploit content-negotiation to negotiate between different formats in order to obtain the most optimal combination of requested quality and available resources. It is possible to transcode media to a lesser quality or size upon encountering adverse bandwidth conditions. This can be accomplished without the need to encode multiple versions of the same file at differing quality levels. This study investigates the capability of transcoding for coping with restrictions in client devices. In addition, the properties of transcoded media files are examined and evaluated to determine their applicability for streaming in relation to a range of broad device types capable of receiving streaming media.,Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Impact of cooling method and incoming sheet quality on final part surface quality in thick sheet paint film thermoformed parts,,

Kedzie D. Fernholz
Thick sheet, "dry paint" film parts were thermoformed using different cooling methods and sheet temperatures to determine whether these two parameters had a direct effect on the surface quality of the final part. Although some thermoformers have claimed that applying chilled air after forming "dry paint" film parts improves the gloss of the parts, the data from this study showed that application of chilled air did not have an effect on either the parts' initial gloss or their gloss after time-dependent hazing. The critical factor in maintaining surface quality in these parts was the maximum temperature reached by the "dry paint" film during heating. In addition, analysis of the data taken on the sheet prior to forming versus that taken on the part after forming demonstrated the importance of validating the surface quality of the as-received sheet prior to conducting process versus appearance experiments. On the basis of these findings, a recommendation is made for incoming sheet surface quality levels for both process development studies and production applications. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2009. © 2008 Society of Plastics Engineers [source]

Quality, Trade and the Moving Window: The Globalisation Process,

John Sutton
The globalisation process is analysed in a model where firms differ in productivity and quality. A lower bound to quality emerges, below which firms cannot sell, however low their (local) wage rate. The range of quality levels between the maximum and this lower bound shifts upwards when trade is liberalised (the ,moving window'). The initial phase of globalisation, associated with trade liberalisation, in an initially segmented (but not autarkic) world, may reduce welfare in countries with intermediate levels of capability, but these countries may be the most important gainers as capabilities are transferred in subsequent phases. [source]


Kevin M. Currier
L43; L51 ABSTRACT Although price caps have desirable efficiency properties, it is well known that they may create incentives for a regulated firm to attempt to lower its costs via reductions in service quality. Thus, the regulators often employ quality standards or other methods designed to have allowed prices reflect delivered service quality levels. In this paper, we present a system of quality-corrected price caps that results in efficient pricing and quality provision. [source]