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Benchmarking for Best Practice by Mohamed Zairi

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1    Driving businesses with qualityin the 1990s

Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten

Gucci family slogan

1.1  Origins of the quality concept

We often hear the expression ‘quality is a very old concept.’ It is very difficult to pinpoint its origins exactly, although many argue that there is evidence linking quality with the Egyptian civilization. Indeed, the ancient Egyptians defined quality through having stringent quality control measures when building pyramids. Around 2700BC, when the great pyramid, the tomb of King Khufu, was built at El Giza, the QC tolerances at each side of the pyramid were in the order of 230m ±0.1m[1]. In Islam, it could be argued that quality was always referred to in the Koran ‘Seek improvement/perfection’ ...

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