Quality management should not be an afterthought but rather an integral part of the design discipline, according to Barbara Schmitz, chief marketing officer of MEN Mikro Elektronik. Complex design calls for complex quality management, so there is a cost. "But the return on investment can be more than worth the price, particularly in industries or applications where the cost of failure is high -- in terms of either financial repercussions or human safety issues," writes Schmitz.

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