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Cost of Poor Quality Calculator -


What is Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ)?

The Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) quantifies the negative outcomes due to waste, inefficiencies and defects in a process. Quality great Joseph Juran separated these costs into 3 categories:

  • Prevention Costs: Including quality planning, training, preventive maintenance, housekeeping etc.
  • Appraisal Costs: Including testing, inspection, audits, reviews and surveys, etc.
  • Failure Costs:
    • Internal Failures: Including scrap, rework, expediting, equipment downtime, injuries, etc.
    • External Failures: Including product recalls, returned products, complaint handling, lost sales, etc. COPQ is often represented as a dollar amount (or as a percentage of sales) and is composed of the categories listed above. The goal of any organization is to reduce COPQ to zero.


To learn how to use the Cost of Poor Quality Calculator and how to apply Lean or Six Sigma, check out our Free Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt TrainingGreen Belt Training or Lean Training.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. For over 25 years, she's helped leading organizations like Amazon, Charles Schwab and Starwood Hotels & Resorts build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.