Literature regarding cost of poor quality shows that there is a number of ways to discuss the topic. Some people report it as a percentage of sales, while others report it as a percentage of costs. Some state that it costs a company 10% of annual sales, while others state that it costs 40%. Do all of these reports contradict each other? Is there a common way to discuss the cost of poor quality? By breaking the concept down into its origins, development, and impact, corporate executives cannot only avoid the burdensome nuances of its technical details, but they can also clearly understand why its important and how it can help them earn greater profits.