An overview is given of the role companies, and their business processes, have in product quality during the product lifecycle of a product. The basic business processes and possible organisation forms of those processes are discussed. The trends in these business processes are used to illustrate the current inherent instability of these processes. It is explained how companies can deal with this instability using paradigms from control theory where the quality information flow in a company is used to analyse and optimise product quality. An example illustrates the presented methods. Finally conclusions and future lines of research are given.