There probably isn’t a business person anywhere who doesn’t believe that when it comes to their product or service, achieving quality is one of their primary goals, if not their only goal. After all, when you have a quality product, the world will beat a path to your door, right? The trouble with this philosophy is that although there isn’t a lot of debate when a business achieves the lofty goal of producing a quality product, how do you get to that stage? How do you go from having a product that might be, let’s say less than stellar into one that really knocks the competition out of the park?
The answer to this dilemma is quality control. The trouble is how do you take that concept and make it real? How do you take it from a philosophy to a quantitative reality? The answer is to employ a method that turns the idea into a rigorous methodology that is employed by a company to ensure the quality of its products is consistent.
- But What is Quality Control, and How Do You Implement It?
Quality control is actually only one part of an overall quality management program. The other element is quality assurance, which is that part of a management focus that quality requirements will be fulfilled. Quality control, on the other hand, is the part of management that focuses on fulfilling quality requirements.
Another way of looking at this is to think of quality assurance as that aspect the sets up a process is performed and how a product is made, whereas quality control is aimed more at the inspection aspect of overall quality.
Below are the top five things you should know about quality control:
- Set the standard for quality control with robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) with quality assurance to deliver the highest quality. This approach will ensure that you have the tools needed to effectively manage your quality objectives. Your ERP will lead to a quality control program that will ensure that products are defect free and are of consistently better quality.
- The better your quality control, the happier your clients will be. It is difficult, if not impossible, to separate quality products from happy customers. This is why it is so important to pay close attention to ERP and quality control program implementation. Further, these steps should be implemented at every stage of the production process–from design to distribution. These systems also allow teams to better monitor all systems and sub-systems in the production cycle.
- Good quality control means better workflow and reduced costs. Another benefit of good quality control is that not only can forecasts be produced that are more accurate, but the resulting workflow is smoother and costs less. Good ERP provides more and better business analytics that can more quickly and easily pinpoint problems in the production process, allowing better decision-making and reducing costs. In fact, according to one recent study, better information about business operations that allow for smarter decisions can account for nearly 23 percent lower production costs and 22 percent in administrative costs.
- Good quality control breeds customer loyalty. This might sound like a restatement of point two, but it bears repeating when effective quality control programs are implemented, better products result, which can only end up with better and repeat customers. Even better, these benefits will accrue over time. Manufacturers can make customers even happier by providing them with the quality control information on the products they purchase, which results in the perception of total commitment to the quality of the product and the resulting satisfaction of the customer.
- Compliance. Quality control that begins with the ERP stage results in keeping and regulations and standards are met, whether they are implemented by the company or regulatory agencies. A good example of these are the standards that agencies such as OSHA health and safety standards. A good ERP and quality control program prevents workplace hazards and also facilitates related reports. This also creates the ability to create and implement safety testing procedures that more accurately fit the needs of individual businesses as opposed to more generalized testing.