7 Reasons Why You Need Quality Assurance Yesterday
In Jan 2022, McKinsey Quarterly published an article titled “Embedding ‘smart quality’ culture and capabilities in the organization”. One of the most essential takeaways from the report was that – everyone in the organization must own quality. Other highlights from the post include:
- There will be better quality performance when even non-quality team members get involved in the process of improving quality metrics
- Better recognition for quality-related achievements will help build a culture of quality
- Better collaboration, dialogues, and problem-solving approaches will go a long way in improving quality metrics
In today’s world, businesses cannot afford to let down their vigilance and need to ensure that quality is seamlessly integrated with all business and functional processes.
Meeting quality standards not only improves customer satisfaction but also protects brand reputation. It reduces the Cost of Quality (CoQ) arising from scrapping or reworking products due to non-conformance. To ensure better CoQ, businesses need a robust quality management system with robust quality control and quality assurance processes at every stage of manufacturing, right from design to delivery.
Quality assurance is an integral part of quality management that helps manufacturers adhere to production standards through systemic activities. Manufacturers need a well-defined production requirements policy (with adherence to quality standards) to put in place a robust quality assurance system.
Quality Assurance vs Quality Control
Often the question arises – are quality assurance and quality control the same? The American Society of Quality (ASQ) defines quality assurance as “activities aimed to confirm that the product or service meets quality standards”. The defining of processes, training of employees, and auditing are part of the quality assurance process.
On the other hand, Quality Control (QC) is a set of processes that demonstrates quality assurance and includes auditing of the production process, inspecting of the final products, and testing. Having robust processes in place for non-conformance management, equipment management, and inspection comes under QC.
7 Benefits of Quality Assurance
In today’s global economy, cost management, timely delivery, customer delight, and increased efficiency have become critical. Businesses are looking to accelerate growth because any lag does not just mean being left behind but probably even being eliminated from the race. Customer loyalty can no longer be taken for granted and any quality issues get amplified due to social media.
With quality assurance, businesses can strengthen their competitive advantage and speed up innovation. Key benefits of designing and implementing a robust Quality Assurance (QA) process include
Benefit #1. Improved Production Efficiency: Quality assurance ensures on-time deliveries of quality products and services by ensuring quality at every stage of the production process. Right from the quality of the inputs to properly functioning machinery, an efficient supply chain, competent workers, and resource optimization are the responsibility of the quality assurance process which is essential to achieve the business objectives.
Benefit #2. Cost Optimization: Quality assurance improves resource utilization, minimizes errors and the resulting rework, and therefore improves cost efficiency. A good quality assurance process prevents errors, minimizes returns and repairs, and lowers other cost-related problems.
Benefit #3. Winning Customer Trust: Quality assurance ensures product quality, winning customer trust for the product, the company, and the brand. As it improves the quality of the final product, customers are reassured of the company’s commitment to quality and will willingly be loyal to the brand.
Benefit # 4. Accelerating Business Growth: Consistent quality, cost efficiency, improved resource utilization, and compliance with relevant regulations are among the important aspects of business growth. By conducting regular quality assurance audits, businesses can proactively ensure that they meet these objectives. This will also improve the trust of the stakeholders and potential business partners.
Benefit #5. Bettering the Work Environment: Quality assurance improves the work environment by reducing risk and hazards and ensuring that the workers and the environment are safe. This improves employee engagement and lowers churn, further improving cost efficiency as often, recruitment and training are the biggest cost centers for any business.
Benefit #6. Lower Non-conformance and Improved Compliance: Quality assurance ensures that the final product conforms with the initial design and that the inputs used are as per the specifications. Any non-conformance can be identified early and corrective action is taken to improve compliance and lower costs of production.
Benefit #7. Greater Supply Chain Efficiency: In today’s world where many aspects of manufacturing are outsourced, quality assurance provides greater visibility into processes and helps to control issues to minimize damage.
Quality Assurance Best Practices
Quality assurance best practices are codified in the ISO 9000. Supplementing it with internal standardization will help to improve the quality of the products. To ensure consistency, businesses must put together the practices into standard operating procedures (SOPs). Documentation of activities, preventive maintenance of equipment, initiating CAPA and root cause analysis, and using a cloud-based quality management platform will help businesses achieve these goals quickly.
Regulatory bodies also require continuous improvement and learning to meet the changing needs of the market as well as regulations with minimal operational disruptions. ComplianceQuest’s EQMS Solution is a cloud-based solution that provides end-to-end visibility into operations and enables adopting the best practices aligned with ISO 9000 and other relevant standards. Some of the features that facilitate quality assurance for greater operational efficiency include
- Management Review
The end-to-end management of the production workflows from within the QMS system, which can also integrate with enterprise systems such as ERP, CRM, etc., provides the quality team with permission-based access to relevant information. This can help with data-backed decision-making to improve quality and compliance.
To know more about how ComplianceQuest can help with quality assurance, request a demo: https://www.compliancequest.com/lp/eqms/