How To Improve Quality Assurance In Business
There are 5.6 million small to medium-sized enterprises in the UK.
It is a competitive space, and quality is a key market differentiator for nearly all products and services.
Your business cannot afford to skimp on quality assurance and control if it intends to comply with regulations, exceed customer expectations, attract new clients, and remain competitive. Fortunately, there is a lot your business can do to guarantee the quality of its products and services.
Below are some effective tips to ensure quality control in your business.
1. Inspect products for quality
There is always a window of error with employees, so inspections are a key aspect of quality management. Consequently, conduct regular performance checks on staff and products to ensure good quality and fish out costly mistakes before they cause any damage. You can always pull random samples for inspection as a quality control measure if you sell items. It is not advisable to let factory workers select which units should be inspected since cherry-picking can easily occur. Therefore, random sampling is your best bet to get a report that fairly represents the quality of your entire shipment. On-site product testing is also essential to confirm that everything works.
You or your management team can also check sealing methods and packaging materials to ensure that products reach your patrons undamaged and on time.
Alternatively, consider hiring a third-party inspector to minimise the amount of defective merchandise shipped, reduce client complaints due to inferior products, ensure product safety, and eliminate late shipments.
2. Leverage automation
Many experts agree that automation can positively impact quality assurance, so it is undoubtedly worth considering for your company. However, you need to select the right automation tools to stay on top of quality management in your business processes. For instance, Blockchain for supply chain solutions is especially helpful if your company deals with supply chain partners in its operations, so keep this in mind. Corruption in supply chains is a huge quality management challenge that encompasses fake goods and unknown origins.
Thankfully, using blockchain for supply chain in your business will help you access traceable and secure digital records to pinpoint where particular offences were committed in the supply chain. This way, you can be more knowledgeable about the origin and authenticity of your items to lower the odds of fraudulent purchases and ensure that consumers get a high-quality final product.
3. Define what quality is
Your business may have to satisfy quality standards by an outside body like a government regulatory agency, local health, and safety inspector, or an industry association.
For example, depending on your industry, you may be forced to adhere to a quality management system like ISO 9001, which specifies how businesses should create and deliver their products. In this case, merely following the quality management system’s requirement should be enough to guarantee products of the highest standard.
However, there might be unique instances where you will need to set your quality control standards without official regulations. For instance, it would be best to develop measurable quality control standards for all departments of your business.
Therefore, you can set quality control standards like “resolving customer service issues within five minutes” or ” replying to customer service emails within four hours” for your customer service team instead of setting vague targets like “being better at customer service.” As a tip, ensure that you can measure these standards to determine their effectiveness.
4. Review your results regularly
Many small businesses erroneously assume that merely setting quality control management standards is enough to ensure their products and services are top-notch.
However, quality management is an ever-evolving set of standards, so it is prudent to regularly review your results and gather crucial feedback to ensure better outcomes. Indeed, it is essential to align your quality management with actual results, and you won’t be able to accomplish this without feedback. You can gather measurable customer feedback through external sources like online ratings and reviews and customer surveys to obtain genuine insights into service and product quality.
In addition, get regular feedback from employees on how well operational procedures are working to guarantee quality and how they can be improved. Employees are reportedly twice as likely to disengage if their managers ignore them.
It is well-known that disengaged workers are less productive and contribute to bad customer experiences. Therefore, asking for employee feedback is a great way to engage them and improve their output quality, so keep this in mind.