What is quality control? It’s a process that uses prescribed practices and procedures to ensure that a product or service upholds a set of quality assessment criteria. It also must meet customer or client expectations.
Critical components of quality control (QC) include applicable standards for the product or service, the number and extent of the QC actions to be taken, and the current and relevant data collection to meet the company’s standards.
Quality control measures must “close the loop. They must ensure all findings are implemented and communicated (if positive) or remediated (if improvements are needed). Let’s discuss why the QC process is so essential.
1. Quality Control Measures Help Onboard New Employees
Anyone who has ever been new at a job can tell you how many mistakes they made while learning their niche. QC protocols can help with this by revealing errors and calling them to the employee’ attention.
2. Quality Control Processes Ensure Product Safety and Consistency
Many industry trade associations provide advice or guidelines for instituting QC measures. These save you from developing your own, and they are likely to have had a lot of professional input at the start.
Many industries have uniform standards and expectations. These are for procedural uniformity. They also protect consumers from becoming ill or even dying due to faulty product quality.
Here’s an example of how this works. Have a look at the way one business explains the ANSI National Accreditation Board’s standards for microbial IDs to identify materials analyzed in lab testing accurately.
3. Quality Control Measures Keep Customers Satisfied
Having customers doesn’t just help the bottom line. They are the bottom line for most businesses. Their reactions to products and services are beyond your control, unlike the employees responsible for the defects.
And with the now-ubiquitous customer satisfaction survey, you can be reasonably confident that others will quickly learn about the negative experiences.
4. Quality Control Measures Help to Avert Legal Liability
Legal liability results from a lack of care and consistency in manufacturing or performing a service. It could be a faulty steering column installed in a car or a dentist using the wrong material when filling a tooth.
In both cases, liability is likely to fall to the party who was not following prescribed QC guidelines — whether for auto parts manufacturing or dental procedures.
You might not be able to ensure that the materials you use are 100% consistent. But if you can’t reasonably compensate, quality control processes should guide you in weeding out defective items or foreseeing errant services, so they don’t harm customers.
5. Quality Control Measures Reduce Waste and Save Costs
A lot of defective products that are returned or recalled are never repaired, recycled, or repurposed. What a waste of resources! And what a shame these products couldn’t have been refurbished and sold at a discount.
Again, quality control is a crucial consideration. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Yes, Quality Still Matters
Quality control measures are more crucial today than ever before. More and more companies’ staffing comprises a combination of underpaid workers and artificial intelligence.
Implementing quality control best practices is a good measure. But it only works if more industry standards are put in place and honored. It would also help if the system could slow to a point where its use could have the best effect.
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