Quality, Quality Control and Management
There are many definitions for Quality and it means different things to different stakeholders of a business. It may mean perfect aesthetics for a furniture manufacturer, color and texture for a paper manufacturer, or ingredients and taste in a restaurant.
In general Quality is defined as the ability of a product or service to fully meet the customer's expectations, or fit for the intended use of the customer. In many cases high quality products are those that not only meet the customer's expectations but also exceed these expectations and add value to the customer. It is important to remember that quality is all about the customer and what it expects from the product or service and how this is delivered.
Quality management or control are the systems, process data, procedures,
audits, KPI's and processes used within the business and its supply chain which help achieve quality products and services. The definition, scope, approach, and management of quality systems has evolved greatly and gone through many forms. None is the best or most reliable quality management system; they are just different ways of interpreting and managing a quality system which enables the production of quality products and services.
Some of the modern quality theory and ideology was pioneered by P. Crosby, W. E Deming, and J.M Juran. Their approaches to quality management were slightly different but they all had the same goal, to achieve fit for use products and services.
One of the most important requirements for a quality system to succeed, become a standard in the workplace and deliver real benefits to customers is its role in company culture and within the employees of the business. Quality culture and its importance within company culture is explained in one of the pages below.
Some of the most common terms in quality management and quality control are further explained in the following pages:
-Internal quality audits
-Customer satisfaction index
-Quality at the source
- Total Quality Management
- Statistical Quality Control
- Quality Culture
- ISO9000 Quality standards
- Process flow charts
Quality Standards through Procedures
Most Quality or Quality Management departments within an organization also facilitate, document, archive and update all standard operating procedures for common tasks, plant changes and activities carried out in daily business activities. Standard operating procedures are not only for production activities but should be used to standardize and communicate, even brief standards, in all areas of the organization including but not limited to order processing, inventory control and warehousing, office operations, operating office equipment and maintenance tasks. In an effort to Standardize tasks there are two main types of procedure documents which can be used and these are:
-Standard operating procedure SOP
-One point lesson