Explaining what is quality control in today’s competitive and globalized environment could be best expressed by the statement:
“Companies have an obligation to its customers to offer products and services that are consistently at or above the customers level of satisfaction.”
The risk of not meeting customer’s demands for quality and in turn not making sales will inevitably result in significant profit losses.
What many considered in the past a competitive difference, delivering quality products and services is the least that modern “tuned in” consumers (with easy access to information from electronic and digital media) expect from a business.
The concept of quality control, from its name, engenders ideas of verification and supervision of the final characteristics of products and services, but its definition goes far beyond that!
Learn more: understand the concept of quality process management.
In fact, its primary goal is not to measure and count the number of product defects or service failures, but to discover the causes and origins of these problems to develop the necessary solutions and, preferably, to anticipate them in the future and prevent them from occurring. It’s the only way to efficiently meet the consumer’s needs and desires.
And at this point, comes another factor: To be able to best provide for your customers and clients; how do you know what levels of quality they desire?
A BPM tool is used to reduce miscommunications and provide management with transparent information. It helps the process of data collection and control. The most important indicators updating in real time brings tremendous benefits in quality management, especially when included in customer satisfaction surveys.
The evolution of the concept of quality control
When talking about quality control, many will immediately think of the PDCA cycle for process improvement, an important tool, widely used today, which deserves all of our attention. But before that, there was a whole evolution in the way we controlled quality. Let’s understand how this concept evolved.
1. It started with quality inspection
During this period, which lasted from just before the start of the last century until the mid-30s, the focus was on the product. They were inspected by direct observation, often with customer participation. They were checked one by one, or randomly, in short, quick processes. They were finding product defects, but there was no concern for quality improvements.
What was quality control inspection during this time?
The search for any defective products.
2. The age of statistical quality control
With increasing industrial production, it became increasingly clear that it was impossible to check all products. The solution, which now seems obvious, was the introduction of statistical systems of control by sampling the products. During this period which lasted until the early 80s, the quality control departments had been created, still too focused on production, they were responsible for locating any defects and only then to think about solutions.
What is quality control in the statistical era?
Find the defects and then think about how to fix them.
3. The time of total quality control
Now the quality has to be controlled and not just measured. The focus is on the process for the client, which should be fully satisfied with quality products and services. Producers should have a preventive mindset and share responsibility for the production and delivery of quality services with the whole company, jointly with suppliers and partners. This approach is much more strategic, focusing on customer satisfaction and the search for new tools, going far beyond statistics to ensure there is quality in the production process.
What is total quality control?
To fully meet the customer’s needs with continuous process improvement.
The 10 commandments of total quality
There are so many aspects that must be taken into account to define what is quality control in a contemporary context, so we decided to use a list of 10 concepts presented by renowned Brazilian author and professor Idalberto Chiavenato to clearly summarize all of its features.
1. Customer Satisfaction
2. Delegation (to get closer to the action and expedite solutions
3. Management (with leadership)
4. Continuous Improvement
5. Development of people
6. Dissemination of information
7. Not accepting mistakes (in the sense of seeking perfection)
8. Constancy of purpose
9. Quality Assurance
10. Management of processes