Top Tips To Help You Guarantee Product Quality & Satisfy Your Customers
The truth is that many companies regard quality control as a secondary issue, or even knowingly sell products that don’t meet standards. The result is disappointed customers, and that’s what impacts profits in the long run. Any of those unhappy customers could be demanding refunds or sharing their bad experiences with friends, family, and social media contacts. To help you improve the quality standards at your business, here are some helpful tips:
Many problems can originate from inferior quality in your materials. You need to ensure that you are dealing with suppliers who can consistently meet your standards for quality parts or raw goods. If you’re paying top dollar, you have every right to demand top quality. Look for vendors who habitually do their own quality audits using the ISO standards for your industry. Be sure they’ll also honor promises of refunds or replacements for inferior or damaged goods.
Get this in writing and require suppliers to sign off on agreements assuring you of certain standards in material and delivery. Rather than trust in their diligence, periodically or sporadically do the same tests on shipments to ensure those quality standards are continually followed.
Develop Exact Product Specifications
You have to clearly establish and strive for your own internal quality standards. Higher standards mean better quality. Meeting government regulations such as safety issues, non-toxic materials, EPA guidelines, and more may not be enough to build consumer confidence. Instead, try to establish what the norm is for your industry and look to exceed it. You should have specific standards for your team to go by, including exact dimensions, weights, tolerances, and more.
You must create easy-to-follow checklists and procedures to ensure that every product meets standards. This should include known defects to look for. Each unit must satisfy all the functions and capacities promised to your customers.
Inspect Throughout the Process
The earlier in the production process that errors are caught, the less time and money you waste in making a bad product. Brief quality checks should be done at every stage of production or assembly on essential criteria, at least. This begins with assuring you have good materials, but supervisors, operators, and QC teams should be doing checks at every point in your production, such as verifying correct measurements, counts, components, colors, and more. You should have already defined AQLs (acceptable quality levels) for each of these tests.
According to the volume of your production runs, these tests should be completed and documented on every batch, every shift, every hour, every 100 pieces, or whatever works for you team without impacting productivity.
Be in Control of the Manufacturing Process
For some companies, the best solution in maintaining product quality is to outsource production, or to simply sell products of guaranteed quality from an established distributor. This way, someone else is taking all the burden and cost of ensuring that high quality standards are met. You will find that certain companies like ASEA, for example, are known globally for their high standards. The manufacturing processes are 100% owned and operated by ASEA, guaranteeing product quality time and time again.
Redefining or expanding your product lines is one way to sustain profits, raise quality, and lower costs. The alternative is constantly tracking and struggling with you own quality control checks and procedures for every product you make.
If you truly wish to make a commitment to quality in your company, you may want to spend less time checking for defects and assigning blame. Instead, it takes an organizational plan and culture where top quality is a critical goal to be maintained by the most expedient and cost-effective means.