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Fulfilling quality requirements


Improving quality is one of the biggest factors of total quality management (TQM). When businesses can find ways to meet the customer quality standards and the business quality standards, they are able to save money and reduce waste. To determine if your company is fulfilling quality requirements, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is our product defect ratio?

  • What is wrong with our existing inspection methods?

  • How do workers inspect products or services for quality?

Almost all manufacturing companies have an assembly-line inspection team. Some companies will have this person review the product to make sure it meets quality standards and then put a little tag in the item to let the customer know that the product was checked. The employee's job is to sort the defective products out from the effective ones.

The TQM method does not advocate this type of quality inspection. This is because the actual problem is not addressed. What is causing the defect to occur? Most of the defective products are recycled, but they will start to break down over time if you don't do something about whatever is causing the problem to occur in the first place. This entire process is simply seen as an expensive waste that your company does not need.

Another example of quality inspections is when employees spend time collecting data and compiling it into a report only to be told that they report must be re-done because it does not satisfy the quality needs of the manager. Mangers need to provide clear instructions for quality before the employees start filling out the reports in order to eliminate wasted time and money.

Sorting is not an effective approach to quality. Sorting actually creates an environment that is controlled by waste because you are accepting failure. Instead of sorting, use the information you collect to prevent the problems from happening again.

Manufacturing companies should start having multiple inspection phases of the same product to see the difference in the product throughout the different steps. This will help you identify which step in the process is casing the defects to occur.

The inspections are used to determine the quality of the problem and then employees will be in charge of finding ways to fix the problem. It is important to implement this as soon as you see a defect occur so you don't waste too much time and money.

Communication is one of the best ways to reduce defects within a company. Quite often businesses are focused on improving their bottom line that they don't spend time properly nurturing the relationships they have with their employees. Miscommunication can cause a ton of problems within a company, especially when you are dealing with quality control. Clearly explain projects and monitor your employee's progress to make sure the employees are understanding what you need to have done. This will eliminate wasted time for your employees because they do not need to worry about going back and forth to ask for help and they do not need to re-do the project when they are finished.

The same method works when you are trying to fulfill customer quality requirements. Start producing a product and then have a handful of diverse customers come in to test it. They can inspect the product to determine if it satisfies their quality needs.

Lastly, have your employees inspect products from different operations. If they are normally assigned to clothing, put them on durable goods for a day. Changing employees around will help your business closely monitor the quality of your work. This also can help you find the employees that may be causing waste because they will continue to have the same problems in the new department.

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