“In the end, quality is the best business plan.” With this mindset, W. Edwards Deming, father of the Total Quality Management (TQM)
movement, helped lead Japan’s economic recovery after WWII.
Quality-driven business models still prove successful today through companies like Toyota and Apple. They’ve shown how a focus on quality positively impacts customer satisfaction, customer retention, revenue and all aspects of a company’s operations. Achieving these benefits, however, requires an investment in quality management.
What is quality management
Quality management involves overseeing your organization’s activities to ensure that your product or service, as well as the means used to provide it, consistently meets expectations. It involves your whole team throughout all processes.
Ensuring consistent quality is not easy, though. It requires ongoing training, organization-wide commitment, transparency, accountability and data analysis – often across multiple locations and departments. This takes time, money and a great deal of resources.
The return on investment (ROI) in quality management, however, is well worth the cost. To explain, we’ll discuss:
- The benefits of a successful quality management strategy.
- How you can improve your quality management strategy.
- Plan: Identify an opportunity and plan for a change.
- Do: Implement the change on a small scale.
- Check: Use data to analyze the results of the change and determine whether it made a difference.
- Act: If the change was successful, implement it on a wider scale and continuously assess your results. If the change did not work, begin the cycle again.
method also emphasizes continuous improvement with the philosophy that a process is never finished. This is because new business problems and technologies are constantly being introduced.When it comes to quality management, there’s never any time for complacency, which is a good thing for your customers.
Effective quality management will also improve the safety of your team and customers as a result of several necessary implementations.
For one, ensuring quality involves performing more frequent inspections to catch and resolve issues that may affect your product. This includes equipment, materials and safety hazards. All of these items have the potential to harm your workers or customers, which is why frequent inspections and quick resolution will improve safety.
Also, since data analysis is an essential part of quality assurance, you’ll gain key safety insights that will help you evaluate the conditions at your workplace and how to improve them.
When health and safety are not prioritized, however, quality suffers. Financial consequences from violations and lawsuits, downtime from injury, and a lack of trust from your team will all impact your performance and output.
Greater Customer Satisfaction
A direct result of a quality-first mindset is greater customer satisfaction. They may not be aware of how you optimize processes, measure KPIs or act on data, but customers see the results of your team’s efforts: a quality product or service.
On the other hand, when the focus is on cutting costs and short-term profits, a company’s reputation can take a nosedive, resulting in devastating financial losses. For example, a major factor that led to GM’s bankruptcy in 2009 was its lack of investment in product development and quality control (QC).
The unreliability of their vehicles damaged their reputation, causing a decline in sales that ultimately led to their downfall. What helped turn things around for GM afterwards? An overhaul of its QC processes.
A successful quality management plan will make sure that products and services comply with standards and regulations. This is because maintaining quality requires enhanced record-keeping, inspection processes and issue resolution.
Companies that invest time and resources in quality management will not be caught off guard by random inspections from governing agencies. They’ll have processes in place to detect, communicate and resolve issues before they become a problem, along with organized, accessible records to demonstrate compliance at any time.
For some practical tips, learn how to ensure OSHA compliance with technology
How to Strengthen Your Quality Management
Try It Free
Quality management involves strengthening communication, data collection, reporting, data analysis and record-keeping. This is where a comprehensive software solution can prove invaluable.
lets you build custom mobile forms for rich data collection, enabling anyone on your team to identify, document and report quality issues from the field. You can also automate your workflow
to ensure faster issue resolution and communication.
FastField transforms your data into meaningful insights, as well. Set quality-specific KPIs (e.g., defect rate, cycle time, on-time delivery) to monitor at a glance on your customizable dashboard. This will make it easier for you to frequently assess your team’s performance and the success of your quality management system.
All of your data and records are securely stored in FastField’s cloud database for easy access and management.See how FastField can help you increase your ROI in quality management.