Sunday, June 25, 2017
Tags Posts tagged with "quality assurance"

quality assurance

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    Quality

    Have you ever stood staring at a range of products in a supermarket trying to make up your mind which one to buy?  They all look quite similar, but one stands out and you buy it.  Why?  It’s got a sign on the shelf and a logo on the product to tell you that it’s won an award for quality.

    So you’ve just based your purchase on Quality – Your customers are making the same decision every day!

    Quality is more than just finished product, it’s the processes, systems and people that are behind the product.   Quality is everybody’s responsibility.

    Quality is the pursuit of excellence, striving to be the best we can and getting ahead of our competitors.  It is meeting the needs and expectations of all stakeholders – our customers, our suppliers, our staff and the community at large.

    How can we ensure that we are exploiting all avenues to be the very best?  A recognized standard such as ISO 9001 certification promotes the use of quality tools in business.   The ASQ (American society for quality) estimates that for every €1 spent on a quality management system, such as ISO 9001, returns €6 in revenue, €16 in cost reduction and €3 in profit – that’s €25 for every €1 spent!

    93% of organisations agree that the implementation of a quality management system such as ISO9001 was a significant driver of success and most would agree that without it they could not justify their pricing to customers.

    If you are looking at ways to improve your ROI by improving your quality then consider ISO certification.   Using an expert to help you implement a quality management system will ensure ISO 9001:2015 accreditation which will in turn help you make significant improvements and lead to significant growth.

     

    This post has been a guest posting from Joann O’Brian over at our friends at CG Business Consulting Ireland .

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      ISO Implementation Process

      Preparing for an ISO implementation process of any ISO standard can be overwhelming and frightening for many. How an organization prepares for implementation will depend on factors such as size and complexity of its processes, the current knowledge and culture related to the standard (quality, environmental, safety, etc), the maturity of any other existing systems related to the standard wishing to implement, and many others. Despite the differences there may be between organizations, there are a few tips that will facilitate the implementation process of any management system, these are:

      Know the standard.

      It is essential that some personnel knows the management system’s requirements. Everyone does not need to be an expert on the requirements of the specific standard that will be implemented, but key workers need to fully know and understand all of the requirements of the standard.

      Inform everyone what is going on.

      The implementation process is not a task of just a few chosen ones. Everyone needs to be involved in this process. Every worker needs to know what is being implemented, why is it being implemented, which are the benefits for the organization and for themselves, and how they will be involved in the process. When people are informed, they will be more open and willing to collaborate in the implementation.

      Analyze the organization’s current situation.

      Before starting to implement any ISO management system, an organization needs to know its level of compliance with the standard. This will allow the organization to understand beforehand its strengths and weaknesses regarding the ISO management system wishing to implement and estimate the time needed for implementation.

      Map your processes.

      Establish and record current processes in order to know the relationships between departments and how the processes flow within the organization. This will allow organizations to plan their implementation by processes and not just by areas and departments.

      Review existing procedures and work instructions.

      Many processes need written and documented information that will guarantee that activities are carried out in the correct manner. Organizations need to review which processes are documented and how many work instructions there are. It is not the same to develop a few documents and just review work instructions than to develop them from scratch. Organizations need to have an idea of how much time they will have to invest in developing and reviewing documents.

      Review current training programs.

      Evaluate existing training and awareness programs. Training and awareness are an important part in the implementation process and if an organization has not considered training its workers, it would be best to redefine these programs to make sure that a large percentage of workers are trained and informed about policies, procedures, regulations, etc that will be a part of their daily activities.

      These are some recommendations that will help organizations prepare for the implementation process of any ISO management system. The most important aspect to keep in mind is to make sure that the whole organization is working for the same objectives and pulling in the same direction.

       

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        1. Commit to improvement.

        For any QMS to improve, it is essential that everyone is committed to seeking problems, evaluating efficiency and effectiveness of processes and implementing better and improved ideas. Management should be the first to make this commitment and if management “walks the talk” then everyone will follow.

        1. Analyse and assess current QMS.

        Organizations need to take a closer look at their current practices in order to identify any gaps between what is being done and what should be done. This can be achieved by interviewing workers in critical control points, reviewing procedures and records and observing how processes are occurring. Any steps that are not adding value to the process, the system or the organization must be identified, removed or improved.

        1. Include everyone in training programs.

        A QMS is not the responsibility of one person or one department. Everyone must be involved in improving the quality of products, services and processes.

        Organizations should establish a training program for new employees and existing ones.  These programs should promote knowledge, produce skills and capacities and reduce resistance when implementing new ideas for improvement.

        1. Define clear goals and objectives and make sure everyone knows them.

        QMS should aim at achieving specific goals. If a clear path is not drawn, there’s a risk that people will be working real hard but in different directions. Time should be spent in assuring everyone knows these goals, how they’ll be achieved, how they’re measured and periodically they should be informed of where the organization is standing in relation to these goals.

        1. Make sure the right key performance indicators (KPI) are being used.

        Organizations need to carefully select and review their KPI. These should let an organization know how efficient and effective processes are and indicate where possible problems could be. If they are not giving a real overall picture of where the organization is at regarding quality, then another look should be taken to change or improve what and how performance is being measured.

        1. Listen to the suggestions of employees and customers.

        Create a system that will promote workers and customers to share improvement ideas. Many great improvement ideas come directly from the people processing a product or the people that actually use it.

        1. Give people credit.

        To encourage participation throughout the organization, motivate workers by recognizing their work and their ideas. Compensation or recognition should not necessarily be monetary, a simple public recognition in working meetings to can have great effects in lifting workers morale.

        1. Make the system simple.

        A QMS that is extremely complex and overloaded with documents is not necessarily the best one. If documents and procedures are long and complicated, it is very likely that people will never use them. Evaluate the system and make sure that it makes sense and that it’s as simple as possible.

        1. Create quality groups.

        In many organizations workers from different departments or areas are reluctant with sharing information. By bringing together people from different areas to evaluate processes and recommend improvements, an open and more effective communication can be achieved between areas that operationally seem to be apart.

        1. Have a quality attitude.

        In order to reach the goals that have been set, organizations need to identify and detect problems and weaknesses but they must focus on improvements. If managers are constantly focusing on failures and defects and not on how to remove or improve them, the right attitude and mindset for quality will never be achieved.

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          Quality Control and Quality Assurance
          Quality Control and Quality Assurance are both players of the same team and it is not possible to guarantee customer satisfaction if either one is missing.

          Quality Control and Quality Assurance are both aspects of an organization’s quality management system (QMS), and even though they are closely related concepts, they are different in many ways. Understanding their differences is fundamental for any organization to effectively manage its resources and processes in order to deliver quality products and services.

          To start, one of their main differences is that Quality Assurance is a prevention strategy oriented to prevent defects and Quality Control is a detection strategy oriented to detect defects. Here, an explanation of some of their differences is presented.

          Focus of Quality Control and Quality Assurance:

          • Quality Assurance aims to prevent defects with a focus on the process that produces the product or service; thus it is process oriented.
          • Quality Control aims to detect (and correct) defects in the finished product, which makes it product oriented.

          Goal of Quality Control and Quality Assurance:

          • The goal of Quality Assurance is to develop processes and procedures that will ensure that quality products and services are produced.
          • The goal of Quality Control is to check the products and services for defects that may have arisen during their development in order to deliver defect-free products or services to customers.

          How Quality Control and Quality Assurance are Conducted:

          • Quality Assurance is conducted by establishing and defining standards and methodologies that must be followed during a process to ensure products and services meet customer requirements.
          • Quality Control is carried out by conducting tests and inspections to detect errors and flaws in products or services.

          When Quality Control and Quality Assurance are Conducted:

          • Quality Assurance is a proactive process that takes place before the product or service is produced or delivered.
          • Quality Control is a reactive process that is performed during the manufacturing process and after the products are produced.

          Despite their differences, Quality Assurance and Quality Control are both players of the same team and it is not possible to guarantee customer satisfaction if either one is missing. Achieving success requires both; if only Quality Assurance is applied, there will be no way of knowing if the procedures and processes are producing the expected outcomes. On the other hand, if only Quality Control is conducted an organization will not have a way of making repeatable and reliable results.

          Quality is ensured by an organization performing the right tasks in the right way and by making sure that their efforts have produced the expected results. Quality Assurance and Quality Control complement each other and both these processes provide the necessary information for the continuous improvement of a QMS that meets the requirements of an organization’s customers.