Quality Assurance • Customers and governments want products that will meet the demands of the customers and deliver what they promise. • Very important to understand that quality applies to all products not just expensive ones. Cheap products still have expectations. (More expensive is not always better)
Things that customers use to determine quality of a product. Customers will use these along with price to check value for the money. • Physical appearance and design – does it look good to you? Are there features that another product does not have? • Image and reputation of seller – well known names are expected to be higher quality. (Nokia is considered higher quality than Motorola) • Reliability – How well does the product do what it should? • Durability - How long does the product last? • Fit for purpose – how well does it work with peoples lives • Safety features – Is it safe to use? • Customer Service – How well are you treated while using the service? • After sales services – are warranties offered? Does the company offer help with electronics? • Homework think of two products you have bought and explain what quality reasons you used for your purchase.
Producers measure quality by how well the product meets the design. • Governments will many times demand that businesses need to meet certain standards for their products. • Products that do not meet the standards are considered substandard. • Reasons why quality is important for a business • Increase customer awareness of your company – because of global information any mistake in quality will be known very quickly. • Increased competition– many times quality is the only way for a business to differentiate there products from competitors. • Government legislation – If products do not make the standards set by governments then the product may not be sold in the country. • Increasing consumer incomes – because customers have more money on products they will many times be willing to spend more for higher quality products.
Costs of poor quality • Substandard quality will hurt the reputation of the company • Customers will complain or switch what they buy • It costs time and money to fix production problems • Unsafe products can hurt customers (lawyers) • Break downs cost money • Poor labor productivity costs money • Late deliveries will cause some customers to switch businesses. • It’s expensive if products need to be replaced
Quality management is important to make sure to control costs and also to make sure that the businesses reputation is not negatively affected. • Quality control – is how businesses check to make sure they are using the most effective methods of production to get the highest quality. No business wants any defectswith their products. • Quality assurance – the process of convincing consumers that a business will always maintain their stated quality level. • Workers are extremely important for quality management. Their suggestions will make them feel like the management cares. Also new ideas can be generated easily from outside workers.
Today it is argued that the most important factor when worrying about quality is to make sure that a good system is in place before production starts. (in the old days businesses would try to find problems and solve them) • Keys to quality control, Plan, Do, Check and Act • Many times once a business reaches a certain standard then organizations will make sure that they keep up that standard. (Governments, IBO, McDonalds …) • It is important for businesses to know that in many cases it is important to spend money on quality to make more later.
Lean production is the process of reducing waste for a business to reduce costs. (important to recognize that waste takes many forms) Types of waste • Materials and resources – work space and raw materials need to be used effectively • Time – Delays can cost a business customers and quality can drop if work is rushed • Energy – overheating or air conditioning can waste money • Human effort – It’s important that businesses make sure to not have two people doing one task. Methods of becoming Lean • Waste minimization – using resources effectively as well as removing things from production that do not add value to a product • Right first time- Make sure production is set up to try and have 0 defects in products • Flexibility – making sure to have workers who can do several different tasks will help a company use time and human effort wisely • Continuous improvement – also try and get better quality control • Supply chain management – Make sure to have a good relationship with suppliers .
Total quality culture/TOTAL QUALITY MANAMENT- is about every member of a team being responsible for the quality of its output. • If done effectively then all employees should be motivated to make sure that the business is producing with 0 defects Advantages of total quality culture • Motivation can improve because of empowerment • Waste is reduced or eliminated because of many people watching the quality • Image and reputation can improve because customers know that the business cares about quality • Competitive edge over competition that does not use total quality culture.
Limitations of Total quality management • Market research to learn about customers expectations cost money as well as money spent to put system in line • Training staff is expensive • All members of staff have to care about quality so that every aspect of production is taken care of. • Bureaucracy can become a problem which can slow down production. • Time lag between implementation and results.
Quality assurance and business strategy • Quality is very important for many businesses because it is one of the only ways to stand out when faced with growing competition in the market place. It is important that quality is watched from the initial design of a product up until after sales care. • Flatter work structures can help to motivate staff to care more about the products and services they produce. Managers need to work hard to make workers want to take quality seriously. • Quality assurances are very important for all businesses to achieve a high level of market share. • Costs of not meeting quality standards can be much higher than the actual costs of meeting them.