Quality assurance is basically a process that was formulated to assess if the products or services manufactured or sold satisfy, exceed or fall below the expectations of the customers. It is a step wise approach and broken up into processes (Stevenson, 2006). The steps include the design of the product, its development process, manufacture of product and sale and subsequent services rendered to the customer.
The Shewhart Cycle, developed by Dr Deming is by far the most popular way to measure quality assurance. There are four steps in the cycle, popularly known as the PDCA Cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act). In the first step, Plan, the objectives are determined for quality assurance to be met. The processes required to achieve quality assurance are also met. In the Do stage, the process is implemented (Evans, 2004). The Check stage evaluates the results and the processes and then proper testing is done against the objectives. The final stage is the Act stage in which the strategies of quality are implemented and the results are evaluated in this stage (Reid & Sanders, 2007). These measures can be treated as quality control. However, there are certain other measures through which a proper plan can be created.
Therefore, in order to create a quality control plan the organization has to reorganize its vision and set viable objectives for the business. The later decisions and process are very much dependent on initial understanding and set of guidelines which are to be adhered too to ensure that quality is assured in the company’s products / services and procedures.
Evaluation of scrap rate, percentage of defective rate, percentage of errors, time required to correct a problem etc are considered to be an important aspect in developing a quality assurance process. The need for these measures are huge because a quality assurance program can easily be developed and effectively implemented through these measures. These measures are of utmost importance because in the phase of product development the product is not delivered to the client until proper quality measures are taken. That’s why operations managers follow the principles of quality management to attain efficiency and effectively.
Internal and external evaluation measures
Internal and external evaluation measures are of utmost importance to the organizations. Both of them ensures that an organization is running on a right track and the final product fulfills all the quality requirements.
Internal evaluation measures
Internal quality measures should be developed inside the organization and all the internal stake holders should follow the quality measures developed by the organization. Employees should check and then deliver the product and they must add value at every point. By continuous checking and improvement the final product can be improved and the customer can be satisfied through quality checks.
External evaluation measures
External evaluation measures include all the external stakeholders like suppliers, retailers and distributors. These external stakeholders take essential steps that are important to ensure quality and for this reason they add value at every step and check the product at every step. Moreover, they can hire some quality experts to ensure the quality measures that are set by the management, main issue is not setting the quality standards but it’s all about ensuring it in the end. The evaluation has to be more appropriate in terms of the quality standards set and for this reasons the external evaluation measures are stricter and neutral in terms of it check and balance.
There are many organizations in the world that have been seen the prosperity and greater heights due to these quality standards and other quality techniques, these measures are the stepping stone for the organization to reach to greater heights. Dell computers is amongst these organizations who have been the success stories because of these quality measures, the measures that are taken by dell computers are certainly a benchmark for the new companies and the existing ones as well so as to achieve success in this competitive business environment. I have chosen dell computers because of its success story, with all its measures Dell was able to give a real tough time to giants of its industry like IBM and others and in a span of few years because of all the measures that they took. Total quality management was at the heart of dell’s success, ensuring quality at every level enables the company to cut their costs thus enabling them to compete more efficiently, quality checks at every level enables them to customized their products according to their customers need. Dell believes that its customers are the ultimate boss and to ensure customer satisfaction at every level constant checks are really important and as Dell purchase most its components from outside suppliers thus they have to ensure quality, and for this they have established very strict and accurate measures of ensuring quality at level in their production cycle. Quality assurance is one of the underlying factors behind Dell being one of the giants in the computer industry.
Evans, J. (2004). Total Quality: Management, Organization and Strategy. South-Western College Pub.
Reid, R., & Sanders, N. (2007). Operations Management: An Integrated Approach. Wiley.
Stevenson, W. (2006). Operations Management. McGraw-Hill/Irwin.