iSixSigma

Quality Assurance

Definition of Quality Assurance:

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A company lives and dies by its ability to deliver a good product or service as well as being able to maintain its reputation for doing so. Being able to deliver on quality assurance is a cornerstone of any successful business.

Overview: What is quality assurance?

Quality assurance can be defined as a systematic process that is utilized in order to determine if a process or service meets quality standard requirements.

3 benefits of quality assurance

There are major benefits to having a standardized quality assurance process for your business:

1. Customer satisfaction

A quality assurance program assists a company in being able to provide products or services that meet the requirements and expectations of customers.

2. Trust and loyalty

Implementing quality assurance helps a company create high-quality goods and services that build customer trust and loyalty.

3. Catching defects

Having set standards and procedures that are defined by a quality assurance program helps in catching defects before they become an issue.

Why is quality assurance important to understand?

There are several reasons why it is important for your business to understand quality assurance:

1. It is often a requirement.

Having set quality assurance protocols is more often than not a requirement in most businesses.

2. Cost reduction

Having a solid understanding of quality assurance can lead to cost reduction over time for your company.

3. It requires a significant amount of resources

One reason why understanding quality assurance is important is that it is worth doing it right. It requires a sizable investment in both processes and people. Not knowing what you are doing could be costly.

An industry example of quality assurance

A manufacturer making automotive parts uses a high-frequency data collector in order to check for anomalies in the machinery being used to make the parts. Keeping the machinery running smoothly keeps production up as well as minimizes the number of scrap parts. This monitoring is an example of utilizing a predictive maintenance technique as a type of quality assurance.

3 best practices when thinking about quality assurance

Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about quality assurance:

1. Have an understanding of the three kinds of quality assurance

These are failure testing, statistical process control, and total quality management. With failure testing, you test a product over and over to see if it breaks or fails. When you use statistical process control, you employ statistical methods in order to manage and control the quality of production. Total quality management quantitative methods toward a policy of continuous improvement.

2. The difference between QA and QC

Quality assurance and quality control are often confused. An easy way to remember the difference is that QA refers to the overall guidelines that are used anywhere while QC is used as a production-focused process.

3. The difference between testing and QA

QA is also often confused with testing. QA is focused on processes and procedures. Testing is concerned with using a product to find defects. With QA, you define standards to ensure a product meets requirements. With testing, you validate the functionality of the product.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about quality assurance

1. What are some ways to improve the efficiency of QA in a business?

  • Automation of tasks
  • Being proactive in supplying necessary information
  • Communicate effectively
  • Review and audit all processes
  • Improve troubleshooting
  • Outsourcing

2. When should QA begin?

QA planning should begin very early in product development.

3. Are there any disadvantages to quality assurance?

The most obvious examples of disadvantages in providing quality assurance measures would be that it is time-consuming and the costs are high initially.

Quality assurance is a must

While the initial set-up costs are high and it is a time-consuming process, if you take your business seriously, you are going to want to have a quality assurance program in place.

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