Quality control manager isn’t always a fun job, but it’s an important one that demands diligence, responsibility and knowledge. People in this position are responsible for overseeing quality control procedures and personnel, so they are often held accountable when defects slip through and impact customers or clients.
Overview: What is a quality control manager (QCM)?
There are common expectations of quality control managers in any industry, but the real requirements and qualifications vary depending on each company. Assessing the quality of manufactured products relies on completely different metrics than evaluating professional service providers or entertainment. Ultimately, the QCM helps develop and implement quality control measures and delegate responsibilities to other personnel.
4 benefits of a quality control manager
There comes a point in a company’s development where it needs to take a relatively big step forward by creating some new positions within the management hierarchy. It’s not always easy to cut away at other job titles or make room for new people, but eventually it’s necessary.
1. Scaling your savings
Like any employee, quality control managers are expected to add value to an organization that exceeds the cost of their salary. One of the primary goals for this position is to discover scalable ways to reduce population defect rate across the board to achieve permanent efficiencies.
2. Consistency and organization
Quality control is all about consistency. Unfortunately, this is exactly what’s lacking when there’s no QCM to lead the team. Setting a separate hierarchy and responsibility for this position gives them the power to organize their efforts in a sensible way.
3. Give quality control a voice
Establishing a quality control manager as part of your leadership team gives these issues a much louder voice, which means they get more attention. Improving quality increases overall profitability and influences both customer relations and internal cultural development.
4. Ongoing development
Rather than relying on temporary and seasonal quality initiatives or new programs, a QCM can further the ongoing development of innovations and changes.
Why are quality control managers important to understand?
This position is important to understand because it is often ill-defined in both theory and practice. That’s why the exact job description and expectations need to be well-established by employers.
1. The responsible party
One of the hardest parts of quality control management is taking the blame. QCMs and their team members should have definite and reasonable responsibilities regarding quality control so that there’s no debate over accountability.
2. Competency in context
So, who quality checks the quality checkers? It can be difficult to tell if poor defect rates are due to incompetence in QC personnel or recurring problems in the manufacturing process. Even quality departments are held to standards in regards to their activities and results.
3. Balancing quality goals
Leaders and QCMs need to communicate about company goals regarding defect rate and overall quality. Ultimately, the goal is to balance the benefit of investing in this area with the cost. Everyone needs to be on the same page regarding big picture budget priorities.
An industry example of a QCM
A sports vehicle manufacturer produces a variety of items, like jet skis and snowmobiles, in one of their factory locations. The company has grown from a single-owner startup to a mid-sized company producing hundreds of machines each day. While the owner used to inspect each vehicle produced personally during startup, it’s no longer feasible to continue this practice.
The company decides to hire a quality control manager internally as a promotion for a current employee. This person has two employees of their own and their newly created department is responsible for all quality control measures with annual targets set by the owners. The newly-appointed QCM and their team now tests each vehicle individually and routinely examines individual parts as they move through the assembly line to check for potential problems.
3 best practices when thinking about quality control managers
If business leaders select strong candidates and present clear expectations, there are a lot of good ways to use a quality control manager.
1. Look for experience and initiative
When choosing a candidate for the position, it’s best to have someone with a mixture of training, industry experience and professional initiative. QCM is a job that demands personal commitment as well as investigative skills and intimate knowledge of technical details.
2. Include them in decisions
If possible, the QCM should be in a leadership position that can inform other decision makers within the company. Leverage their expertise and observations from the factory floor to guide new policies.
3. Pick your priorities
Don’t drive your quality control team crazy over every little detail. Pick one or two priority problems at a time and set realistic goals. Tasks need to be achievable with goalposts along the way.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about quality control managers
1. What qualifications do I need to be a QCM?
Depending on the position, candidates are usually expected to have years of industry experience and some experience with quality control. A lengthy on-boarding process is best to ensure new hires fully understand company operations.
2. What are the different types of quality control?
There are several different types of quality control strategies, including Six Sigma, x-bar charts and the Taguchi Method. Programs should be chosen and tailored based on the situation and objectives.
3. What are examples of quality control?
Sample inspections are one of the most common types of quality control. This strategy involves the random selection of units from production lots for testing. These tests reveal any deviancy from the expected quality standard.
Sticking to a standard
The position of quality control manager should ultimately add value to the organization. It’s not always easy to quantify and calculate this contribution, which is why leaders need to work with their team to set ambitious, yet realistic, quality goals.