You may be asking yourself how a quality system can be beneficial to you. Any company will benefit from greater consistency (repeatability) in its processes, identifying potential mistakes before they become an unwanted expense or result in the loss of a customer. A key component of a quality system is the concept of continual improvement. Continual improvement includes a corrective action plan that serves to remedy the current problem and changes the system (if needed) to prevent the mistake from reoccurring. Overall, this will raise the quality of your company’s products or services.
Quality assurance is important for your business to be both reputable and successful. The goal of your quality-assurance initiative is to create written procedures that will ensure full compliance with all contract requirements. Formal, written documentation provides the government and your other customers better assurance that there will be consistency in the process and that, if a mistake is made, the cause can be traced to a specific spot and then corrected. You need to specify the details: who is responsible, for what specific function, at what stage of the process, etc.
Many companies believe that having a quality-assurance program requires too much time to develop, or will be too costly, or both. However, it is relatively simple to develop your very own quality manual that will help guide you to make the best products possible.
Along with quality assurance, Total Quality Management (TQM) is very important. TQM should be present organization-wide, and empower managers and employees to continuously examine and improve every process in the organization. TQM can help everyone to better understand and meet the needs of internal and external customers, while at the same time reducing costs.
There are three main participants in a company’s quality: suppliers, your company and customers. All three should be carefully considered when implementing a quality system.
This is a very small excerpt from the 2006 SEMA Quality Assurance Workbook. SEMA members can receive a complimentary copy of the 2006 SEMA Quality Assurance Workbook as another benefit to being a SEMA member. This and other published reports are available exclusively to SEMA members at www.sema.org/research. The workbook can also be obtained by contacting Shirley at firstname.lastname@example.org.