Quality Control for Dummies by Larry Webber, Michael Wallace

By Larry Webber, Michael Wallace

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Chapter 3 Using Quality Assurance for the Best Results In This Chapter ᮣ Understanding the meaning of “quality assurance” ᮣ Managing suppliers for your benefit and theirs ᮣ Evaluating the steps of any process ᮣ Coming up with clear specifications I n the 1980s, companies around the world discovered that if they wanted to compete in the marketplace, they had to dramatically improve quality while reducing costs. Companies who survived accomplished this by shifting how they managed their quality processes.

To meet the goal of the quality assurance process, a company has to look not only at the product or service that’s the output of its production process, but also at activities such as design, development, production, installation, service after the sale, and documentation. 34 Part I: Understanding the Basics of Quality Control In other words, quality assurance is more than just checking to see that the product or service meets the customers’ expectations; you also have to look at the process involved in creating the product or service to see if you’re capable of producing a quality product or service each and every time.

For most people, quality is associated with the idea of a product or service that’s well done, looks good, and does its job well. We think of a quality product as one that lasts, holds up well under use, and doesn’t require constant repair. A quality product or service should meet a high standard in many areas, such as form, features, fit and finish, reliability, and usability. Most people use the word quality to mean “having a high degree of excellence,” but like beauty, quality is in the eye of the beholder.

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