Profitability Comes When Manufacturers Give Quality For Free
“Quality is free” - rightly said by Phillip Corby, a quality management expert. Quality is an important attribute of any product, something indispensable. Try giving your customers low price, but poor quality or give them large quantities, but not the quality they require. The bitterness of your poor quality will linger on even after the sweetness of your low price or more quantity has vanished completely. The inevitable point here is- Quality is most important. Quality is a part of the product. Quality has to be inbuilt.
But, unfortunately, many businesses overlook quality, or if they do, they do it unsystematically in a hurry, to just adhere to speedy shipments. Reason: they consider quality to be an expense, something that requires money to be put in. What they forget is that poor quality leads to non-conformance, which is one hell expensive thing. Apart from affecting the business as a whole, poor quality can really cost high to their company. It upshots rework, scrap, product failures and recalls which severely damages brand image along with awfully hitting the bottom-line.
However, if manufacturers understand that quality is a measure of the goodness of their product, and that no product can run without goodness, then they will agree that the quality has to be inbuilt. It is non-negotiable. It cannot be charged besides the cost of the product from the consumer. A product cost can include various factors, like: material cost, labours, machines, overheads, distribution, etc., but not the quality. It is actually free. It is meant to be.
Achieving quality products require implementing a 360 degree quality management program that can not only help control quality issues but prevent them too. Assuring manufacturing quality involves three principal functions. So, read on to learn about these principles and the way to implement them.
Principle I: Incorporating Inspection Plans
Conducting quality control tests throughout the supply chain (from procuring raw materials, processing, to shipping finished goods) goes a long way in assuring the product’s quality.
You should launch an internal process for executing frequent and periodic testing of the products at every step throughout the supply chain. Select a suitable quality assurance program that meets your industry standards and measures the product’s physical, chemical, bio-logical properties, etc., to determine its performance. Such a practice ensures an error-proof manufacturing process, with complete, fully traceable data.
Principle II: Assuring Conformance
The best way to meet quality is to prevent manufacturing mistakes from happening and by adhering to good manufacturing practices as well as industry and regulatory standards. And so, to meet the conformance, quality management system should restrict the unapproved materials or the materials which have failed the QC tests from being used in further stages. This, in a way, assures that the required quality tests have been executed at every stage of production and the results meet the specifications.
Moreover, you should create the reports immediately to have better visibility to analyse the failure, identify the root cause, determine quarantine, and more, to ensure quality across the enterprise.
Principle III: Corrective and Preventative Action (CAPA)
Managing CAPA is the cornerstone in assuring quality. CAPA incorporates identifying, addressing, and quickly resolving of the manufacturing quality issues, like- non-conformance, customer complaints, incidents, or discrepancies, before they actually occur or before the product is delivered to the customer.
This assures that all the manufacturing processes are handled effectively with due focus on quality. It even empowers manufacturers to take a quick action to resolve issues and ensure total quality control over the complete manufacturing process.
Already a lot of thinking has been done. Now, it’s time to take steps toward - better quality and delighted customers. It is the responsibility of top management to ensure zero defect production. It is a misconception that error free production is impractical by humans. If top management makes quality a policy and shows no-tolerance towards defects, quality will certainly become the other name of your brand.
And, an ERP can help you achieve this by eliminating error-prone, manual methods of documenting, storing and retrieving quality related information. By integrating all your processes, it enables applying quality checks throughout your products and processes. By controlling and tracking the movement of materials across your supply chain, it ensures incoming and outgoing of the right quality products at the right time. By monitoring and inspecting every batch and production process, it helps identifying the deviations right where it is happening and suggests steps to rectify it. And, it helps keeping non-conformance at bay by helping you adhere to regulatory compliance and industry standards. So, stop looking out for the ways to please the unhappy customers, instead, switch to an ERP, now! And, see your customers being not just happy, but loyal towards your brand. The mantra just lies in believing that – ‘Quality is free’.