Production companies must have some sort of quality-control program, which ensures production meets minimum criteria for quality. A quality-control program also allows for accountability and troubleshooting if something that doesn't meet criteria standards slips through the quality-control process.
Establish your criteria for quality. For instance, if your product is blue jeans, you'll have to examine the dye color and consistency, stitching, pockets, seams, buttons, zipper, belt loops and hems. Defining quality means assigning visible, measurable values to a pair of jeans, such as making sure the zipper slides firmly and cleanly and that it zips all the way to the top of the zipper. Criteria for hems might include the stitch matching a certain pattern and that it feels solid and secure; color criteria might include color-matching a color swatch. Any product that doesn't meet your criteria for quality "fails" and gets pulled from the product line.
Design a master quality-control log, which will help you maintain a written record of the number of items entering the production process, how many items successfully passed inspection, how many failed inspection, and the supervisor’s signature indicating that she takes responsibility for the accuracy of the log. The log also provides a record of manufacturing efficiency: If too many items don't meet quality-control standards, you can go back to the manufacturing team and use the log to help identify the problem.
Establish individual criterion-inspection points along the assembly line. You should assign an employee or a group of employees to examine each criterion. When the product comes through on the assembly line, the employee or group of employees will review one particular aspect of the product to ensure quality.
Decide who will supervise each inspection point. This will sign his approval on the log that the products coming through met or did not meet quality-control standards.
Establish positive incentives: Such incentives help create a quality mindset and keep your employees excited about quality control. Set up rewards for employees who identify the most mistakes; rewards could include a two-hour lunch, for example, or permission to leave an hour early on a Friday.
Establish a final quality-control checkpoint. This final checkpoint ensures all aspects of a product have been examined and that they all meet quality standards. The general supervisor signs her approval on the final checkpoint; she'll also sign off on the master quality-control log.
Randal Thomas has been completing woodworking, gardening and DIY projects for over a quarter-century. A writer of career-related articles since 2003, Thomas received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Missouri. He has over 10 years in printing and publishing and is currently working on several independent writing projects.