How to Establish Quality Control Standards

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Implementing a quality control program has numerous benefits for your business. By setting a high standard to work toward, you raise your chances of producing a perfect product and thus increasing customer satisfaction. Specific guidelines must be set and followed. A vague goal of merely doing well and trying your best will get you only so far. Having a clear, well-defined set of standards from the beginning is essential.

Establish specifically what you want to produce. This goes beyond the vague hyperbole of a mission statement. Pore over every detail and clearly define what you want to supply to your customer. Before you can map out an action plan, you need to define standards for every facet of production.

Define each person's responsibility. This includes not only those on the production level but supervisors as well. It's not enough for them to have a general idea of quality goals; specifics need to be mapped out and taught. Everyone needs to be working together, because teamwork is a key ingredient to forming a quality product.

Train all workers completely and effectively. Laying out objectives is important, but it is ultimately useless if workers do not know how to execute them. It will serve you well not to cut corners on time or money at this stage, because inefficiency and poor production can cost more in the long run.

Maintain your overall focus and keep your eye on the big picture. Details are important, but it can become all too easy to get bogged down in statistical analysis of every aspect of production. Commitment to attention to detail is there to serve you, not the other way around.

Observe the competition. Keep an eye on what your successful competitors are doing and measure your progress against theirs. This is known as benchmarking. Note, however, that you should ultimately follow your own standards and convictions.

Communicate with your suppliers. Take things a step further by ensuring that those who supply you with your components are also held to high standards of quality.

Use feedback to your advantage. By acting on customer and employee feedback, not only can you correct the errors in production, but your staff can let you know what does and doesn't work. This will allow you to work together and increase quality.

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About the Author

Dave Stanley has covered sports, music and hard news since 2000. He has been published on CBSSports.com and various other websites. Stanley is also a feature writer for "WhatsUp!" magazine in Bellingham, Wash. He studied journalism at the University of Memphis.

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