The Importance of Quality Assurance

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Quality assurance is a process used to learn if your product or service is up to standards, and whether you are giving customers the kind of product or service that will keep them returning. The idea is to deliver a product or service that consistently keeps up a high quality. It’s a proactive approach where defects are detected before a product or service goes public. This is vital to customer satisfaction. When customers are happy, your company is in a much better position to do well.

How Quality Assurance Works

Quality assurance is a system intended to demonstrate to company leadership and to the public that a product or service is up to standards of quality, often set by industry or regulators. It is sometimes called quality control, although quality control has more to do with the product after it’s made. Quality control became commonplace in manufacturing in the 1920s as a way to define and control the quality of products. In the 1950s, quality assurance became important in public health and public safety.

Today, quality assurance measures the standards that go into a product or service before it goes out to the public. Quality assurance uses auditors, sometimes independent and sometimes in-house, to evaluate the methods that go into making products and providing services. When a company has a good quality assurance team, that lets corporate management, customers, regulators and government officials know that a product or service meets quality requirements.

Why Companies Use Quality Assurance

Quality assurance should never be overlooked in order to finish a job in a hurry. The process lets you know if you are using your resources the way you should. You don't want to cut corners with any part of your product’s quality. Cutting corners could result in lost client faith, shrinking profit margins and eventually, your company’s ability to attract talented employees. Good quality assurance procedures allow both company owners and employees to take pride in their work.

Benefits to Quality Assurance

Quality assurance helps a company meet its clients’ demands and expectations. High quality builds trust with your customers, which, in turn, makes you competitive in the market. It saves costs and fixes issues before problems become larger, and it helps to set and maintain quality standards by preventing problems to begin with. Investing in quality assurance is indispensable in many industries today. It is most effective when it’s in place from the start. When quality assurance is done right, it provides confidence, tests the product and lets companies market their products with few worries.

Reduces Cost and Waste

Having quality assurance in place is especially helpful to small businesses. It allows them to reduce extra costs that come with retesting, replacing and reselling faulty goods. When customers aren’t satisfied with a company’s products, the backlash can damage the company’s reputation, and negatively affect future products and even the entire company. Quality assurance might also save a company money in legal expenses, especially if its product isn’t up to industry standards.

Creating and Managing a Team

If you choose a specific employee to do quality assurance, look for someone with the ability to handle repetitive tasks, be perfection-driven and willing to look deep into the root of an issue. The effort should be well-organized, with requirements for each case specified clearly. Track progress regularly and provide the tools needed to do the job well.

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About the Author

Karen Gardner is a former features editor and reporter, and is now a freelance writer in Maryland. She enjoys writing about small businesses and discovering the entrepreneurial spirit that helps them succeed.