Quality control is a must for any business that harbors ambitions for success. A good vision, marketing plan and high volume output are all rendered moot without a system in place that ensures consistent quality. If the consumer is regularly disappointed, then you are back to square one. There are several quality control strategies from which to choose, depending on the nature of your business and employees.
While you don't necessarily want to embrace change for the sake of change, you also don't want to settle for something that can be improved. This is why common sense is perhaps one of the most important elements of continuous improvement. Consistently analyze every facet of production to see where improvements can be made. Encourage employee feedback. Since you can't be there for each and every step of production, employees are in a great position to inform you of what does or doesn't work.
Training your workforce is an ongoing, fluid process. In addition to giving them the tools to do the job right the first time, you should also have regular training classes to either reinforce their skills or impart new knowledge. The ones on the front line are the ones affecting your bottom line, so it is smart to regularly ensure that they are doing their job up to standard. Smart delegation is important with this strategy; having the right management team in place is essential.
Mistake-proofing is a good strategy for high-volume companies. The more fast paced and prolific your company, the more prone your production process becomes to human error. By mistake-proofing elements of manufacturing, you not only ensure high-volume output, but you also virtually guarantee that your product will be 100 percent up to standard. For example, if your factory makes hard candy, have preset molds so that all will be the same size.
While you have presumably set high standards for your company's product, it never hurts to listen to what your customers have to say. Ultimately, their point of view is what matters, regardless of your good intentions. Conduct regular surveys, and offer incentives for completing them. For example, if you are an auto dealer, offer a small reward voucher for cash back at the time of purchase, if a customer completes a satisfaction survey.
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.