No matter what industry you are in, you need to be concerned about quality control, both for customer satisfaction purposes and for cost control. Errors and mistakes can cost your organization in terms of rework, customer refunds and chargebacks, schedule delays, reputation loss and more. Quality control ensures products and services are delivered effectively and consistently at all times. Here are some tips on how to integrate quality control into each level of your organization.
One basic, fundamental quality control measure every business should take is to thoroughly document all of its operational work processes, even those supposedly routine, mundane tasks like ordering office supplies.
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Take the time to carefully document each operational process step-by-step, and store these records in a central location accessible to all management staff members. This ensures continuity of operations, even if a key employee suddenly quits or otherwise becomes unable to perform his or her duties. This also makes sure tasks will be performed in a standardized and repeatable way.
Consider learning about the “Lean Six Sigma” quality assurance methodology, which emphasizes efficiency and waste reduction in the production process, to improve your entire production system from top to bottom.
Even if your Human Resources (HR) department consists of one person, the department should operate under a standard set of procedures that is documented, both for quality assurance and legal compliance purposes. Your business needs a repeatable and fair recruitment, hiring and onboarding process which provide equal opportunity for all applicants and employees.
Shipping and Order Fulfillment
If you are concerned about defects in your shipping and order fulfillment processes, consider outsourcing these functions to a reputable shipping and order fulfillment company. According to a logistician from Meyers Transport Ltd, outsourcing to a fulfillment provider typically saves a company money while improving shipping quality. In addition to reducing quality control issues, outsourcing shipping and order fulfillment automates these functions, allowing you to travel for business or focus on other more strategic business management activities.
Every business must maintain standardized financial statements like balance sheets and income statements. Be sure your finances are tracked and reported in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). If you are not savvy with numbers, outsource this work to a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to avoid government fines and audits.
As these tips demonstrate, it is possible to integrate quality control mechanisms into any and every level of your business. Your company will reap financial benefits by focusing on quality, systematization and elimination of defects.
Author: Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on small business and education.