Quality assurance in its broadest form can be defined as the set of actions that companies take in order to deliver goods and services to consumers with the expected level of quality.
Applying a quality assurance system generates confidence and security to companies that their products will meet the appropriate quality conditions expected. Consequently, for that purpose the quality standards apply under a system that allows the organization, direction and control within the entire process that takes place.
It can also be said that quality assurance is an audit that verifies that quality standards are met, that is, it is controlled that all the minimum requirements expected in the product are met .
Then, for companies to comply with quality assurance, it is necessary that they follow a line of actions that are previously planned, systematized and finally implemented as a set of standards that the company has to follow.
However, quality assurance requires that all processes be documented; both the planning, the determination of tasks and responsibilities, the recording of the results and all the inspection mechanisms that are applied internally of each company.
How the quality assurance came about
In reality, quality assurance initially emerged as an important element in the production operations of companies, during the 20s.
Since, Walter Shewhart is considered as the initiators of this system who was one of the first to draw up control charts. Similarly to Harold Dodge who developed sampling techniques and George Edwards with his contribution of economic analysis techniques to solve problems.
So, these three characters formulated new inspection methods and theories focused on maintaining and making quality improvements, they did this when they were transferred from the inspection department of the Western Electric company to Bell Telephone Laborotories; These contributions are considered the basis of what is known as quality assurance.
What quality assurance applies to
Quality assurance is applied to achieve continuous improvement and with it the following benefits are obtained:
- Avoid waste and reduce costs
On the one hand, preventing waste from occurring is achieved because the insurance system allows the company’s productivity to improve, because it allows it to better focus on achieving the objectives and what customers expect about the quality of the product.
In addition, waste can be reduced or eliminated, because it is possible to identify those activities that only increase costs and do not provide value to the process, in the same way this favors the achievement of efficiency.
- Improvement in quality and customer satisfaction
Likewise, the continuous improvement achieves improvements in the quality of the products delivered to the client , which gives the necessary confidence that the quality that is intended is being achieved and maintained, because everything is documented and certified.
Consequently, the company will achieve satisfied customers, which favors increasing their purchase frequency and recommending products to other people, generating higher sales revenue and of course higher profits.
What is quality assurance applied for?
Components of the quality assurance system
The quality assurance system has the following components:
- Administration Manual
Of course, a project management manual includes the important data that must be considered to be used in the quality management plan of each company, so specific procedures are defined to achieve the objectives in a particular way for each organization.
- Quality control measures
Of course, quality control measures allow establishing the degree or level of quality achieved in each activity that is evaluated in the process. Being able to use criteria such as yields in established terms, compliance in the execution of budgets, frequency of occurrence of errors or defects within the process, among some that could be mentioned.
- Reports on the performance achieved
On the other hand, the reports of achieved performance must be carried out periodically throughout the development of the different parts of the project, because this will allow monitoring of how all activities are being carried out and avoid higher costs, if only the final process is inspected.
Above all, it is possible to assess whether times are being met, based on the schedules already prepared, the course of the delivery process, technical performance and any activity that involves costs.
Development and implementation of quality assurance
In order to develop and implement a quality assurance system, the following should be considered:
- Convince of the leaders
Then, for a quality assurance system to succeed, it is important that the managers of the companies are fully convinced of the benefits that will be obtained with its implementation so that they support and contribute to the adoption of the system.
- Choose the system and communicate it at all levels
So, you should choose the quality assurance model that will be used by the company; but this information must be communicated to all the members of the group that make up the company, so that all commit to seek the achievement of the objectives
- Choose a person who will be responsible for the implementation
Therefore, it is important to choose a person who assumes command as a responsible person to carry out the entire process of development and implementation of the project and then this person will appoint a quality committee, which will be composed of suitable people who form the team of work that will be responsible for carrying out the tasks within the execution of the project.
So, this group of people are responsible for conducting coordination from the beginning by reviewing and approving the quality manual, establishing the procedures, forming the work team and conducting periodic reviews until the final result is reached.
Finally, on some occasions it will be necessary to seek external advice to be able to carry out the implementation of the system as a whole.
Development and implementation of quality assurance
In conclusion, we can affirm that the quality assurance system brings many benefits to companies, especially in reducing costs, in delivering products of expected quality and, above all, in getting their customers satisfied. Since, this system allows the documentation of processes to maintain the delivery of products and services with the expected quality, it must always be continuously reviewed and updated periodically, because continuous improvement should always be sought.