At a time when the global economy is entering an unpredictable momentum of change and in an increasingly competitive and rapidly expanding world trade with a rapid increase of new technologies, quality control is a vital requirement the world must integrate at all levels and constantly improve it.
The word quality, the primary objective of companies, can be imposed by the current environment characterized by the following elements:
- A customer increasingly sophisticated and demanding;
- A need for associated services increasingly important;
- Competition has become stronger and stronger;
- An increasingly globalized and globalized market.
As a result, companies are forced to provide a quality product or service that meets the demands and needs of consumers. And to be certain that our product or service will be quality, we need insurance: We speak about quality assurance.
When it comes to quality assurance, the goal is to give customers, suppliers, and shareholders the proper confidence that our product or service will meet quality requirements.
A company can assure the quality of its products or services by certifying them. But for a customer, the question that immediately follows that of the instant quality of the product is to know the ability of its supplier to ensure this quality over time. The only way to ensure the sustainability of quality is to have reliable processes.
Regardless of the quality of your processes, we can summarize the approach to Quality Assurance in 02 sentences.
- No Quality without errors, no errors without corrective actions, no corrective actions without training and no training without Quality.
Do you know that quality and error are Sisters? If the error is an enemy of quality, its importance is often underestimated.
When employees are asked how they feel when they make mistakes in the workplace, feelings of shame and anger predominate. The error is a sign of weakness, either that the employee was not able or that he did not provide the necessary work. This conception of error engenders fear among employees and a lack of involvement or creativity. The staff of a company represents its most important resource, its know-how and its image vis-à-vis other interested parties. Human resources are all the wealth of the organization! It is fundamental that staff are involved in the management system at all levels.
The error in business is like a disease and the quality its vaccine. The vaccine against a disease is made with the disease virus. The mistake in business is like a vaccine. To be immunized, you have to inject a little. Thus, in case of error, it is necessary to put corrective actions. And that’s not enough, then you have to train. Train not only the author of the mistake but also the rest of the staff.
- No quality without measurement, no measurements without metrology, no metrology without indicators and no indicators without quality.
There is no progress in quality without measuring gaps. Sir William Thomson Lord Kelvin said, “If you can measure what you are talking about and express it in numbers, then you know something about your subject. If you can not, your knowledge is of a very poor kind and very uncertain. “. Measuring the level of quality is therefore the prerequisite for any improvement and insurance action. It is important to be based on facts, not opinions. The use of factual data is a privileged means of anchoring the approach in reality. There is no quality without quantification. Quality is not subjective. It is based on measurable criteria. For example, saying that a service or product is of good quality does not mean anything. We have to measure the service in question.
No measurement is done without metrology. Metrology is the science of measurements. At the mere mention of the word “metrology”, the first applications to which we think are generally the weights, the dimensional measures, the pressures or the temperatures … But the metrology is hidden everywhere! Whatever our activities, customers only accept what is in line with their contractual requirements and with quality standards. It is therefore necessary to control and thus measure this conformity.
Metrology is done by indicators. An indicator is a variable that describes a situation item or an evolution from a quantitative point of view. A decision support tool, the use of which is part of an approach that meets an objective and is situated in a given context.
The indicator has or may have several functions in a process of continuous improvement of quality:
- Know the initial quality level of the process;
- Determine quantified objectives (it is less a matter of guiding binary-type decisions than of helping to determine the importance of problems in order to define priorities for action);
- Check that these objectives are achieved by measuring the effectiveness of the solutions implemented in the form of action plans;
- Follow up on the maintenance of the results obtained, that is to say, verify the durability of the changes.
However, there can be no question of evaluating everything. Measuring always implies that one has a goal and that there can be a return on the investment that is the measure. We will limit ourselves to the key processes and their most important stages.
In conclusion, Quality Assurance is not the miracle solution to all the ills of companies but it increases very significantly the chances of success. This is one of the optimization criteria and an important decision aid. Quality Assurance must not be dictated by the market but, used upstream, as a real tool for management and transversal management.
The benefits of quality assurance are both organizational and financial.