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Quality concepts: everything you need to know

Quality concepts started and were introduced in Japan by statistician W. E. Deming, after World War II, at the invitation of the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE). Since then, these quality concepts have been adding value to countless companies around the world.

Quality, according to ISO (International Standardization Organization), is the adaptation and conformity to the requirements that the standard itself, and customers, establish. In other words, quality is the level of perfection of a process, service, or product delivered by your company in such a way that meets the requirements defined by ISO and of course, by your customers.

In order to understand a little more about quality, this post will cover three fundamental concepts of quality:

1 - Quality Assurance

Quality assurance is a way of ensuring that the operational quality standards and requirements, already established, are used in all future development processes, whether of a product or service. 

2 - Quality Control

This concept is aimed at fulfilling the quality requirement, and is mainly carried out through inspections. Quality inspection is a procedure that analyzes and assesses whether the attributes of a product or service conform to specified requirements to determine whether a nonconformity has occurred.

3 - Quality Management

Quality management is the coordination of activities in production processes and services so that they are performed with quality.

This management aims to achieve excellence in the execution of all tasks and procedures, keeping in mind that the dimensions of quality can be understood as performance, reliability, perception, durability, characteristics, conformity, and service.

In another post, we mentioned the implementation of a Quality Management System (QMS) as one of the steps in Quality Management. But in order for a QMS to guarantee excellent results for your business, it is critical that the team practice and follow the 7 principles of quality:

  • Focus on customers

Customers are stakeholders in your business, and developing products and services designed for them is a vital strategy for the growth of any company. A good practice for this quality principle is quite simple: agree on the customer's needs in the negotiation, treat them as fundamental requirements to be met, and perform quality inspections with the help of Specifications (standards established in the negotiation).

  • Leadership

Leadership is the ability to lead a team in a tactical and targeted manner, so that the team can perform its tasks with quality. Good leadership allows employee engagement and commitment, and ensures that the entire team is aligned with the company’s purposes.

  • People’s commitment

The participation and commitment of everyone, including top management members, contributes to an effective Quality Management System. Trained employees understand the importance of quality in their activities, and are thus qualified and prepared to achieve the established goals. Therefore, the culture of quality needs to be part of the company's routine.

  • Approach through processes

This principle is directly related to knowledge, the way a company manages its processes and how it achieves the results planned beforehand. This method is fundamental for the smooth running and excellence of a QMS, because a product or service’s level of perfection will depend on the quality of the process management.

  • Continuous improvement

The continuous improvement of services and products can, and should, be employed in the organizational culture. The purpose of continuous improvement is to enhance stakeholder satisfaction, because the more the company strives to improve the quality of its processes, products, and services, the more value it will deliver to its customers.

  • Relationship management

Establishing a good relationship with stakeholders, such as suppliers, is very important to identify needs and avoid risks that impact business strategies. Building relationships with stakeholders fosters a sense of responsibility when it comes to organizational growth.

  • Fact-based decision-making

Decision making based on information, allows the security and efficiency of the actions taken, because with the help of performance indicators, it is possible to analyze which factors are contributing to good results and which ones require more attention and improvement points.

Quality concepts are critical and must be viewed as a business strategy. There’s no point in having certifications and not applying these concepts in the company's day-to-day operations.

Linked to the business objectives, the quality concepts create advantages, such as increased competitiveness, organization, and excellence in production processes, resulting in the boosting of results.



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