Quality control as defined by ISO 9000:2000 is the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfill certain requirements [Ross, 2005]. In other words quality can be defined as the ability to adhere to standards. Quality aims at doing things that are right in the first place in order to improve competitiveness, reduce cost and achieve customer satisfaction [Besterfield, 2006].
Understanding quality control
Quality control as the name suggests is the process of keeping track of the quality of the products and services rendered by an organization. Quality control is a four step process. The steps are as follows:
- Set the desired standards required.
- Observe the actual standards obtained.
- Compare the difference.
- Take corrective actions.
Importance of quality control
Any industry, in order to sustain and succeed in the market should give importance to quality. Manufacturing sector is not an exception to it. In fact, the awareness towards quality is high in the manufacturing sector all over the world. Pertaining to quality and producing products with zero defects is one of the greatest challenges, the manufactures have been facing worldwide. However by incorporating efficient quality control processes, their dreams have been turned into a possible reality in the recent days. There are basically seven tools used by the manufacturing industry to control quality. They are:
- Ishikawa or cause and effect diagram.
- Pareto chart.
- Process flow chart.
- Scatter diagram.
- Control chart and check sheet [Website, Elsmar].
These tools are implemented from the very first phase of producing an end deliverable rather than at the end phase in order to minimize cost and maximize profit. Besides using these tools, the certain industries manufacturing sector also controls quality with the help of several automated software and by employing professionals with experience in quality control thereby positioning them as a global leader in the market.
- Dale H Besterfield, Total Quality Management, Pearson Education, Third Edition, 2006
- Kenneth H Ross, Project Quality Management: why, what and how, J Ross Publishing, 2005