Business processes 101: Quality assurance

quality_assurance

Whether buying bread or a new phone, we expect certain standards that each product or service should meet.

Quality assurance helps to fulfill these standards and prevent mistakes, defects, or errors. Which, in turn, bolsters customer confidence and generates a competitive advantage.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines quality assurance as “a program for the systematic monitoring and evaluation of the various aspects of a project, service, or facility to ensure that standards of quality are being met.” But to fully understand why quality assurance processes have become a necessity for businesses, we need to turn back the clock first.

The short history of quality assurance

The principles seen in today’s approach to quality assurance can be traced all the way to medieval times. Back then, craft and trade guilds were overseeing the quality of goods produced by their members. Products were inspected by the most experienced and proficient members – guild masters – to ensure that the guild’s standard of quality was maintained.

The Industrial Revolution at the end of the 18th century introduced further specialization and mechanization of work and eradicated the guilds for the most part. Instead of an entire discipline, quality assurance became more focused on specialized tasks completed by the workers. The rise of mass production brought further need to ensure the quality of items produced in large volumes. With that, the role of quality supervisors (inspectors) has been created and developed throughout the 19th century.

The modern approach to quality assurance was first introduced during World War II when the inspection and testing of ammunition became vital. In 1947, an international union of organizations known as the International Organization for Standardization was established. ISO consists of standards organizations from over 100 countries and maintains a quality assurance system for manufacturing and service industries.

The benefits of quality assurance

It is important to keep in mind that quality assurance methods differ depending on the type of industry. An automotive manufacturer and a pharmaceutical company will always have a vastly different set of standards and processes to uphold.

Importantly though, quality assurance in any industry focuses on building reliable processes that result in products which meet the required quality standards – production can’t be an unsupervised process because quality can’t be magically added to a finished product or service.

Ultimately, when a company can guarantee a level of quality to its products or services, it builds consumer trust and a positive reputation for reliability and consistency. It boosts client confidence in the business, which also becomes more competitive when compared to others with a similar offering.

Quality assurance & inspections

A variety of inspections and evaluations come into play during different stages of production. To collect and share the information, the Middle Age guild masters used scrolls, later on paper forms, and at the dawn of the new millennium, Excel spreadsheets were utilized extensively. Today, mobility takes center stage.

An advanced mobile solution enables virtually permanent collection of data, thus a deeper analysis of potential challenges. That allows organizations to easier identify the underlying causes of issues. With proper insight, trends can be determined, which helps businesses be more proactive in troubleshooting. Furthermore, it can ensure that data is entered correctly and is available immediately across the organization. And that’s what Resco Inspections has to offer.

Resco Inspections can help companies efficiently collect relevant data at any stage of their quality assurance process. The solution provides:

  • a powerful Questionnaire Designer with a vast array of question types and business logic that will allow you to bring even hundreds of forms into the digital form with ease
  • a visual Schedule Board enabling to distribute questionnaires and assign tasks to all relevant team members and monitor their progress
  • a fully customizable Inspections mobile app for field workers, capable of running in full offline mode
  • a comprehensive Analytics dashboard for both high level and detailed overview of the collected information
  • native integration with Dynamics 365 and Salesforce, or an API for integration with other 3rd party solutions and more.

For more information, get the free Resco Inspections e-book, or contact us for a demo.