6 Steps to Implementing a Successful Product Quality Management Program

A reliable quality level is critical to maintaining storage efficiency, managing inventory levels efficiently, and meeting customer expectations. In times of crisis, relying on an ad hoc approach to quality is no longer enough. Now a comprehensive and systemic approach to quality is required to help minimize costs and maximize productivity at all times.

An effective quality program covers both quality assurance and quality control. The quality control identifies failures in a finished product before it is shipped to a customer, but without quality assurance cannot easily identify where the problem originated. A successful quality management system must oversee both control and assurance. Here are the six steps to implement an effective quality program:

Step 1: Define what to inspect. It is not only necessary to define what elements should be inspected, but also what characteristics should be checked on those elements. Because each item has a unique purpose, the inspection criteria are likely to be unique as well.

Using NetSuite Quality Management, you can have two main types of inspection:

Qualitative inspections: with the intention of verifying that the product meets the correct standards and that it is in good general condition

Quantitative inspections: which allows to configure multiple and measurable elements along with specific criteria and allowed ranges, that is diameter, width, length, temperature, or chemical composition.

Step 2: Establish pass / fail criteria. Once what should be tested is defined, it is necessary to establish the standards that the quality engineers will use to test the products. In addition, it is important to consider compliance ranges for each element, and also those levels that automatically imply a quality rejection. Documenting quality standards is crucial to ensure that inspections are consistent over time.

Step 3: Define the inspection parameters. Next, it is necessary to define how each inspection should be. It will probably be a combination of qualitative and quantitative inspections. How often do you want to inspect product quality? Will it be a 100% quality inspection, checking each item individually? This option is time-consuming and expensive, but if it is production done with components from a new supplier or a new product launch, it might be necessary.

On the other hand, a more frequent method applied to products, in general, is inspection using lots and sample sizes. With a NetSuite implementation, you can define rules to inspect specific sequences of batches or serially tracked items, set the sample size you want to inspect, and set how many batches should be inspected. You can even set specific inspection rules based on vendor or location, allowing you to have tighter control over components that come from a new or higher-risk vendor.

Step 4: Design an inspection process and workflows. Creating a system for communicating to quality engineers exactly what needs to be inspected ensures that no matter who performs the inspections, consistent results will be obtained. With NetSuite Quality Management, this process is simplified. Once an item requiring inspection has been identified, it is added to the inspection queue and a quality engineer is assigned the task. 

Workflows guide the inspector through the inspection and ask him to capture the results. Using the NetSuite mobile app, quality engineers can perform inspections, review standards, log data, and submit data for analysis directly from the inspection area without interfering with the process.

Step 5: Create a procedure to handle defects. What happens when an item is out of specification? How many failures can you have per lot before the inspection fails? It is equally important to set up a workflow that defines what to do with the failed item and the associated batch. For example, it could be an additional inspection of the lot, which then triggers a return to the supplier or a quarantine and release strategy. With NetSuite Quality Management, this process is customizable, allowing you to have a single process for each step in the process.

Step 6: Review the program and improve it. Once a quality program has been implemented, it is time to review its results and make improvements, both for the program itself and for the product.

Innovation and production teams can use the results of quality tests to identify weaknesses in the supply chain, recurring product defects, and inefficiencies in the production cycle. Similarly, quality teams can proactively identify recurring failures, resulting in less waste, less defective goods, and returns.

Quality does not happen by accident.

What do you think about these proposed steps? We can conclude that quality does not happen by accident. A quality management system enables companies to proactively and proactively address inefficiencies in the manufacturing process before products are completed.

The timely identification of defective components in raw materials and defective production processes as they occur, allows production to proactively make changes, become more efficient and, as the last benefit, increase customer satisfaction and all this while taking into account that it will represent a lower cost in your production chain since, the sooner you detect errors, the greater the savings.


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