As anyone in the business of providing products and services to customers could tell you, quality is king. If the king isn’t on your side, you risk flooding your market with sub-par products, which might ruin your reputation, and ultimately see you losing out to a competitor. Today, we are looking at your means of avoiding such a fate – quality assurance.
Understanding the terminology
Quality control and quality assurance are terms often used interchangeably, yet they should not be. While it is true that both are part of the process known as “quality management”, they describe two different things.
Quality assurance describes a wide variety of processes tasked with ensuring the company’s output meets expectations and achieves customer satisfaction. It is proactive and focuses on preventing potential future issues, as well as optimizing internal processes. Quality assurance consists of activities such as gathering customer feedback, monitoring company helpline calls, creating qualitative reports, etc.
Meanwhile, quality control consists of a much more focused subset of processes based on detecting faults in the produced goods and services. Unlike quality assurance, it is reactive rather than proactive.
Set up your QA department for success
In the next few simple steps, you will find out what you can do to either build your QA department from scratch or improve its efficiency.
Determine areas for improvement
Before you dive head-first into setting up your QA department, it is always important to define which parts of your business need improving. Look over your reports and speak with team managers, as well as ground-floor employees. Gather all the helpful information and then prioritize accordingly. After doing so, you should be able to say what aspects of your company demand the most focus and plan your next steps.
Assemble your team
Regardless of whether you decide to onboard new people to fill your QA team or choose existing employees to become a part of it, you should always look for the following qualities. A keen eye for detail and a sociable personality are invaluable qualities in a QA employee. They need to gather information from various sources, both human and machine, and conceptualize the collected data into clear, actionable takeaways.
Implement regular performance assessments
Checking in on your employees’ performance is vital in any department, and QA is no different. If you let your team members function without proper guidance and feedback for too long, chances are they will become complacent, and the quality of their work will start to lag behind. To prevent this from happening, it is vital to set up regular performance checks, the frequency of which is entirely up to you – though we recommend doing it on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.
Automate mind-numbing processes
Automation is sometimes looked down upon by some employees for fear of becoming obsolete. However, more often than not, automation actually helps them perform their work better. By delegating some of the repetitive tasks to a machine, your QA team can focus more on activities that make the most out of their attention and unique abilities.
Gather more data
It may seem like we have gone full circle from step 1, but the reality is that you will always need new data to move with the times. As mentioned previously, monitoring calls, gathering feedback from customers and employees, and other such activities are invaluable sources of information, which can make or break a company.
Establish proper reporting channels and use QA tools to your advantage
Quality assessment teams and the feeling of anxiety seem to be nearly inseparable. Employees answering to QA are stressed due to the potential of negative feedback on their work, and QA itself is stressed from having to answer to the management. Luckily, quality assessment does not necessarily have to be filled with dread and negativity.
By establishing proper communication and reporting channels, you will streamline the flow of relevant information to corresponding teams, allowing the teams to make effective, data-driven decisions. But the reporting channels are not the only thing you can improve.
The efficiency of your reporting largely depends on the effectiveness of your tools. And luckily, we can help you with that!
As a part of resco.FieldService product, we have made a point of creating the best reporting checklists we possibly could to suit your teams’ needs! With our Quality Assurance Assessment Checklist, you can swiftly and easily evaluate the QA level at which your company is currently operating and use the insights to drive future improvements.
With no paper and no hassle, this checklist will prove to be an invaluable tool in the hands of your employees. And what’s more, you can now test it out for free! So, what are you waiting for? Try out our Quality Assurance Assessment Checklist and improve your company’s QA today! You can download the checklist here.