There's little point in having the best processes when staff are incapable of carrying out those processes on a consistent level.
With the example earlier of the baker, if a new person is employed by the baker to measure and mix the ingredients, their impact on the process to bake tasty cakes needs to be checked, otherwise the quality of cakes produced will suffer.
Quality Assurance is therefore also concerned with the effectiveness of people involved in the process.
The effectiveness of the people involved in the processes is an essential part of Quality Assurance.
Consider a furniture retailer, who takes hundreds of orders each day. The process to ensure that each of the orders is delivered has been Quality Assured.
So when an order is taken, the following steps occur as shown on the next page in Screenshot 1.
1. Product code entered into stock checking system
2. If stock is available it is marked as sold causing the inventory of stock to be updated.
3. Delivery time and the delivery driver are allocated.
4. Despatch note is sent to warehouse staff to move the product from warehouse to the despatch area.
5. Despatch note is sent to the lorry driver with details of the product, delivery address and the product pick up point.
6. Product is loaded onto the lorry.
7. Product is delivered to customer where the customer signature confirms that the delivery has been made.
8. Copy of the delivery note is sent to despatch where it is updated on the computer system.
With such sophisticated technology, the order can be taken, stock checked, delivery dates set, individual driver's delivery schedules calculated and so on. Leading to this process being repeated consistently for any order.
However, if the driver for example used isn't up to scratch and the order gets delayed, delivered to the wrong address, damaged and so on. The whole process fails to deliver.
This means that the delivery process doesn't meet the needs of Quality Assurance as it fails to deliver the product.
What happens if the quality of the materials used to make a product aren't consistent?
Maybe the wrong batch of wood is used to make furniture or the ingredients in a cake use eggs that are out of date?
Both scenarios would lead to the products that could not be classed as quality products. It is therefore essential to ensure that the process not only covers what is done to make a product but also the quality of the components, materials and so on which are used in the process.
Anything to do with process must be assured for Quality and that includes the materials used to make the products.
As products become more complex the likelihood of things going wrong and affecting quality increases.
In a world of mass production, it is essential that Quality Assurance is utilised effectively to keep the quality of products consistent.
Quality Assurance can seem intimidating as it covers so many aspects of producing products. From the people involved, the processes used to the quality of raw materials and components.
However Quality Assurance is an essential part of making sure that things are fit for purpose they were designed for and safe to use.Summary
Consistent proven processes are essential for Quality Assurance.
The effectiveness of people involved in the processes is just as important as the process itself.
The quality of the components used in a process must also be assessed.