It is important to know that to implement a quality approach within a company means giving it self-awareness and endowing it with means to analyze its proper functioning.
This process can be similar to a kind of a methodical professional method whose goal is to achieve continuous improvement of its activity. It is a major phase in the life of an organism that allows it to continue to exist.
What is a quality approach?
Before implementing a quality approach, every company must have a quality policy that identifies the objectives to be reached in terms of production and management. Remember that quality approach is mainly based on a quality management system (QMS).
Once the quality policy is accepted and approved by the majority of employees, the quality approach is introduced. In fact, the quality approach refers to all the actions undertaken by a company to improve quality and quality management.
This business strategy helps optimize the operations and know-how by taking into account the needs of customers. Its main objective is to attract new prospects while preserving its customers (customer satisfaction). However, unlike other marketing strategies, quality approach is based on service or product quality offered by the company.
What is the purpose of a quality approach?
Implementing a quality system helps primarily to offer a service or manufacture products more efficiently. This will subsequently lead to profits.
In addition, a better functioning can considerably have an impact on the working conditions of employees. Indeed, an employee who feels better at work will constantly be more committed. Let’s remember that the positive consequences of a better employee involvement are diverse: neat work, increased productivity, limited turnover…
Moreover, a good quality service or product is the best way to hedge against competition.
On the other hand, implementing this type of approach also means reviewing internal communication between the different departments of the company and ensuring good relations between employees.
Therefore, we can say that a quality approach helps to preserve its customers and conquer the new market shares. Either inside or outside the company, quality is assured.
What are the functions that are involved in the quality process?
- Maintenance of material resources (premises, means of communication, means of transport…)
- Internal and external communication
- Structuring the research function/ development/design
- Audit (internal audit)
- Customer information management (claims, evaluations…)
The importance of the ISO 9001 standard (ISO certification)
Today, the ISO 9001 standard is the reference in terms of quality. It is based on a continuous improvement approach through good control of procedures and processes. It is an essential tool for gaining competitiveness. It meets 3 goals:
- Demonstrate its ability to deliver compliant products and services in accordance with the requirements of the standard
- Optimize customer satisfaction by implementing a continuous quality improvement process
- Value the company and its employees
As a result, it reduces production costs, takes care of the employees’ well-being and improves the quality of purchasing practices.
Being ISO 9001 certified means ensuring certain credibility. As a result, the aim of a quality approach is to improve continuously and at all the levels of the company over the long term. It also helps to stand out from competitors by offering a good product that meets the customers’ expectations.
How to implement such an approach?
The conditions for setting up a quality approach vary according to the product or the service offered. However, two areas for improvement should be taken into consideration: employees and costs.
Identify objectives following continuous improvement
The first step for implementing a quality approach is to define objectives. They are mainly set by the executive teams according to the customers’ expectation. These objectives include both management and production. This phase is the beginning of the implementation of a quality policy.
However, it is important to bear in mind that the quality process is part of the continuous improvement process. Indeed, the goal is for each company to continuously improve.
Therefore, it is possible to say that it is a step-by step approach where changes should be made gradually.
Make employees accept the approach
In order for a quality improvement strategy to work, employees must accept it. It is strongly discouraged to implement a quality approach if the company is going through difficult times (economic layoff or buyout).
To make sure that all employees are involved in this new approach, we recommend that you consult with them to identify the problems they encounter and the proposed solutions.
In addition to participating in the improvement of the company’s operations, it allows employees to be involved in the process.
Moreover, managers and executives should organize their departments to adapt to the new objectives.
The implementation of benchmarks (private, individual or collective benchmark) helps to guarantee an efficient quality approach.
In order to optimize costs, you can use cost of quality (COQ). Its purpose is to calculate the investment that a company must make in order to increase its profits without affecting the quality of its products or services.
The calculation of cost quality takes two parameters into account:
- Elements that cause a loss of money owing to poor quality
- Elements that save money thanks to good quality
How to make your quality approach successful?
In order for the implementation of quality approaches to be successful, it is necessary that:
- The procedures and guidelines be understood by everyone
- Employees be trained for the new tasks and working conditions analyzed and improved
- A quality representative (quality manager) be appointed in the main departments (sales, technical, production)
- Non -quality be analyzed to ensure continuous quality
- Customer feedback be taken into account to ensure customer satisfaction