How to increase product quality?

Introduction to increasing product quality

It's irrelevant what type of business you have; delivering high quality is the no.1 driver for your business's success. Increasing sales and profit are far easier when you have consistently good products and services.

Increasing product quality is fundamental for achieving long-term sales growth and profitability, as good quality satisfies customers. And that's what customers want.

Improving is not straight-forward. Yet, it rewards businesses with increased profit margins. It reduces waste and is more cost effective for your business.

Why increase product quality?

Create practices and processes that will increase product quality, and avoid it as an afterthought.

Improving quality will save your business money. In doing so, you will avoid rectifying issues as an afterthought. And in so doing, cutting waste of resources and time.

Your employees will engage with your products and business, and they'll become more motivated. Because people like being successful and a part of a successful team.

Increasing product quality makes you more competitive in the market.

What does product quality mean?

We distinguish the definition from two vantage points; And define product quality as follows:

Firstly, it relates to products and design specifications.

Manufacturers or service providers achieve quality by creating products with characteristics. Characteristics that meet specifications, i.e. the product objectives, product requirements, the functional requirements, the environmental requirements etc. How well the product meets these requirements, is a gauge of quality.

Secondly, quality could be about customer satisfaction

The quality of a product relates to the customers' satisfaction and expectation of consumption and use.

It's beneficial, that businesses concentrate on using both definitions. And in so doing, you will ensure your products will meet the design requirements, and please your valued customers’ desires, influencing their purchasing decisions.

It's these areas in which we can help your business. Improving product performance to save you the cost of running a business. The cost of engineering, manufacturing process and improving your product quality. All to increase your profit margin, and make you competitive in the market.

How do we increase product quality?

Our experience in industry has taught us how to solve these problems, and increase product quality to excellent. Here are some of our recommendations to imcrease your product quality.

  1. Measure key performance indicators (KPIs)

    Deploy two key performance indicators (KPIs) immediately.  They are:

    Captured Quality

    Defined by mistakes that were "captured" by your team before leaving your facility. So the client was unaware of them.

    Captured quality errors internally, aren’t the worst for your business. Because the client was unaware, i.e. they were probably affected by a delayed delivery, but that’s it. Your client is none the wiser of your internal issues.

    Quality oversights

    Defined by issues that "escaped" your operations, and realised by your customer.

    These escaped defects are the worst. Your customers are aware of your firm’s failure. A failure that undermines the long term relationship.

    Measure these mistakes, and make them known to your team. You will see improvement from this approach. The team will understand that they are important.

    As long as your company uses people to deliver your products, those people are important. If they are not motivated and do not have your product at heart, your product will not improve.

    Thus, make sure whatever process you put in place, will motivate your staff.

  2. Focus on processes

    When product processes and quality processes do not deliver, in most cases, the defect is the process, not the person you employed.

    Repair the defect by adding process steps or new checks to the processes and procedures.

    Avoid the practice of "who is to/can we blame?" That will deflate your team, and everyone will withdraw in fear. Point fingers at others, without you ever getting to the root cause.

    (Trust is lost, teams and departments will become silos. You now have a bigger and a higher priority problem - re-instating trust among your employees).

    Read about how Alan Mulally made Ford Motor Company profitable again
  3. Keep everybody informed

    Discuss each quality issue that occurred with all your stakeholders, to find the root cause.

    Over time, through continuous improvement, processes will strengthen and systems will become more robust. Employee confidence and motivation will restore, because systems detect flaws and errors. And that will too improve the working environment.

  4. Start with the big and frequent problems

    Sort the quality issues, by category, and focus on the biggest issues. Work through them from the biggest issue to the smallest. Don’t focus as much time on rare issues; spend your time in the places with the most frequent problems.

  5. Broadcast it to the employees

    Post quality metrics on notice boards, in emails and newsletters.

    Thank your employees for their hard work. Promote those that are helping you (your stakeholders), and share your vision with all. Everyone should see your approach as a company emphasis that you want to improve.

    The daily, visible reminder will show your commitment to quality, and to the people who impact it every day:- your team.

  6. Implement a QMS

    Implement a quality standard by putting in place a Quality Management System (QMS) like ISO 9001, part of ISO 9000.

    Implementing a QMS will allow you to audit your processes yourself, and with a certification body. There will be no need for auditing your business by your customers.

    Complying with ISO 9001, you improve the credibility and image of your business. And by doing so, improving your customer satisfaction levels.

    The ISO 9001 helps your business meet the required customer needs and improves customer satisfaction in your product. With additional requirements relating to quality improvement, your business will achieve improved.

  7. Ingress Quality into your Company's Culture

    Make quality a culture of your business. Include it in operations management and management processes. Make sure all your employees are aligned with what forms quality of a product and processes.

    Empower employees to design and develop your products to meet your quality requirements. Empower your employees with prescribed authority to make independent decisions.

    If an employee feels left out in a project, you will most likely get no feedback; feedback that you need. As your employees are directly involved with production.

  8. Perform market research and product testing

    It is fundamental to analyse and test your products before commissioning. There is a risk that products will fail during testing, and that you would need to improve the product.

    But following our approach, that we have developed over the years in the engineering industry, we can minimise the event of failures and surprises during testing.

Always Increase Product Quality

You are not just striving for better quality. You are striving to engineer more environmentally friendly, cost effective products to cut costs and to increase your profit margin.

All these - quality engineering through design, processes and increasing product quality - combined makes you very competitive in the commercial environment. And flexible to negotiations.

Once you have achieved your goal, perform quality control, so that you maintain that level of quality.

Everything on this page is how we increase product quality. All of this aligns with engineering and processes, and is experience that we have gained over 25 years.