Working in e-commerce for almost 8 years and overseeing product quality in my own small business, quality control of products is a real issue. Whether you are manufacturing in house or have a supplier, letting something pass through quality control that wouldn’t normally meet yours, or your customers standards can be hugely detrimental to the business.
Customers who have a good experience with a business somewhat leave businesses a good review, but one issue with product quality and you can almost always expect a 1 star review to turn up overnight, and it’s usually something you rely on others for to have adequately quality checked prior to being sent to the customer.
Product quality is the be all and end all for any product based business, and it’s one chain of the business that should be properly structured. Let’s take a look at 5 simple ways to improve quality control of products.
1. Set The Standards
Before you can identify issues with product quality and train your team, you need to set out the standards for what needs to be met on product basis. In doing so, a simple checklist or defects to look out for will ensure that proficient product quality can be seen across the board, no matter the product, or who is checking the product.
2. Optical Sorting Machines
Having a team or a member of staff visually check through everything is a laborious task, but also one that is subject to human error. This means it is not 100% accurate, or the best use of a team members time. In the print and packaging industry, Optical Sorting Machines are revolutionary pieces of technology that automatically assesses your products by inspecting, grading and classifying components efficiently, and effectively. This laborious manufacturing task can be instantly lifted, giving almost 100% accuracy with quality inspected components. It will allow you to gain control over defect rates, whilst helping keep the end user content, and happy.
3. Track Defects
If you’re using an optical sorting machine you get a much better control over the end defect rates which allows you to make educated decisions. If you’re doing the entire process manually then you need to accurately track all defects as you go by recording them on a spreadsheet, or something similar so you can easily filter the data. By tracking defects you can easily identify where the patterns are, if there are recurring issues, and how you can improve the product quality moving forward.
4. Invest In Training
Product quality control is only as good as the people doing it, and their knowledge of what to look for. A product quality manual should be prepared on the back of setting your standards that can be handed out to every new joiner to the company. A product quality manual should be backed up with in person training and testing to ensure that every staff member assesses to the same level of detail, and quality, every time.
5. Continually Improve Products
Following the above processes, and easily being able to identify quality issues with an optical sorting machine will allow you to recognise issues, and areas which could vastly be improved, thus helping to improve the product from manufacturing, and shelf, to consumer. Being able to constantly evolve and adapt to consumers ever changing needs and errors will help your products stay relevant, and retain a good reputation. During this process you may want to introduce some market testing to see how the changes are met too.
Achieving an accurate and thorough process of quality controlling products in a business is of utmost importance for safety reasons, saleability and the reputation of your business. There are many ways you can structure this into your business, including investing in technology to help make the process streamlined and highly accurate, whilst freeing up your team members precious time.