Unit 10 - Control and Quality Assurance

Learning Objective
This module will give you insight into the most important aspects of Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA). In the following units practical solutions and concepts such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) will be discussed and some of the most important quality assurance methods which are specifically suitable for SMEs will be demonstrated (total quality management, Six Sigma, Business Process Engineering (BPR) etc.). Lastly this module will show you how evaluation, monitoring and feedback cycles can be employed towards the continuous improvement of your company. After finishing this module you will be able to comprehend the concepts of QC and QA, through the extensive presentations of selected concepts and techniques which will prove fruitful for your company.

Estimated Time

The approximate time to go through this module is 45 minutes.

Introduction

The best way to build credibility, ensure effective management and coordinate actions in your company is to implement a quality control plan, which will guarantee that products and services provided to customers meet the standard quality requirements through quality assurance.

The term quality control covers all the operational activities and actions that need to be followed in order to control the quality of the products or services provided by the respective company. This implies that all company activities are constantly supervised by experienced personnel and that everything runs correctly (i.e. in accordance with the designated set of preset operational activities).

The term quality assurance is in short, a step beyond quality control as it defines the set of actions which are followed in order to ensure that quality control is run properly. Quality assurance involves constant and regular testing of the company activities and the provision of regular feedback and reviews to provide insight into company operations. Quality assurance also indicates which activities need to be developed and what needs to be done to improve the quality of products and services, whilst aiming at exceeding customer expectations.

Before taking action it is essential to select which activities and techniques can be employed for the benefit of your company and build your strategy accordingly. The following sections will provide insight into the most important elements of Quality Control and Quality Assurance.