Quality control might seem like an area where you can cut corners and save a little money — why should you even bother trying to implement quality control if you haven’t had any complaints about the quality of your product or customer service? In fact, quality control can help you save money — and improve the service you provide — by ensuring everything you create or provide is of the highest quality. Why will your company benefit from implementing quality control?
1. It Creates a Culture of Quality Consciousness
Whether you are providing a service or creating a good, quality starts with your employees. Providing quality control and feedback for those employees enables you to create an internal culture of excellence that will carry over into what you provide to your customers.
Start from the entry-level employees and work your way up the corporate ladder to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to quality. Everything you do should be about providing the highest-quality product or service to your customers. Implementing quality-control procedures helps reinforce that culture.
2. It Reduces Overall Costs
Running a business is an expensive prospect. It becomes even more expensive when you deliver poor products or services to your customers. Implementing a quality-control program may seem expensive, but when you compare the cost of QC with the cost of turning out a poor-quality product, your quality control almost pays for itself.
With a good QC program, you end up saving money in:
- Returns — You will start getting fewer returns, so you lose less money in replacements and refunds.
- Recalls — While there is still a small chance a manufacturing defect could necessitate a recall, the chance is infinitely lower if you have a good quality-control program in place.
- Lawsuits — Without a good quality-control program, you open yourself up to the possibility of a lawsuit due to defective products or poor service. Quality control helps create a paper trail that will come in handy in the worst-case scenario that you end up going to court.
3. It Increases Customer Satisfaction
No matter what product or service you’re selling, you cannot run a business without customers. Maintaining high quality with a QC program makes it easier for you to both attract and retain customers. Customers will be more satisfied with a high-quality product or service, even if they have to pay more for it, than they will a lower-quality product they have to continue to repair or replace.
Superior product output also improves the impact of consumer word of mouth. People are more likely to talk about and recommend a high-quality product than they are to do the same with something of low quality.
4. It Helps Improve Employee Morale
Customer satisfaction isn’t the only thing you need to worry about when you’re considering quality-control programs. Employee satisfaction and morale is just as important, if not more so. Your employees are the ones on the front lines of your business, so to speak — they’re the ones in the trenches, and keeping them happy is essential to creating a successful business.
On the other side of the coin, studies have found happy and satisfied employees help improve overall quality. The happier an employee is, the higher the quality of their work. Quality control, and feedback on the quality of their work, can help improve your relationship with your employees, consequently improving the quality of their work.
5. There Are a Variety of Ways to Implement It
There isn’t just one right way to implement a quality-control program. That’s the nice thing about QC — it can be as unique as your business, and you can modify it as needed to adapt to the needs of your specific business.
Do you do work on the phone? Consider implementing a recording program and analyzing the calls to learn where you can improve.
Do you provide a product? Hire a third-party company to test your product and make unbiased assessments.
Do you provide a service? Employ a secret shopper and get them to report back on your employees and the service they are providing.
The sky, and your individual needs, are the limit when it comes to QC.
6. It Can Provide a Competitive Advantage for Small Businesses
Small businesses are always looking for the best way to get an edge on their corporate competitors, even if they might not have the resources big companies do. Quality control is a great way to gain that advantage. Yes, setting up a QC program may cost you a little more in the long run, but it also enables you to provide a higher-quality product than the big boys. In this case, your small size is an advantage — you can spend more time focusing on a smaller quantity of product to provide the best quality possible.
It’s important to establish good quality-control mannerisms while you’re small. It makes it easier to maintain a culture of high quality, because it can grow with you as your business gets better.
Quality control might seem like an afterthought, but it is something you can’t really afford to overlook. Your business will benefit from quality control on several levels, and it’s never too late to start!