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Manufacturing and the Cost of Quality



Quality supersedes productivity in importance when it comes to the manufacturing industry. The cost of remedying poor quality includes warranty claims, replacement costs, and reputation and revenue decline. The costs associated with recalls run in the billions of dollars. Instead of focusing on productivity and meeting a quota, the bottom line benefits more from a focus on quality.

Quality before Production

After a team understands the cost multipliers associated with poor quality, finding the source of a problem before it hits the market becomes a natural part of the manufacturing process. Quality management practices include inspections and other policies and procedures to ensure a product is defect free at every step of manufacturing.

Having a product that is not defective and the object of recalls and large product liability claims improves a company’s reputation. The standard of quality over time is an indicator of company value. A consistently high standard of quality leads to revenue growth, increased sales margins, and competitive advantages, all of which offset the costs associated with quality assurance.

Process control, materials qualification, and in-line testing ensure product quality during the manufacturing process. Then, other practices at the end of the first batch and throughout the manufacturing process keep the standard equal. Other elements of a quality control system include the ability to trace future failures and a documentation system for warranty returns.

Gold Standards of Best Practices

Quality practices that have proven effective, known as the “gold standards of best practices,” are put forth by the International Organization for Standardization. They advise product acceptance sampling, statistical process control, and troubleshooting studies. Sampling tests a random quantity of product from which a result is applied to the whole batch. Statistical process control involves measuring variations in material quality and processes. Troubleshooting studies take an end product with a flaw and determines the root cause of the problem.

For quality control to be successful as a company policy, a top down implementation is necessary. It is scientifically proven that quality control processes that come from management, a parent company, or directly from a consumer will influence quality control adoption within a manufacturing company.

Getting staff to understand the cost-benefit aspect of quality control is the first step of implementation, and beyond that, a properly implemented quality assurance system is an established way to hedge against future liability issues. The long-term picture for an enterprise, in other words, is what everyone within the company should focus on in terms of product quality. For more information on quality manufacturing and solutions to any related equipment or service needs, contact Warehouse1 today.