What is Quality Control Management?
Quality Management involves the processes of “controlling, ensuring, and improving quality” in business productivity and operations. It ensures that the organizations, their products, and their services are consistent. Quality management consists of four main components:
- Quality Planning
- Quality Control
- Quality Assurance
- Quality Improvement
Why is Quality Control Management so important for businesses today?
Put simply, the success or failure of a business has come to depend on the quality control processes in place. Quality is a major part of any business, and businesses that cannot ensure quality in their products would quickly lose credibility and consumer trust, ultimately resulting in plummeting sales.
Customers want to know that their hard-earned money is being spent on something that is worth the price and not something that is of poor quality, much less defective. A sound Quality control management implementation ensures that a company provides services that are not only up to the mark of the customers but exceed customer expectations.
In turn, customer satisfaction leads to customer loyalty. If a customer is satisfied with the product of a company they will go back to the company for other products. However, if they are handed a defective product, they are most likely not going back to that specific brand!
The Implementation of Quality control Management tools helps ensure higher customer loyalty, resulting in better business, which in turn ensures increased cash flow and satisfied employees, and the positive cycle continues, making the organization a better place to work.
A Career in Quality Control
Quality professionals work in all industries and all sectors, and they come in many guises. Some are generalists, and some are specialists.
Many will have titles like quality control manager, quality control engineer, quality control director or assurance manager, while others deal with quality control as part of a broader remit.
Some are concerned with the delivery of products and services, while some are part of the leadership of an organisation. Some are employed in-house, while others work outside the organisations they deal with. It’s a broad category.
What unites quality professionals is their dedication to protecting and strengthening their organisations by making sure that stakeholders’ needs are met – and ideally, that their expectations are exceeded. (Read more about the quality profession here).
At a strategic level, they’re involved with making sure the organisation translates its objectives into outcomes (we refer to this part as governance).
They’re also focused on increasing efficiency, reducing risk, dealing with compliance, solving problems and employing process improvement tools such as Six Sigma (we refer to these parts as assurance and improvement).
The CQI (Chartered Quality Institute) is the only chartered body dedicated to quality professionals. Our chartered members get to use the title of Chartered Quality Professional – the gold standard for professionalism in quality.
IRCA (International Register of Certificated Auditors) is a division of the CQI and is the leading professional body for management system auditors.
Quality Control Management in the Gems and Jewellery department
Jewellery’s reputation rests on both its high-quality workmanship and efficient delivery times. These two key aspects of our business fundamentally depend upon the same scrupulous, multi-step QC process.
Our QC team inspects every single piece at each step of production (wax injection, casting, filing, stone setting, polishing, plating, packaging, etc.), and before shipping. This close attention to QC not only ensures the quality of the final product but also allows us to identify and avert the type of potential problems that, if left unchecked, might cause more serious delays further down the production line. As a result, we are able to consistently meet all shipping deadlines.
Our quality control & assurance team tests all products against our own set of rigorous quality control standards, along with whatever additional requirements our customers specify. They have several machines and chemical treatments to accommodate various testing and quality control processes, namely:
- Casting Department: silver and gold purity tests (via Fischerscope)
- Stone Grading Department: diamond authentication (via Presidium Multi-Tester)
- Plating Department: tarnish tests (via Oxidizer) and thickness tests (via Fischerscope), along with daily inspections of all plating solutions (via Fischerscope)
How do I get into Quality Control Management?
First things first: The initial step to success is understanding quality management as a discipline and what it has to offer.
Quality management is a broad spectrum that covers topics like:
- Six Sigma, which has levels of mastery like Champion, Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, Master Black Belt and so on;
- Minitab, a software designed for six sigma professionals;
- CTFL, which is a foundation level for software development/ software testing;
- Lean Management, which is an approach to running an organization, and;
- TOC or the Theory of Constraints provides a set of holistic processes and rules based on a systems approach that focuses on a few leverage points to synchronize parts to achieve ongoing improvement in the performance of a system as a whole.
The prerequisites for the Six Sigma certification are a certain amount of work experience in the areas defined by the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge, depending on the level you are starting at.
Neither Minitab nor CTFL have any specific, set requirements, and anybody can take these examinations to get certified. Lean Management courses can be taken by professionals who have worked on process improvements and have specific knowledge of the quality aspects.
There are no prerequisites for the TOC exam.
Regular Factory Audits
We also request relevant documents from our suppliers to certify that their products are ethically sourced. For example, they make sure that their diamond suppliers adhere to the Kimberley Process, which works to prevent the distribution of conflict diamonds in both rough and polished forms.
In addition to the above-mentioned regular local audits, they have also been audited by individual customers, and encourage new customers to visit their facility for a tour.
Final Quality Control Inspector: Also known as ‘Quality Control Checker’, the Final Quality Inspector is responsible for allowing the finished jewellery piece to be shipped out to the customer, after having checked quality control parameters thoroughly. It is an important job role.
Brief Job Description: The individual at work ensures that the jewellery piece manufactured is as per design and defect-free before allowing it to be dispatched to the customer.
Personal Attributes: The job requires the individual to have: attention to detail; good eyesight; steady hands; the ability to communicate with bench workers and supervisors and creativity to work processes.
This inspection procedure checks that our jewellery conforms to your specifications and is free from manufacturing defects. A workmanship review will typically check for such issues as:
- Scratches, dents or excessive solder/glue
- Missing parts, the improper fit of stones or other components
- Poor fit/finish, mismatched colours, misaligned patterns/labels
- Sharp edges or points, frayed or exposed wires, poorly made repairs
- Poor symmetry or misalignment of components
Pull Test on the Chain, Band and Closing System
This test subjects a piece of jewellery, such as a necklace or bangle, to a continuous pulling force, to check whether the fastener, as well as the stringing material (nylon or leather cord, or a metal chain), are able to withstand a predetermined pulling force without breaking. The piece will pass the test if the stringing material does not break, and none of the metal components breaks or yield.
As a manufacturer, one must be sure that the jewellery he is making consistently adheres to his specifications. If he ships an order of bracelets with clasps that fail under very light tension, then our buyer is likely to reject the entire order. For an even worse example: if his jewellery contains batteries that easily fall out, such a battery can be swallowed by a child, causing them serious harm, and, a costly recall.
The following are some of the important physical and mechanical tests that one must perform on his or her jewellery to ensure that his or her buyer and the end customers are happy with his product.
Get in contact with a QIMA inspection specialist today and find out how one can make jewellery that lives up to the customer’s quality standards.
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