As products and services evolve, consumer expectations tend to increase so that yesterday’s quality product becomes tomorrow’s junk. Quality revolves around meeting customer expectations, expectations that may be stated or implied. One action that sums up quality from a business perspective is when the customer returns after the sale and the product doesn’t. The statistical definition of quality is a little more precise than other definitions, such as the customer-based concept, and is based on mathematics. When you measure quality statistically, you look for variation in a measurement between what the ? ustomers asks for and what you produce. The less variation you have, the higher the quality of your product or service. All processes have some natural variation; you use statistics to detect abnormal variation that could cause you to produce a bad product or service. You can also use statistics to avoid testing every item that you produce. By testing a sample of what you make or deliver, you can use statistics to measure its quality and find out whether it meets customer requirements the statistical definition of quality is a little more precise than other definitions, such as the customer-based concept, and is based on mathematics.
When you measure quality statistically, you look for variation in a measurement between what the customers asks for and what you produce. The less variation you have, the higher the quality of your product or service. All processes have some natural variation; you use statistics to detect abnormal variation that could cause you to produce a bad product or service. You can also use statistics to avoid testing every item that you produce. By testing a sample of what you make or deliver, you can use statistics to measure its quality and find out whether it meets customer requirements.
After you as an organization decide on a definition of quality you need standards against which to measure your quality. Many standards are driven by the desire to safeguard the health and well-being of the people who use the products or services companies provide. Quality standards also are critical in support of international trade. Almost every industry has an association or trade group that sets quality standards against which companies can measure the quality of their products or services.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international body made up of the national standards organizations for almost every country. Quality assurance focuses on the ability of a process to produce or deliver a quality product or service. This method differs from quality control in that it looks at the entire process, not just the final product. Quality control is designed to detect problems with a product or service. Quality assurance attempts to head off problems at the pass by tweaking a production process until it can produce a quality product.
A process called the Plan-Do-Check-Act, or the PDCA cycle is a powerful tool that requires planning improvements to your process by looking for problems that affect the quality of your product or service. Make improvements by implementing small changes to minimize disruption to your process. Check production results to see if you’ve actually made an improvement. Act on what you discover and roll it out to the entire process. The most basic quality control technique is to inspect the results of your production or service-delivery process to make sure it conforms to customer requirements.
In quality control terms, conforming means that an item meets customer specifications, and nonconforming means it doesn’t. You inspect your product or service by measuring one or more of its properties and comparing the measurements to customer specifications. Although inspection can ensure that 100 percent of the products or services delivered to your customers are good, it can be a very expensive process, especially for high-volume, low-value items. Also, inspection is impossible for items where testing can damage the product.
The introduction of a quality control process into an organization can be a major shock to its system. The following components are crucial if you want to lessen the shock and gain acceptance within your organization. Advertise acceptance of the program from important stakeholders within your organization. Communicate the reasons for the change and the benefits it will bring to everyone in the organization. Train employees in the new ways of the organization. You want workers doing the right things consistently because success helps to gain support.
Like most other changes, quality control is best introduced in small bits. One way to do this is to create a pilot project that allows you to make a small change to a small part of your process to see the change’s effect. If the results are good, you can implement the change on a wider basis; if the change is bad, you’ve limited the damage done. As an example I made a small research on Quest Diagnostics to make a scenario to explain how a company works on quality control. Quest Diagnostics is the nation’s leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services.
The clients include patients and consumers, physicians, hospitals, health insurers, employers and government agencies. Each year the company performs personal health testing on over 100 million patients, over 250 million diagnostic laboratory tests, and more than 6. 5 million gene-based tests. Quest Diagnostics Inc. develops tests that help people live longer, healthier lives. Some of the most notable technological advances include earlier detection of Cervical Cancer. Cervical cancer is almost 100% curable when detected early and clinical studies have shown that the Thin Prep Pap Test increases the early detection of precancerous cells.
This test has been hailed as one of the most significant improvements in cervical cancer screening in over 50 years. Every year Chicago Business Unit cytology laboratory performs 1. 1 million Pap smear tests. Currently the business issue is time for Thin Prep Pap Test reports. Many of the clients have complained that the time for Thin Prep Pap Test reports is too slow. Clients also have complained that the patient care is affected due to slower time for test reports. The hypothesis of the business issue is that the time is too slow for reporting the Pap Test results.
Management has planned to make improvements for time of Thin Prep Pap Test reports. In order to make improvements, the management needs to research on current workflow processes of Thin Prep Pap Test and then find the possible solution. In order to research the current workflow process of the Thin Prep Pap Test and finding possible solutions following research questions will be researched: What is the volume of Pap Tests? What barrier factors are affecting the time of the Pap test? What is the staffing situation? Is it efficient to handle the volume?
What steps are involved in processing of the Pap Test? How much time is spent for each step? Which departments are involved in processing of the Pap Test? What is the current cost for the Pap test? What other new technology is available in the market for faster processing of the Pap tests? What is the cost of the new technology? Is there an approved insurance reimbursement for the new technology? Statistics serve many purposes within quality control. Statistics allow you to determine which processes or parts of processes are causing your company the most problems.