Quality assurance is a process all organizations should undertake to ensure their products and/or services are up to high standards. The process prevents mistakes, addresses any problems that do arise, and ensures consistency. Quality assurance depends on auditors, who could be with the company or independent. They evaluate the various methods and provide guidance. Why is quality assurance so important? Why is it a worthy investment? Here are ten reasons:
#1. Quality assurance saves time
While it takes time at the beginning of the process to create systems that catch errors, it takes more time to fix the errors if they’re allowed to happen or get out of control. Software development is a good example. One analysis showed that fixing an error in the production stage took up to 150 times longer than repairing it earlier in the requirements design stage.
#2. Quality assurance also saves money
Some businesses might be a bit unsure about quality assurance because of its cost, but the fact is it actually saves money in the long run. Paying to prevent problems is cheaper than paying to fix them. Quality assurance systems also save money on materials because nothing goes to waste. As an example, if a business makes a toy and doesn’t have quality assurance in place, a low-quality toy won’t sell as well or people will complain and return them. The business then needs to make more toys to replace the low-quality ones, which costs them more money.
#3. Quality assurance boosts customer confidence
Companies known for their quality and consistency always do better with customers. People want to spend money on products and services, but only if they believe they’re getting something that’s worth the price. When businesses use quality assurance processes, they’re letting customers know that they care about them and their priorities. With many industries, like the food industry, quality assurance is also an essential part of safety. Customers want to be confident that the food they’re eating is safe and won’t make them sick.
#4. Quality assurance is good for a business’ reputation
In the business world, a good reputation is vital. As discussed in the point above, a good reputation boosts customer confidence. That translates into loyalty, so even if another product or service comes along, customers will want to stick with a business they already trust. Reputation is important for all stakeholders, as well, such as investors and suppliers. Stakeholders only want to support and work with a business that has a great reputation. Quality assurance is an important part of building that great reputation.
#5. Quality assurance leads to more long-term profit
Quality assurance can boost profit in a few ways. The first is through saving more money by not wasting time or materials. The second is that quality makes a business more competitive in the marketplace. Many businesses are also able to raise the cost of their products because customers are willing to pay more for better quality. Loyal stakeholders will hype up a business, which translates into more sales and long-term profit.
#6. Quality assurance ensures products/services keep improving
The quality assurance process is all about consistently maintaining high standards. Many of those standards depend on what customers ask for. As customers engage with a product or service, they will have suggestions on how to improve them. Businesses committed to quality will listen and use those suggestions to perfect and upgrade their offering. This keeps customers happy and loyal to the business.
#7. Quality assurance ensures consistent results
With services and products, consistency is very important. Even if a business doesn’t produce “the best” offerings in the marketplace, being consistent with the standards it does have makes a huge difference. A fancy restaurant that only nails ¾ of its dishes is probably not going to have as good of a reputation as the family-style diner that produces consistently-good meals 100% of the time. Quality assurance ensures every product/service bearing the company’s name is the same. No customer is going to get something worse or better than another customer.
#8. Quality assurance creates clear expectations for everyone
There are many people involved in the creation of a high-quality service or product. A quality assurance process sets clear expectations and standards from the start. There’s less room for error or misunderstandings when people know what they’re expected to do.
#9. Quality assurance has a positive impact on employee morale
When employees understand what’s expected of them, they are less stressed and better able to focus on meeting established standards. The positive impact of quality assurance also extends to their faith in their employer. Enacting quality assurance processes proves to employees that “quality” isn’t just an empty buzzword. There are systems in place to back up the business’ promises.
#10. Quality assurance is the foundation of a business’ work culture
When quality assurance is a priority for a company, it sets the tone for the whole business. The drive for quality infuses every part of an organization and everyone has a role to play. Anything that seems to be inhibiting the organization’s ability to provide quality to their customers is addressed. A work culture focused on meeting certain standards is good for everyone – stakeholders, employees, and the business itself.