Quality Assurance for Retail Majors

Importance of Quality Assurance for Retail Majors

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One of the most often heard clichés is – ‘Customer is King’. So, what makes a customer a king?

Well, a common definition of Quality – “achieving agreed customer expectations or specifications” – makes it clear. In other words, the customers are kings and queens because it is they who define the quality criteria of products. Add to this the factor that not only most customers today look for economical products, but also those that are safe and healthy too – the need for proper quality control and assurance of the products has grown multi-fold.

While the small retailers may get by even if the quality is not premium, for the retailers in the niche market, it is paramount to have a properly established process for checking and verifying the quality of their products. One sample of poor quality – and the word will be out before the end of day, forcing them to take corrective steps that may be costly.

The importance of quality may be understood from the fact that most large retailers that can afford to advertise via the multiple media formats available, try to focus their ads around the quality of their goods. And it’s not just the quality of the goods at the time of consumption we are talking about – even the quality of packing plays a very important role in getting the products go off the shelf. The quality tests become even more stringent in case the goods need to be exported.

A lot of organizations these days try to implement and follow Quality Control Systems (QCSs) to ensure that the quality criteria of products is met. This may include tasks like inspecting raw materials for quality, checking the external variables as weights and temperature etc., and then performing a final inspection of the product. However, QCSs have a few inherent issues as the approach focusses more on the process rather than also take into consideration the problems that may be a result of something going wrong in the production or distribution chains.

Total Quality Assurance (TQA) helps provide a more encompassing approach towards tackling similar issues – and hence is more useful for satisfying customers’ needs. TQA doesn’t just take cognizance of problems, but rather tries to find ways by which to prevent further occurrences. It checks for issues that may crop up anywhere – the whole production and distribution system, from the suppliers of important raw materials, through the internal business management to the customer.

TQA documents the processes that must be followed across the hierarchy, and helps to define better planning, actions that are required to be taken by the management, agreements with key stakeholders – suppliers and distributors. 

7 Tips to Implement Good Total Quality Assurance (TQA) Practices

  1. Define and document the exact quality expectations – both explicit and implicit – for your retail business.
  2. Specify, and follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for improving the quality of the products at every production step.
  3. Ensure that all steps related to a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) are met.
  4. Ensure that your employees are well trained for maintaining QC control so that they become more responsible and accountable.
  5. Introduce standard automation in all areas possible to reduce the scope of human errors.
  6. Advertise your promise for guarantee of quality control in as many places as possible.
  7. Ask for direct feedback from customers to improve your quality control practices.

Following the above practices leads to the successful implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM).

Benefits of Total Quality Assurance (TQA)

A proper implementation of TQA ensures that:

  • All problems are identified, their cause is analysed, practical and proper solutions are suggested, and that the feedback is implemented
  • There is a centralized, documented process that specifies the roles, procedures, and responsibilities of the various stakeholders.
  • There is seamless communication across the board.
  • Everyone involved in any process is aware of what kinds of issues a wrong step may bring about.
  • Everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities.
  • There is a continuous assessment and development of methods to control or prevent hazards.
  • The business is in agreement with the customers’ needs.
  • The personnel are well trained in all the skills, materials, and information required to keep the promises made.
  • The retailer is able to reduce the number of harmful incidents and improve the ROI.

The experts at Cigniti Technologies ensure thorough validation for User Experience. To know more about how Cigniti can help you, please get in touch with us at contact@cigniti.com.