Quality Control vs Quality Assurance

How often have you encountered that quality inspectors in manufacturing do not understand the difference between quality assurance and quality control? 

Often you will hear someone talk about ‘Quality Assurance (QA) when they mean ‘Quality Control.’ 

This article will discuss fundamental differences between quality assurance and quality control. Not only will we point out the differences, but also discuss how companies can digitize these processes to achieve the utmost standards. 

Quality Control vs. Quality Assurance

Although both QA and QC processes are integral to ensuring the end quality of the product or procedures, they’re fundamentally different in their focus :

  • QC is used to confirm the quality of the output;
  • QA is the process of managing quality.

In simple words, quality assurance can help prevent problems before they happen, while quality control can help fix and identify issues that have already occurred. 

What is Quality Assurance?

As per the definition, quality assurance is a process or set of procedures to ensure that a product or service meets the specified quality standards. 

Now that you’ve understood the denomination of quality assurance, let’s know it in detail. 

Quality assurance has many different approaches, but all share the common goal of ensuring that a product meets the specified quality standards. 

Quality assurance can be divided into two main categories: preventive and reactive.

Preventive quality assurance focuses on preventing problems from occurring in the first place. 

This can be done through things like process improvement and training. 

On the other hand, reactive quality assurance focuses on detecting and correcting problems after they have already occurred. This can be done through things like Inspections and audits.

Which approach is best depends on the particular product or service being provided. In some cases, a combination of both methods may be used.

What is Quality Control?

As per the definition, quality control is a system of maintaining standards in manufactured products by testing a sample of the output against the specification. It helps to ensure that manufactured products meet or exceed customer expectations. 

Several steps are taken during the quality control process to ensure that the products are of the highest quality. 

First, the products must be tested to ensure they meet all of the required specifications. 

Next, the products must be inspected by a specialist who will look for any signs of defects. 

Finally, the products must be packaged and delivered to the retailers or customers.

Quality in Manufacturing

Quality control and assurance processes are two critical concepts used in the manufacturing sector to ensure the quality of end products.

As we already discussed, quality control is focused on preventing defects from occurring in the first place using various processes such as quality inspection, quality audit, and all other methods. 

Quality assurance, on the other hand, focuses on detecting defects and then taking steps to fix them. This approach is often used in combination with quality control, as it can be difficult to prevent all defects from occurring.

Prerequisites to Establish Quality Control Procedures

Creating an effective QA/QC strategy is essential to develop a product that meets end requirements. Here are some general conditions to establish and execute quality control procedures efficiently:

Build a Dedicated Quality Team

A dedicated QC/QA team is pivotal for organizations to ensure that products meet decided quality standards. The entire organization, from top management to frontline workers, must create a culture of quality and safety for all members to do their best work.

Define Your Performance Goal

Quality assurance or control teams must consider the current performance of their product and processes, define a clear SMART goal, and then plan to eliminate all of the techniques, steps, and methodologies that don’t contribute to achieving the mentioned goal. 

Choose the Best Method

There are many QC/QC methods manufacturing organizations across the world follow today. While 5S, Six Sigma, Lean, and Kaizen are usually applicable methodologies for improving overall quality, using the right digital tool like Axonator digital checklists increases their effectiveness. 

Look at our rapid digital transformation platform!

How to Improve QC procedures

This part of the article will discuss how manufacturing companies can improve quality control procedures using some simple digital tools and methodologies.  

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Establish Standard Operating Procedures ( SOPs)

The first and most crucial step to improving existing quality assurance and control processes is establishing standard operating procedures for the quality control team. Ensure that all quality inspectors gain buy-in to adhere to the organization’s established SOPs. 

Step 2: Be proactive

Once finished with establishing SOPs, the next step is reinforcing standard quality control procedures through regular quality audits and checks and addressing nonconformance discovered during internal audits.

We at Axonator have developed quality control checklists to empower organizations to do the same. These checklists enable employees to follow standardized processes, work with best practices, and offer suggestions to improve the product or service quality. 

Here are some quality control checklists to manage day-to-day quality management programs.

And more.

Step 3: Automate Recordkeeping

Keeping a complete track record of quality monitoring processes helps maintain quality and safety standards and is pivotal to driving continuous quality improvement. 

Traditional, paper-based record keeping methods are cumbersome and create significant challenges for auditors to document internal checks regularly—leverage automated digital recordkeeping to save time and ensure that internal reviews are recorded accurately. 

We also recommend companies use Axonator quality control apps that help organizations to document all information related to quality control processes.  

The app will help companies document the quality control observations and automate information flow across multiple departments. The app stores all information in a secure cloud-based environment. 

Quality Control App to Record All Kinds of Data

Step 4: Drive Continuous Improvements

Continuously learn from the past data and customer surveys, review incidents, and always seek new technologies that can help improve existing processes and enhance quality standards in your organization. 

Step 5: Utilize technology

Save time and maximize resources for quality control by using new technology such as no-code mobile apps to automate mission-critical manufacturing processes like Gemba Walk, Quality Audit, and Quality Inspection. These tools can automate your manufacturing landscape with record time & cost.

Save time and maximize resources for quality control by using new technology such as sensors that automate monitoring of quality parameters and mobile auditing tools to record and analyze information that paper audit forms cannot capture.

Implementing Quality Management Software for Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Quality assurance and quality control is one stepping stone to success that has been around for decades, leading organizations on their road to success with innovations and best practices every year.

At Axonator, we help transform your quality assurance and control processes with enterprise-grade solutions developed on the unique no-code platform to match your business needs.

Explore some of the topic-notch enterprise-grade software solutions and digital checklists.

Top 5 Quality Control Mobile & Tablet Apps to Get Started:

  1. Free Quality Audit Checklist App
  2. Free On-site Quality Control Checklist App
  3. Free Quality Control Inspection Checklist App
  4. Free Daily Quality Control Checklist App
  5. Free Quality Control Audit Checklist App

Why Axonator?

  • World’s first mobile-focused & Highly customizable no-code architecture to support real-world scenarios.
  • Deploy enterprise-grade solutions rapidly as per unique requirementsAchieve Paperless quality audits and inspections.
  • Generate reports automatically and automated data collection for trends and analytics.
  • Streamline processes and implement a fully automated system within weeks using Axonator’s MicroApp strategy.
  • Available on Android, iOS, and the web, Axonator is a highly customizable no-code field workflow automation platform mainly used to transform your paper and spreadsheet-based manual processes and maintain quality control in numerous industries.

Axonator offers several simple and ready-to-use enterprise-grade apps for field workflows like inspections, audits, safety, asset management, and work orders that organizations can use to replace paper, spreadsheet & cumbersome desktop-based manual processes with mobile & tablet apps. 

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  1. What is Axonator’s MicroApp Strategy?
  2. The Implementation of “The MicroApp Strategy” is Easy
  3.  The Top Benefits of Digital Transformation using the Axonator’s MicroApp Strategy

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