Quality Planning

Just as in any management process, quality management also has three main components: (1) planning, (2) implementation, and (3) monitoring and control. The planning part of quality management, quality planning should deal with the following aspects:

1. To set quality objectives and targets and take into account customers’ wants and the marketability of the products etc
2. To carry out pre-production process capability or quality deliverability studies (to find out whether the company is capable of producing and marketing the products of certain quality)
3. To establish the relative importance of the quality characteristics and specification, and communicate to the production line people as well as to the vendors supplying the raw materials specifications and drawing per se and never communicate what that particular specification stands for and why.
4. To look after various vendor quality control aspects such as examining new vendor facilities their procedures and systems, setting up of the vendor rating scales and periodic performance evaluation of the vendors.
5. To establish statistical control techniques, charts and sampling plans.
6. To establish training programs for various personnel in the company so that quality consciousness gains a firm ground in the organization.

In short, designing the desired and deliverable quality standards is the job of quality planning.

Quality Implementation:

The implementing part of quality management deals with:

1. Performing laboratory tests and analysis on the raw materials, finished products, and the semi-finished products for acceptance/rejection or for process control.
2. Maintaining quality control equipment (Process, Laboratory and Inspection).
3. Advising and providing assistance for the clarification and solution of quality management problems in manufacturer.

Quality Monitoring and Control:

The monitoring and control function deals with:

1. Appraising the quality plan vis-à-vis the problems of production and the problems of vendor quality, so that appropriate action is taken to correct the initial planning errors.
2. Appraising quality planning vis-à-vis the actual quality which has reached the customer and what the latter’s reaction is regarding the product quality; how such reactions can be set right by modification to the original quality plan.
3. In addition to performing quality audits, monitoring the costs of quality and providing such information to the quality planners so that they take appropriate action of the future.

Integration of planning, Implementation and control feedback:

The organization for quality should ensure that the planning, implementation, monitoring and control feedback cycle is properly facilitated. This is an important point. Since quality control is everybody’s business the organization for quality should be so structured that in making quality everybody’s concern it does not lead to a chaotic situation. In spite of the fact that many functional departments are involved in the maintenance of quality, the integrity of the management feedback cycle should be maintained for effective quality management. One may delegate certain quality management tasks to particular departments. For instance, one may assign the urgent in-process testing and inspection work to the shop floor people. But certain important considerations must predominate to make this decentralization effective enough e.g. the quality management personnel should periodically check the degree or strictness to which the in plant quality control procedures are being followed; (2) they should also check periodically or continuously the finished product quality; (3) the quality management department should provide competent technical support to the shop floor people in helping them to solve day-to-day quality problems; and (4) the inspectors on the shop floor should have been trained sufficiently to perform their jobs. These are some of the precautions which need to be taken for the decentralization of the quality management effort. Whenever there is such delegation, a tight control by quality management is necessary.