The quality of your products speaks a lot about your business. You make money through your customers whose first usual standard is quality, at least in the retail world. It starts with a few customers appreciating your product, who will spread the word about it and pave the way to its increased demand. When you don’t deliver products according to your customer’s expectations, you’ll most likely lose them.
No matter how expensive your products can be, your customers will always come back when the quality is good. Consistency in product quality will make your customers loyal to your brand. Take, for example, Apple that sold just last year a mere 20 million Mac and MacBook units, 71 million iPads, and 94 million iPhones. When you say quality electronic gadgets, the first thing people think about would be Apple. This kind of brand reputation wouldn’t have been possible if they hadn’t placed a high priority on quality.
Product Quality Starts in the Manufacturing Process
The market is ever-dynamic. Products that make a trend now may not be on-demand in the next few years. But one thing will never change—the customers’ need for quality in every product they purchase. To achieve this, it starts with paying attention to the manufacturing process. You will want to achieve quality from the production until consumers receive the product.
Tips on Maintaining Product Quality Beginning in the Factory
Quality begins in the factory. Every manufacturer should aim to produce consistent quality outputs, which can be achieved in many ways. Keep in mind these tips:
1. Define quality from your customer’s point of view
Generally, quality products mean they can perform longer, solve specific problems, are safe, comfortable, usable, and efficient. Customers also tend to compare the cost of the product versus how much they want it. But beyond generalizations, determine what “quality” really means to your customers.
Your staff may want to keep making the product better but have no idea what the better version should be. With this mindset, you may end up making improvements your customers don’t actually need. Those attempts to better the product may also just increase the cost of the product.
Avoid this by having your marketing or sales department observe and advocate for the customers. From there, improve your products in a way that you can still reduce the cost.
2. Standardize the process
Invest in tools that can make the whole process more accurate, hence, preventing quality issues. One of these tools is large or thick-walled injection molders that can significantly increase the production rate while lessening the time needed for the process. Staff members are there to facilitate the machine, not finishing the products all by themselves. This lets them do more.
Think of other standardizing tools and processes you can use, but first, check how effective they are in one area. If your goals are achieved in one place you are testing, then replicate them in other areas.
3. Improve your workforce
Instill perfectionism in the workforce or what is called zero loss thinking. It may be impossible to achieve perfection overall, such as in quality, quantity, and more, but when this is enforced, your labor force will strive towards perfection and not assume that mistakes are expected. This can be difficult at first, but employees will catch up with the mindset over time, leading to reduced cases of quality problems.
Too much leniency can lead to less productivity. Keep your standards high and discipline firm as much as possible to avoid any errors that can cause huge repercussions. However, avoid extreme bureaucracy as it can also be counterproductive.
With this mindset, keep them educated, empowered, and engaged. Your staff should have the ability to determine the problem and provide solutions. They should know the difference between good and poor quality. Make sure they are well-versed about the entire standardized process, so they can do everything right as much as possible.
Switch to a team-based approach as well. An individual can only achieve much but a team can achieve bigger goals. Make them feel they’re one team working toward one goal—accomplishing much with minimum to zero errors. Solicit opinions and perspectives from your team, which is also an excellent way for your company to grasp all aspects. Anything can occur in the production. Direct knowledge from your staff can help you make better plans.
Quality From Production to Consumers
Build a better team for improved outputs. Only then can you gain more customers attracted to your products’ quality, increasing your customer base and profits.