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Quality Evolution

Molly Finn, Quality Officer at Nomad Digital explores the evolution of quality and how everyone within an organisation is responsible when it comes to embedding a continuous quality improvement culture.

In the beginning quality wasn’t a priority when it came to production, as the focus was on quantity and not quality – it was the who could work the hardest for the longest approach with all energy ploughed into machinery and technology to push productivity to an all-time high. Often in years gone by you would see the Production Manager of a plant doubling up as the Quality Manager along with a number of other roles to fulfil. Wow, how that has changed over time.

This began to shift in the 1920’s when Quality Management Systems first surfaced – albeit in a simple fashion, not as we know them today, but this was the turning point for quality over quantity. Since then, we have seen the rapid evolution of organisations implementing a system approach or in simple terms their Quality Management Systems. The world and industries have come on leaps and bounds in recent decades with measuring data and using statistical analysis tools such as six sigma, 5 Whys and 8D analysis to critique data to convey what is going wrong and how to fix it.

Quality has evolved to become departments, careers and even in finance terms, a budget code demonstrating how critical this area is for a business to get right.

What is good Quality Control & Assurance?

One of the big questions when it comes to defining a business is: What constitutes as good quality control and assurance?

It is the process of making sure a product or service is continually maintained or improved and it applies to everything. Creating a set of safe measures ensures that damaged or incomplete products and services do not reach customers and measuring the likes of customer satisfaction is a beneficial performance indicator. With more companies linking risk management and quality control together, quality is on the rise! The stage and limelight have firmly been in the quality court in recent decades and other than Health and Safety and Environmental management and CSR activities (which also take limelight), quality is at the forefront of what customers expect from their suppliers to commit to, execute and get right every time.

Today quality is one of the biggest factors that can drive a competitive advantage whilst also maintaining customer satisfaction to pave the way for continued success. Customers are looking for the best quality available and with an open and filled market in most sectors, opportunity is there for organisations to not only aim for but achieve the quality standards expected in the market.

Quality assurance and control go hand in hand, and both can be implemented right from the beginning of a client focused solution or service being delivered. All teams involved within the process from enquiry to order, to delivery and engineering teams and the aftercare support teams are responsible for consistent quality standards at all client touch points. Quality is like a river from source to mouth and every tributary must be in line, link to one another and let the quality flow all the way down, consistently keeping an even and maintained stream to get it right.

What does quality apply to?


It’s that simple. Quality really does apply to absolutely every aspect of an organisation, its people and how they operate. Improving quality on any level helps organisations continually advance. Having a robust system and mature processes in place ensures organisations are working to a consistent and uniform standard with less room for error across their business remit. If people work to one process for one task or operation that is consistent, the risks of human failure are not removed, but the risk is largely reduced as that process is documented and shared amongst the organisation.

It is easy to evade the responsibility of quality with “it’s not my responsibility” or “I’m too busy at the moment” or “this one is for the Quality Team”, but whether it’s obvious or not, everyone plays a part in quality. It is guaranteed that whatever role a department plays, they have a contribution towards the overall quality of the product or service. It may sometimes seem excessive to document and break down all processes, but this is an absolute necessity to maintain and improve the standards as well as the end product for the customer.

Currently, there are more and more systems and standards available to work towards, catching the attention of more businesses than ever before, the question is: What does the next level up of quality improvement and control look like?

While the world is in a current period of driving CSR / business continuity, environmental management and tackling climate change, the true message and absolute foundation below all of these key business sectors is…you guessed it. Quality.

The first questions and areas to delve into when assessing an organisation’s compliance and effort into areas like CSR and environmental practises will be:

Is there a documented process for this? i.e., do they measure and monitor performance?

= This is quality.

Do they have a policy for controlling aspects of their operations?

= You guessed it; this is quality too.

Quality is and has to be everyone within an organisation. The key is committing the right resources, time, and effort to embedding quality within an organisation. It might not always be ‘right first time’ as companies learn and develop, but continuous quality improvement is what can drive quality within organisations and every single employee plays a huge role in achieving that end goal.

Find out more information out Quality and Compliance here: