For Value Beyond Expectations – Maintain Effective Quality Culture
Quality refers to the degree up to which requirements are realized. In general, quality systems evolved gradually over the following five eras:
- Statistical Quality Control
- Quality Assurance
- Strategic Quality Management
- Quality Systems Chaining.
In the Inspection era, ‘how to ensure quality’ was seen as a problem that could be solved through analysis of the final product. Since the quality check was done only on the final product, it was both costly and ineffective.
In the Statistical Quality Control era, controls were implemented during various stages of production and the final product, if unsatisfactory, would not be delivered to the customers. The tools used were statistical tools, rather than the gauging or measurement tools that were used in the inspection era.
When it came to the Strategic Quality Management era, the primary focus was aligned to the strategic impact on the organization with emphasis to the customer and market needs. It was since this era that the top management became actively involved with quality management.
In the latest era of Quality systems chaining, the consumer and societal needs are also given importance. Also, the responsibility for quality resides on all the stakeholders of an organization. Thus, as each era passes by, the impact on quality has been increasing and its emphasis is spreading over more areas. Ultimately, everyone in the ladder gets involved.
At Bobcares, we get each and everyone of our employee to be involved with the quality systems. We manage quality in our customer service, by first understanding the customer requirements properly and then ensuring that our team works towards achieving the expectations of the customers. As in every quality system, quality control and quality assurance are the factors that play the most crucial roles in the Bobcares quality system. Quite often, both these factors are used interchangeably. However, they have different meanings.
While conducting Quality Assurance, we have a well-defined plan to check the processes, which ensure that the customers are satisfied by our products or services. This is mainly done by auditing the processes that are involved in the creation of the deliverables. During Quality control, the final deliverables are checked for acceptance. They are compared with the customer’s expectations to see that they conform to the requirements. Thus, Assurance is the act of giving confidence and Control is mainly the evaluation done.
Bobcares is ISO 9001:2000 certified. There are eight Quality management principles, based on which the ISO standards are framed. Hence, our primary focus is around these eight principles.
Principle 1: Customer focus
Customers form the center of our business. Customer focus involves understanding the customer needs, preparing plans to meet the customer requirements and finally, striving to achieve customer delight by exceeding their expectations. With this purpose in mind, we have our objectives directly linked to customer expectations.
Principle 2: Leadership
Leaders are the ones who guide an organization and bring in unity among the employees. They have to set challenging goals for the employees and ensure a good work environment for the employees to become productive. At Bobcares, we have a capable top management, who are committed to guide the employees and groom them to become leaders themselves.
Principle 3: Involvement of people
People at all levels in Bobcares get fully involved in the quality system, by contributing to the best of their abilities, so that the organization is benefited. Each person is accountable for his/her performance, which again ensures that he/she constantly strives for continual improvement.
Principle 4: Process approach
To bring in more quality to the services delivered, the processes involved in the delivery of service is made effective. The key activities at Bobcares that effect the customers’ needs and the support activities involved are identified and the processes are defined based on that.
Principle 5: System approach to management
Identifying, understanding and managing interrelated processes as a system is necessary to improve the organization’s effectiveness and to achieve its objectives. At Bobcares, the quality system is comprised of the key business processes and its interrelated processes. Thus, for the system to function effectively, the processes involved should be made perfect.
Principle 6: Continual improvement
Continual improvement of the organization’s overall performance should be the most important objective of any organization. By including this in our quality policy and objectives, we ensure that the performance of Bobcares is enhanced every year.
Principle 7: Factual approach to decision making
Only if the right data and information is obtained and analyzed, decision making can be perfect. At Bobcares, we have the customized software and tools to collect the relevant data from every team. We also conduct data analysis to find out the scope for improvement or areas of possible non-conformity. Management decisions are taken based on this data analysis.
Principle 8: Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
An organization and its suppliers are interdependent. A mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both parties to create value beyond expectations. By maintaining a good relationship with our suppliers and customers, Bobcares is able to create value for both parties.
Thus, focusing on these eight principles, Bobcares has been able to continually maintain a very efficient quality management system, which helps us to delight our customers and thus prove ourselves to be the best in the industry.
About The Author:
Reeshma Mary Mathews, Sr. Software Engineer is the Chief Coach at Bobcares. She joined Bobcares in 2002 and was Team Leader for about three years, before taking up the challenge of maintaining Quality in the services provided by Bobcares. She plays a crucial role in ensuring that the Quality Management System(QMS) in Poornam is in compliance with ISO 9001:2000.