Mejora de Calidad

Improve quality in a company in 4 steps

In many companies, quality is still seen as a competitive advantage that is given to the client over the competition, so it is decided to undertake projects such as the implementation of Quality Systems such as the ISO 9001 Standard.

Although, to perform this type of project is always a good idea because it will have benefits beyond customer satisfaction, there are organizations that do not want to carry out something so big, either due to lack of resources, time, or simply do not have the will.

But we must remember that currently it is no longer enough to just offer acceptable quality standards, this should already be taken as a mandatory requirement that the company must comply with if it wants to have an adequate minimum competitiveness, and in this article I am going to give you 4 steps so you can easily improve the levels of quality significantly that your company offers its customers.

There will be some points in which the Quality Department will not be able to perform them alone and you will have to support yourself from different departments of the organization, but implementing them correctly I assure you that you will obtain excellent results.

1- Define the processes involved in your company and their interaction.

The first thing to do is order things, this greatly influences the Quality Management of a company and is easily done by adopting an approach to processes and not in areas as it is commonly implemented.

List the main processes

At this point you can base on the areas that are already defined in your company, together with all the participants, make a list of all those that are considered most important.

You must focus on the most general, remember that they are areas, you must have names such as Administration, Purchasing, Warehouse on the list; and not names like Debts to Pay, Billing, etc. Those would already be sub processes or activities within the main processes.

Organize the processes in a general diagram

At this point you must accommodate each process in a diagram according to its nature, this diagram is called Macro Process, there are 3 types of process:

  • Strategic Processes

We are going to place them at the top of our Macro Process, because they set the strategy to be followed and provide guidelines for the entire company, here are the processes such as Management and Quality Management System.

  • Key Processes

These go in the middle part of the diagram, here you will include all the processes that make up the productive part of the company, such as Sales, Production, Delivery, Quality Control, etc.

In these processes you must indicate how the flow of the information, products or services, support yourself using arrows to interconnect them from the moment the client determines their requirements until the products or services are delivered.

  • Support Processes

These processes go to the bottom of the Macro Process, here are the processes that provide support to everything to ensure that everything continues to function correctly, here you must have processes such as Human Resources, IT and Maintenance.

Remember that this is not an organization chart, the processes at the top are not more important than the others, the idea is to organize them in an understandable way according to their activities.

Your Macro Process should look similar to the following:

Esquema Mejora la Calidad

Assign a person responsible for each process.

The last thing left is to determine who will be responsible for each process, the most common is that this part is very easy because the same managers of the areas will now be responsible for their processes.

It does not matter that you have a single person in charge of several processes as long as the person is capable of carrying out all the necessary activities. What you cannot have under any circumstances is 2 people responsible for a single process, this makes the responsibilities diluted and then you do not know who to hold accountable if the objectives are not achieved.

Attach to your diagram a sheet with 3 columns: “Name of the Process”, “Responsible” and “Position”, that will be enough.

2- Implement the Key Performance Indicators or KPIs

This point is very important, since you should always be evaluating the results of the processes to implement changes or improvements if necessary, this will also be very useful when you want to develop the Quality Policy of the organization in the future.

In another article I have already written some basic points on how to define KPIs in your company, so in the following points I will limit myself to say what you shouldn’t do: 

Do not define too many indicators

It is true that you have to include the indicators that are enough to perform a correct analysis of the performance of each process, but keep in mind that the generation of information and its analysis takes time, so try to make it easy for those responsible.

Do not define them only by yourself

The indicators must be aligned with the main objectives of the company, and the nature of the process itself.

When you define the indicators together with the process leaders, you ensure that the goals of one indicator will not negatively affect another. For example, a very high sales indicator may be correct for the Commercial Process but it may be too high for the Production Process capacity.

Do not be ambiguous in the concepts

You always have to develop KPIs that are clear, if you want to measure customer satisfaction, your result should be a number or rating from a survey and not a term like “good”, “fair”, or “bad”

3- Make the organization chart of your company

Surely you already know this document is a graphic representation of a company where the positions and the hierarchy that each one has are defined.

Although the organization chart is very common, you would be surprised to know how many companies do not have one or have done it in the wrong way, below I give you instructions to do it correctly.

Use names of positions, not areas

It is very common to see organization charts where a position is called “Sales” or “Warehouse”, these are not positions, they are areas, you must be much more specific when naming the position, it should be something like “Sales Manager” or “Warehouse Assistant”.

Respect the hierarchies of each level

In an organization chart, levels of hierarchy are defined, the highest levels being those with the highest hierarchy and therefore more responsibility as well.

You must always respect these levels, for example, at the level where you are placing the managerial commands, do not mix it with any officer.

A single boss per worker

This is something that is not so common, at least in the organization chart, in practice it may be different, but it is important to take care of this concept anyway.

Always make sure that each worker has a single boss in charge of him, the fact of having more bosses can result in confusion for the worker and invariably there would come a point where he would stop carrying out some activity that a boss commissioned him to carry out another that he was commissioned to do by another boss.

4- Develop job descriptions 

Most likely, at this point you’ll require the support of the Human Resources Department and it will take more time but it will be worth it, the fact that each worker knows perfectly what their objectives are, activities to perform and the scope of their position, is beneficial both to avoid conflicts when carrying out the work and to raise the quality in a company.

Each position must have a document indicating its general concepts. You can start by conducting a survey with each worker to answer some concepts such as their activities, responsibilities, etc.

Determine the responsibilities of the position

The worker must know what is expected of his position, so there will be no doubt in case he is not meeting the objectives.

You must be very clear when defining responsibilities with phrases such as: “Provide attention to customer complaints and follow up until closing” and not just “customer service.”

Indicate the daily and sporadic activities

A list of the activities to be carried out in the position must be included, both daily and sporadic, this will work so that the worker does not stop doing the important things.

Document the profile of the position

Here you must indicate which are the requirements that the worker must meet in order to occupy that position.

It is important to mention concepts such as age, studies, experience and skills so this point is complete, if the worker who currently occupies the position does not fully comply with the profile, actions such as training, education, etc. can be taken. so it is within the requirements.

Include the Key Performance Indicators or KPIs

The worker must be aware of how the performance of their work will be evaluated, take advantage of the fact that you already have key performance indicators developed for each process and include all in which the worker is involved, including the goals of the KPIs .

💡 You may be interested in: 5 Reasons for Not Meeting KPI Goals

mejora de calidad - Improve quality in a company in 4 steps

Carrying out these 4 steps, I assure you that in a very short time you will see incredible results that will increase the productivity of your company and you will be able to meet customer expectations.

Finally, you must ensure that all staff have access to all the necessary documentation at the time they require it and prevent them from consulting obsolete documents if changes have been made, with QUALITYWEB 360 you can control all the documentation of your organization, registration of KPIs and much more.

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