Quality is an essential measure of the functionality and performance of a product. To create a product that meets the needs and expectations of customers, manufacturers must have a quality control process in place throughout production. High-quality products lead to positive customer reviews and word-of-mouth marketing and help you stand out from your competitors.
For most manufacturers, improving product quality requires attention to detail. Improving the quality of your products involves identifying areas for improvement and creating processes to remedy them. Here are three tips on improving product quality as a manufacturer.
Communicate with your suppliers
If you’re manufacturing products overseas, communication is critical. Poor communication can lead to quality, timelines, and customer satisfaction issues. To reduce the risk of these mishaps, it’s essential to establish a good foundation with your suppliers from the start. A supplier relationship isn’t just a transaction: it’s a partnership. Businesses that communicate their needs and expectations to their suppliers are more likely to meet their needs.
If you communicate your expectations clearly and consistently, you give your supplier the ability to provide what you need. In addition to displaying your current needs, sharing your future plans is essential. If you’re experiencing growing pains, it might be time to look for a new manufacturer. If you want to keep your options open, ask for samples before committing to a long-term contract.
Remember, your suppliers not only include the raw materials required to make your products and packaging but also supply your equipment too. From purchasing new parts such as conveyor pulleys to maintaining your equipment, your need to be confident your suppliers are providing you with the best tools for the task at hand.
Implement quality check processes
Once your product is ready to be manufactured, it’s time to put your quality control processes in place. Quality control aims to ensure the product meets the manufacturer’s standard of quality by measuring and inspecting every step of the production process.
The quality control process begins with the identification of defects. The first step in quality control is inspection. To identify defects, an inspector will review the raw materials, equipment, work-in-progress, and finished product. At this stage, a defective product is either reworked or scrapped. Once the product is ready for packaging, the inspector will perform a package inspection to identify any defects.
Defects found at this stage are corrected or reworked. When the product is ready for shipping, a shipping inspection is performed to ensure the product is prepared for distribution.
Create a lean production process
For a long time, manufacturers followed a “push production” method, which required large stocks of raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods. This created a lot of waste and high inventory costs. To overcome these issues, manufacturers began using “lean production” methods – a management theory aiming to reduce waste in all aspects of the product lifecycle. Lean production is based on the idea that demand is the only essential factor for production.
Before starting a production run, manufacturers should know how many products they need and for whom. You can plan your production process accordingly when you know how much you need and for whom. This means you will only manufacture what you need when you need it. This cuts down on the number of raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished products you have on hand, reducing inventory costs.
A strong brand relies on the quality of your products. If your customers receive a product that doesn’t meet their needs or expectations, they will likely move on to a competitor. Improving product quality requires attention to detail at every step of the production process.
Manufacturers should communicate with their suppliers, implement quality control processes, and create a lean production process to create high-quality products.