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A Quality Assurance Checklist To Ensure Customer Satisfaction

A quality assurance policy is a systematic approach to preventing unexpected costs during each step of production. Learn how to implement your own quality assurance policy with some tried and true techniques. By using the free Lumiform app, you can detect potential and reoccurring problems early on.

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What is a quality assurance checklist?

A quality assurance audit evaluates and improves a company's procedures to ensure that desired results are achieved. It focuses on improving processes and methods for product development in industries, such as manufacturing, information and technology, call centers, food, transportation and logistics, pharmaceutical, etc.

Even with quality controls performed regularly, some problems can slip through the cracks to the frustration of the customer. That’s why quality assurance audits are the perfect tool to identify these problem areas and improve standards in regular inspections.

An audit like this can be done efficiently with a quality assurance checklist. A checklist format allows you to conduct a structured audit of all work areas through a list of questions pertaining to your industry. At the same time, it offers you space to write comments, view answers, and indicate errors. With a QA inspection checklist in manufacturing or services you identify and fix problems up to 4x faster than traditional methods.

This article provides information on the following topics:

1. Techniques and tools of quality assurance

2. Organizing a QA inspection checklist

3. A digital tool for quality assurance checklists

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What are some Quality Assurance Techniques and Tools?

No quality assurance checklist will work unless the right techniques and tools are established and applied. The following are two basic techniques to help you improve your auditing:

The two techniques of quality assurance

  1. Defining Processes and Standards
    The characteristic feature of quality assurance is to uphold industry standards and ensure the end product meets any regulations required by the trade. The checklist should serve as a guide to help you through an inspection process. However, a checklist isn’t an end-all-be-all—you should strive to continuously improve the process when it makes sense to do so. In addition, you should also be aware that organizational standards should be defined by professionals, as they form the basis of quality assurance and ensure the development of reliable, high-quality products and services.
  2. Conducting Quality Audits
    A quality audit is a quality assurance method that examines and evaluates work products. It looks to see if standards, policies, regulations, plans, and procedures are being followed. It is a systematic approach to reviewing all required procedures and standards considered during product development and testing.

The Six Tools of Quality Assurance

You should consider the following tools when establishing a quality assurance program in your organization:

  1. Cost-Benefit Analysis
    Cost-benefit analysis is a systematic approach to evaluating an investment against its expected benefits. It is used to determine whether the investment is feasible in terms of labor, time, and cost savings.
  2. Cause and Effect Diagram
    The cause-effect diagram (also called the "Fishbone" or "Ishikawa" diagram) combines the techniques of brainstorming with mind mapping. This is meant to force you to get to the root cause of a problem, so you can find the appropriate solution.
  3. Control Diagram
    Control charts are used to analyze the performance trends over time. This can be used to determine if fundamental changes need to be made to avoid potential or reoccurring problems.
  4. Quality Costs
    There are two types of quality costs. The first type is any resulting costs that arise from the failure to meet industry requirements. The second type of cost is the money invested in preventative measures such as assessments and testing to avoid product delays and noncompliance.
  5. Benchmarking
    Benchmarking is a process of measuring performance against standard metrics and practices.
  6. Test Runs
    This systematic approach is conducted under controlled conditions to uncover relationships between factors that influence a process (inputs) to determine its corresponding outputs.

How to organize a QA checklist?

How you organize your quality assurance inspection report template depends on the size of the company, the products, the services being evaluated, and the company processes, among other factors. Quality assurance is all about prevention. The cost of fixing a product defect or paying out a lawsuit can easily tank any small to medium-sized company, so this process also ensures that problems are identified in time and, ideally, before the manufacturing process begins.

When you organize your quality assurance checklist, you should also remember to include all employees involved in the audit. You can't successfully implement improvement in processes, standards, and methods if affected employees aren’t aware of changes.

A production quality assurance checklist usually needs to cover a lot of tasks, which include identifying standards and guidelines as well as evaluating the following:

  1. Project planning, tracking, and monitoring processes
  2. Design process
  3. Acceptance testing
  4. Release process
  5. Corrective action process
  6. Certification process
  7. Non-deliverable products
  8. Processes for storage and transportation
  9. Risk management process
  10. Capabilities of and requirements for employee

This task catalog is by no means a complete list, but it gives typical examples of task areas that need to be queried with a checklist on quality assurance in production. In the service sector, the range of tasks is usually not as extensive, but the individual tasks are addressed in great detail. Due to the scope of the areas being evaluated, it is always worthwhile to set up a time schedule for the QA activities—especially if project-related quality assurance is carried out.

large office with several chairs, computers and employees working in their desks

The Benefits of using a Digital Tool for Quality Assurance Checklists

Successful companies, regardless of their product or service, focus on quality. Promoting quality also means investing in the right quality assurance resources to consistently deliver high-level results. For quality assurance checklists, this means saying goodbye to pen and paper and investing in a digital solution.

By using Lumiform as a versatile mobile app and desktop software for inspections and audits, your organization can achieve and maintain the quality of its products and services by taking advantage of the following features:

  • Easily create quality assurance checklists with the form builder and customize them at any time with drag-and-drop ease.
  • Access an extensive selection of templates in the template library, and start using them right away.
  • Select answers such as multiple-choice, checkbox, yes/no, or long and short text answers to ensure you get all the data you need while filtering out the rest.
  • Add photos and annotations during an audit to make your results more descriptive.
  • Assign corrective actions with priority levels from the app so incidents are addressed and fixed in order of urgency. You can also set fields to automatically assign tasks to specific employees and alert you when they are done.
  • Automatically generate reports so you can immediately share information with relevant stakeholders and employees, improving visibility across the organization.
  • Perform extensive analysis to identify areas that need your attention early and continuously optimize processes.

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