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What is the Difference between Quality Management and Quality Control?

difference between quality management and quality control

The single most important attribute people look for in a product or a service is quality. For the same reason, it becomes mandatory for all business organizations around the world to understand the concept of quality, which has got many layers to it.

The term quality is usually used as a synonym for “good.” Leading brands project their offerings as “high quality”, “top quality”, or “superior quality”. However, this is just a superficial understanding of the subject, as the concept of quality is much more complicated than it appears.

It is not just a term to be used in the marketing material, but an attribute which should be an inherent part of the integral business processes or policy documents. It is a much broader aspect to understand than what it sounds. Here, we make an attempt to decode it for you:

First things first, what’s Quality?

Interpreted as a parameter to judge the inferiority or superiority of a product or service, Quality is simply a measure of goodness to understand how a product or service meets its specifications, and satisfies customer’s expectations. It is a subjective attribute, and is generally understood differently by different people.

Quality has different interpretations in business world too. For the producer, it is the degree to which the product was manufactured correctly, while for the consumer, it is the degree to which a product or a service meets their requirements, or to how it compares on different parameters to its competitors’ offering.

ISO 9000 defines quality as the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfills requirements.

what is quality

Quality covers everything, and has its own intangible benefits!

The scope of quality covers everything. Each and every product, service, process, action, or decision in an organization falls under the umbrella of quality, and can be judged on its terms – how good is it, is it good enough, or how can it be made better?

Businesses strive for quality in order to not just survive, but to thrive as well. How well they manage quality determines their reputation at the marketplace, as well as in the eyes of their customers.

What’s more, quality is that shield for them which protects against potential risks, increases their efficiency, boosts profitability, and help them attain a position of competitive advantage. Not to mention, the happiness and satisfaction it brings for their staff as well as customers.

Different aspects of quality

When it comes to the businesses, there are many aspects of quality. Some of the terminologies that are often used in this context include Quality Assurance (QA), Quality Control (QC), and Quality Management. As a matter of fact, these terms are used alternatively to refer to ways of ensuring quality of a service or product. However, they are intrinsically different.

Quality Management is that mechanism through which the organizations maintain uniformity and consistency in their products and services. It focuses on end-to-end processes, right from the quality of products and services to the activities and means to achieving it and consistently managing it.  QA and QC, apart from Quality Planning & Quality Improvement, fall under it.

Since this blog aims to focus only on the difference between Quality Management and Quality Control, we shall not touch upon the other aspects. Quality Control, essentially, refers to a set of procedures implemented to ensure that a product or a service complies with the quality criteria defined by the company and the requirements of the customers.

How Quality Management and Quality Control are different?

difference between quality management and quality control

ISO 9000 identifies QC as a process by which entities review the quality of all factors involved in production, and defines it as a part of quality management focused on fulfilling quality requirements“. The operative part of this definition happens to be “a part of”, which clearly suggests that Quality Control is a subset of Quality Management. 

A process to review quality in every aspect of production focusing solely on the pre-defined requirements, Quality Control is more about the operational activities. Inspection is its major component, as Quality Control is also referred to as the inspection process in quality management. 

Quality Management is the planning stage; where quality standards are set and agreed upon, specifications are decided, and key metrics are defined to determine how well the project meets the outlined specifications. Quality Control, on the other hand, is about evaluating how well the project conforms to the specifications decided during the quality management phase. 

Should the terms be used interchangeably?

The terms Quality Management and Quality Control are often used interchangeably because of the general perception that QC is responsible for quality planning as well. While this might hold true only for organizations that don’t have separate departments for QC and quality planning, quality management and quality control are handled by different people at all other places.

Additionally, both Quality Management and QC require a set of tools to ensure quality and run all the complex quality operations smoothly. Most organizations turn towards a quality management software to achieve the same. Thanks to such advanced total quality management system, many organizations have found a successful way to manage every process from quality planning to quality control in a hassle-free manner.

BM QualityMaster is one such quality management software that covers both the quality planning as well as control aspects. It handles the broader concept of quality management, and also quality control, which is a part of the former. Curious how this quality control system can help your business manage quality? Get in touch today for a free demo of this best-in-class QMS software.

Why Quality Management Software is Required in Food Industry?

food quality management software

Quality, without a shred of doubt, is the most important facet of any product. You take quality out of a product, and it holds absolutely no value. Talk for yourself: will you ever go back to a restaurant again if you don’t find the quality of its food up to the mark? Or will you repeat the purchase of a shirt of a particular brand whose quality did not meet your requirements? Or will you invest in a real-estate property whose quality of construction is poor? The answer to all these questions is NO for a simple reason – quality is an indispensable and integral part of any product, and you simply can’t do without it.

You may offer more quantity of a product to the consumer at a lower price, albeit with quality being compromised. The chances that you lose that consumer for life are pretty high. The point here again is that quality is paramount, non-negotiable, and the most important aspect of a product. And when we talk about the process manufacturing industry — food manufacturing industry in particular — the role of quality gains far greater significance. After all, health of hundreds of millions of end customers, who consume the food products around the world, is always at stake. Any inconsistency, or even the slightest of deviations in the quality standards of food products can potentially be life threatening for consumers.

That is precisely why the food manufacturers around the world worry the most about maintaining the quality standards of their products and meeting the food safety and quality requirements. By not having a proper tool or mechanism in place for the same such as a Quality Management Software (QMS), they not just risk quality, but also higher cases of product recalls, lower brand credibility, and legal issues, among other things. To put things into perspective, in the absence of a quality management software for food, food manufacturers lose up to $ 10 million in lost revenue, damage to brand reputation, and in legal expenses.

An ERP for food manufacturing, which comes loaded with Quality Control (QC) functionality, makes it easier as well as less stressful for the food manufacturers to maintain the quality standards of their products, meet the food safety requirements, and make better business decisions to ensure the highest levels of food safety. Why is the food ERP required, and how does it deliver, we shall read in this blog.

Background

Operating into the food manufacturing industry is a tricky proposition, given the day-to-day challenges the food manufacturers face. They operate on thin margins, deal with “increasingly aware” consumers, and issues such as labor complexities, complex supply chains, perishable inventory, and stringent regulatory & food safety requirements etc. These stringent regulatory requirements make it one of the most tightly regulated and controlled industries, and rightly so, as there have been a number of foodborne diseases reported in recent times, and the risk of contamination due to long, complex supply chains, has always been there.

In the wake of these challenges, FDA and other regulators demand higher transparency in the food supply chain, and hence push for stringent industry regulations. The food manufacturers are thus forced to look for solutions that can help them meet the industry-specific regulatory requirements, as well as maintain the food safety & quality standards. A food ERP software helps them in this quest, by allowing to deliver quality and consumer safety on a consistent basis. Through its essential quality-related capabilities, an ERP software for food ensures the continued production of high-quality products by supporting the food manufacturers’ Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) initiatives through its robust QC functionality.

How Quality Management Software for food does it?

An efficient food quality management software helps the food manufacturers maintain safety & quality of food product in many ways. Talking about the predominant ways, it does so by defining inspection plans and inspection checklists. By defining the inspection plan, manufacturers can basically maintain information on how a process (finished good, raw material, equipment etc.) is to be inspected, how the inspection is to take place, the item characteristics to be inspected and all the required test equipment that are needed for the inspection. During inspection, they can verify that a particular process meets the desired specification as mentioned against its name on the checklist, and based on that, determine without delay what changes are required to meet the specifications.  This way, only the standardized processes take place giving way to quality production.

A food ERP is a must-have for the food manufacturers also because its QC module allows defining QC tests. The module allows creation and storage of QC tests in its quality libraries, with the parameters for each QC test for a particular item/item group being predefined. It also allows managing the records of passed/failed tests, accepting/rejecting the product based on QC results, and initiating quick action like retest, return, destruction etc. against the items that fail inspection, thus ensuring quality at all stages of production.

An ERP solution for food even governs the movement of material based on quality statuses. Pass, fail, quarantine, hold, under-review, etc. decide what is to be done with the items. Moreover, only the items with QC results as pass are allowed into the supply chain. This ensure the production is done in complete compliance with good manufacturing practices.

What’s more, a food manufacturing ERP software also allows the food manufacturers to make changes in the ongoing production process. The users can work on the product in WIP by adjusting certain batch job formula values and equipment settings based on the captured QC test results, thus maintaining the quality even when the production work is in progress. This eliminates rework and wastage of immense resources involved in it.

An ERP for food manufacturing also makes the QC test results available to the dashboard & reports, which gives detailed information of the entire test case history such as a number of times it has been executed, the performance of the test case, status of the tests, etc. This way, the user can easily analyze the QC results and make informed decisions with respect to the quality of the product.

Lastly, an ERP for food manufacturing ensures that the events of non-conformance (NC) are identified on an immediate basis in order to take corrective action for the same and minimize the damage/loss. A food ERP software with NC & Corrective Action Preventive Action (CAPA) functionality quickly identifies and responds to any current or potential product quality risks, failures or customer complaints, thus ensuring overall product quality.

To sum up

With a quality management software for food, the food manufacturers can maintain the safety & quality of the products, and meet the industry-specific regulatory requirements with élan.  BatchMaster ERP is one such ERP which comes with a strong Quality Control functionality, and has been serving the needs of food manufacturing businesses successfully for over 30 years now. To know more about its benefits to your food manufacturing business, connect with us at today.