Quality control is of paramount importance in business across all industries. It ensures that products and services meet or exceed customer expectations and comply with established standards. It’s important to implement quality control across all areas of your business.

Quality control is directly linked to customer satisfaction. If your products or services consistently meet high-quality standards, customers are more likely to be satisfied with their purchase and have a positive experience. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers, provide positive reviews, and recommend the business to others, contributing to customer loyalty and business growth.

It can also improve your brand reputation. Consistently providing products that meet or exceed customer expectations helps establish a positive brand image and reputation for reliability, trustworthiness, and excellence. A positive brand reputation can differentiate a business from its competitors and attract new customers.

In a competitive marketplace, businesses that prioritise quality control gain a competitive edge. High-quality products or services stand out from the competition and can justify higher price points. Businesses that consistently deliver quality can position themselves as industry leaders, attracting customers who value superior quality and are willing to pay for it.

There can also be cost benefits in the long run. By identifying and rectifying quality issues early in the production or service delivery process, businesses can avoid costly rework, customer returns, or warranty claims.

At Incy Interiors, quality control is at the heart of our business. As a luxury brand we want to ensure our product and service is of the highest quality across all areas of the business. At this year’s Online Retailer Conference, Australia’s largest and original conference event for the ecommerce industry, held at ICC Sydney from 19 – 20 July, I will be talking about strategic supply chain management. I have provided my top tips for improving quality control in your business.

1. Communication

Communication is key for all elements of the supply chain and logistics management.  You need to ensure you have good relationships with all your vendors and develop a communications process that assists with this.  We have a fortnightly call with our Production Manager who manages our six factories across Asia. These meetings allow for us to have regular communication to ensure time isn’t wasted and issues are fixed quickly.  It’s important to establish clear quality requirements and communicate your expectations. Regularly assess their performance and provide feedback to drive continuous improvement throughout the supply chain. We also have a WIP document that we share and we can all add topics for discussion.

2. Cost control

Quality control helps reduce costs in the long run. By identifying and rectifying quality issues early in the production or service delivery process, businesses can avoid costly rework, customer returns, or warranty claims. When it comes to anything to do with logistics or product it’s important to understand all costs that will be incurred with a new supplier. To ensure this, I sit down with them and go through every step in their process, so I understand exactly what is involved.  I also ask for every possible cost upfront and this helps me avoid any surprise costs.  This is especially important when dealing with freight both international and domestic as well as 3PLs as there are always a lot of hidden costs.

3. Foster a culture of quality

Establish a culture that prioritises and values quality. Encourage employees to take ownership of quality control and empower them to contribute ideas and suggestions for improvement. Recognise and reward individuals or teams that demonstrate outstanding commitment to quality.

4. Monitor and measure quality

Implement a systematic approach to monitor and measure quality at various stages of your business processes. This may include conducting regular inspections, audits, and tests to identify any deviations from the established quality standards. Use appropriate tools and techniques such as statistical process control (SPC), data analysis, and sampling methods to track quality performance.

5. Continuous improvement

Embrace a culture of continuous improvement by regularly reviewing and refining your quality control processes. Seek feedback from customers, monitor market trends, and stay updated on industry best practices. Actively seek opportunities to enhance product design, production methods, and customer service to consistently raise the bar for quality.

Remember, improving quality control is an ongoing process that requires commitment, dedication, and active involvement from all levels of the organisation. By following these steps and fostering a culture of continuous improvement, you can drive positive change and deliver higher-quality products or services, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction and business success.

Kristy Withers is founder of Incy Interiors.