Improving product quality is essential for achieving long-term profitability and sales growth. While increasing product quality is no easy task, the rewards for doing so surpassed the challenges.
It helps build trust with your customer and fuels recommendations and referrals. Excellent product quality also means fewer complaints and returns from your customers. All of these, impact your bottom line and encourage business growth.
With that said, how do you increase the quality of your products?
1. Define Product Quality
Before you can start improving product quality, you first need to understand what constitutes a quality product.
Quality is often defined in two ways:
- Satisfying a set of pre-determined specifications
- Satisfying the customer
In general, product quality describes the capability of that product to meet user standards. Here are the questions to evaluate a product’s quality.
- Is it tailored to your customers?
A product that’s tailored specifically to the needs of your customers shows that you understand its users and are willing to accept any suggestion they voice.
- Does it solve a problem?
No product would exist if it weren’t improving or solving something. The extent to which a product fixes and intended problems helps in determining its quality.
- Is it polished?
Dimensions, colors, fonts, and other elements of the design should all be in proper alignment. The product shouldn’t appear cheap or have any errors or mistakes in its construction in any way.
- Is it efficient?
A quality product shouldn’t just get the job done but do so efficiently. Meaning, it should deliver quickly with minimal effort from the consumer.
- Is it easy to use?
Quality products shouldn’t complicate the process of solving a problem. Customers should be able to learn how to assemble or use the product easily and effectively.
2. Invest In Machinery
If your production primarily uses human laborers, then your products are more likely prone to errors and defects.
With that said, you need to invest in quality machinery. Production machinery like precision CNC machining ensures accuracy for consistent product quality. Also, machines help increase the production speed and are far more cost-effective than hiring several skilled laborers.
3. Implement a Quality Management System
A quality management system (QMS) is a set of internal rules that determines how your business will create and deliver quality products. Whether you’re manufacturing your products or outsourcing them, a QMS can keep your organization compliant with the latest regulations and standards in product quality.
Implementing a QMS can impact your business’s total performance. An effective QMS allows your organization to meet customer requirements and regulatory standards as well as prevent errors, save money, and continuously improve your product offering. Most importantly, by ensuring consistent quality products, you can improve your business’s image and credibility and enhance customer satisfaction levels.
4. Spy On Competitors
Checking in on your competitors is a great way to develop and improve the quality of your products. Competitor analysis allows you to understand the weaknesses and strengths in your competitors’ products in comparison to your own and find a gap in the market.
How are their products performing? Look for weaknesses in their products and try to come up with an innovative solution for yours. You can also gain product ideas that you can improve to become more appealing and attractive to customers.
Conducting a competitor analysis is important not only for matching your competitors’ offerings but also for putting you in a better position to compete with similar businesses in your industry.
5. Infuse Quality In Company Culture
Implementing a QMS is essential, however, it’s not enough. These quality principles need to be embedded across your entire organization to work effectively.
Your entire team needs to be on the same page on what constituted a quality product. Encourage managers to constantly reinforce the idea so you can get everyone on board with your vision of quality and more likely become part of the culture.
Once your employees comprehend the larger part of the quality message, managers should empower them to use their own intuition and judgment to handle individual responsibilities. This means that managers can take a hands-off approach and allow their employees to freely raise concerns if certain procedures and policies take away their ability to pursue quality.
In order to create quality products, employees need to have a say in the developmental process. After all, your employees can provide you with essential feedback regarding quality production. Allow your employees to have a voice in the business process and organize meetings where they can suggest any improvements to the company’s products.
6. Train Employees
Training your employees at all levels can help improve product quality and lessen the problems. Training can take several dimensions. You can set up a new-employee initiation program, train your workers to focus on quality problems and in operating production machinery and equipment from the first day of their job. You can assign existing employees to train new employees since they can provide a firsthand perspective of how your business’s operations work.
Also, you must provide employees with a history of the business through the lens of quality. Show them problems you’ve had in the past and how you corrected these issues. Also, let them know where your business stands with respect to its quality goals today.
In addition, you also need to train your employees to see a connection between their actions and work ethic and the overall performance of the business. By tying their individual behavior to the overall system of working, you can give them insight on how to ensure product quality and good stewards of your business.
7. Perform Product Testing
It’s important to test your products before launching. This way, you can anticipate how buyers will react to the product and see what changes you need to do before making an official release to the public.