Shifting the focus from Product Quality to Process Quality

In most of the small and emerging organization, we are observing that people spend enormous time, energy, effort in ensuring product quality through inspecting(in some cases 100 % inspection!) the final component both on functional and aesthetic aspects, segregation, rework and documentation.This kind of focus on a product only leads to “somehow” pushing the product to the customer with high manpower cost and long lead time. Moreover, this will set the belief in the organization that defects are unavoidable and the role of quality function to detect, correct and send it to the customer. Ownership also shifts from production to quality function on both delivery and quality. Eventually, the organization does not improve its problem-solving capabilities and culture of problem-solving at the source.

Instead, the organization can shift the focus more on the process quality than product quality. This shift can be demonstrated by ensuring the product quality at the source of production like pre-inspection of material before the process, providing process parameters through standard operating procedures,implementing mistake proofing devices either to prevent or detect the error at source of production, applying statistical process control, making the operator responsible for production and quality.

This focus on process will help the organization to reduce time, effort, energy in reactive product inspection processes, improve the problem-solving competency across the organization and reduce the lead time.

Shifting towards process quality from product quality, to start within the manufacturing process will be the first step towards total quality management in the organization.

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