Quality, Product Safety & Regulatory Compliance
When starting and growing a small business it is advisable to define how "Quality, Safety, and Regulatory Compliance is Assured." All businesses are subject to a large number of local, state, and federal regulations. In many industries customers and government regulators require compliance to recognized standards such as those issued by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO). For consumers, conformity of products and services to Standards provides assurance about their quality, safety and reliability. When a business self certifies or is third party certified to operate in conformance to recognized standards, it often spells the difference between getting on the approved supplier list or being rejected.
Total quality management (TQM) is also worth considering. It is a powerful business management strategy focused on building quality in all organizational processes. It emerged in the 1960s and has been widely used in manufacturing, education, hospitals, call centers, government, and service industries, as well as NASA space and science programs. With TQM "Quality" means "Meeting customer requirements" and equates to products, processes or services that are "Fit for purpose". It is useful in small firms as well as large. With TQM every employee takes responsibility for the quality of their work and the work of their team. The aim is to "Get it right first time every time" to avoid costly errors and inefficiencies. It seeks to identify the source of defects early and prevent them from entering the final product or service. Small business can reap substantial benefit from applying TQM methods if done carefully. However, it is important to weigh the benefit of lower operating cost and greater customer satisfaction (variable costs) against the upfront cost of process analysis, documentation and training (fixed costs).
Developing a quality assurance and regulatory compliance strategy can be time consuming and complicated if your are doing it for the first time. Your SCORE counselors can help. Request An Appointment today!