Quality assurance, also known as QA, is a way of ensuring a consistent standard of quality in services or products. This is accomplished by monitoring every step in the delivery or production process.
Quality assurance is often confused with quality control, but the two differ slightly. Quality assurance generally deals with process while quality control deals with product. So quality assurance focuses on enforcing standards throughout the entire production or delivery process. Quality control, meanwhile, focuses on testing, defect detection and rejection of a product or service after manufacture or delivery.
Defining precisely what is a desirable level of quality isn't always easy. But several standards exist with respect to quality assurance.
Quality Assurance Standards and Mobile Forms
The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems is one of the most recognized in the world. Its roots can be traced back to the U.S. and U.K. Cold War defense industries. Government procurement at the time often required large companies to comply with stringent quality assurance standards, eventually leading to the adoption of consistent standards. This eventually led to the industry-wide adoption of ISO 9000.
Smart mobile forms provide tools that help companies manage business processes, including:
- customer services;
- field services;
- safety automation; and
- quality assurance.
Today's modern organizations have leveraged low-code integrations to connect to their back-office system of choice. On the field, connected smart mobile solutions can then collect data in real-time for analysis back at the office.
Quality assurance teams can use this data to identify potential issues before they become major problems. After all, the purpose of quality assurance is to prevent problems before they happen.
Examples of Quality Assurance in the Field
There are many examples of quality assurance processes and methods. These include:
- pre-defined standards;
- documentation; and
Incidentally, these are also things that smart mobile forms in the field can improve.
Specific quality assurance examples can be found in this case study on how ProntoForms helped flooring solutions company The Matworks. The Maryland-based company installs and maintains flooring for business customers and operates janitorial services in more than 500 locations in 17 states across the U.S.
ProntoForms provided The Matworks' quality assurance team a suite of analytics dashboards fed by field data. These dashboards tracked operations, quality of service, customer satisfaction, field team coordination, and other metrics. The Matworks also deploys quality assurance specialists in the field, along with account directors and subcontractors. So the company used its smart mobile forms solution to set targets for on-site inspections. Managers can now track performance and issues in close to real-time.
"These dashboards provide the information and analysis we need to make credible, data-driven recommendations for operational process improvements," said VP of Operations Jared Agan. "The analytics tool helps us build a schedule so the right teams are visiting the right locations at the right time."
The Matworks' quality assurance team also spot-checks stores at random to measure overall service quality. Every location is visited by leaders at least once every two weeks. The team keeps an internal target of 95 percent compliance in all categories. "So when the dashboard shows an 80% score for a certain manager or location, we know we have to take action," said Agan.
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