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The role of a quality manager in an organization is one that ensures all the company's products and services meet and exceed the customers' expectations. When the products and services are of superior quality and consistently reliable, the quality manager is making an impact on the organization. The quality manager can also be called a "quality assurance manager," "quality control manager" or "director of quality." Despite the job titles, the quality manager role is responsible for various duties within the organization.
Implement Quality Programs
The quality manager is responsible for implementing a quality program throughout the organization. She must work with all areas of the organization to understand the impact of the quality program on each area's operations. Pertinent questions to ask each area are: how would a quality program impact the budget, are there any associates versed in quality theories and has the area attempted any quality programs in the past. Ask the department head to be candid about his impressions of quality improvement programs. These types of conversations aid in understanding the types of obstacles to be overcome before implementing a quality program.
The quality manager serves as the SME (subject matter expert) in quality. She should be the "go to" person for questions about quality, quality measures and "best in industry" specifications. As a quality manager, spend time with the research and development department. In companies, this department is usually responsible for the creation of new products and services. By spending time with the research and development team, she helps instill quality into new products and services. Visit industry and quality conferences to remain up-to-date on the latest in quality initiatives and programs. Open up the communication lines with the quality departments of other companies. Share best practices and industry standards.
Implement Quality Measures
To monitor quality improvements in products and services, quality performance measures must be implemented. This is a responsibility of the quality manager. Performance measures should include those measurements critical to customer satisfaction. For example, if the company is involved in providing repair service, one of the measurements critical to customer satisfaction is that the item is fixed right the first time. To understand the qualities critical to customer satisfaction, just ask the customer. Use customer satisfaction surveys to understand what the customers consider important. Implement quality measures to address and monitor, the organization's performance against the customers' expectations.
Teach Others about Quality
The quality manager cannot impact an organization's quality alone. Teach others the importance of quality and how low and high quality affects the organization. Invite experts to speak to and teach selected personnel about quality. The newly educated personnel can go to their respective departments and educate others on quality. Implement monthly best practice workshops to keep the organization updated on policy and procedure changes, quality programs the company implements and the company's quality measures.
Check the Production Process
The quality manager is also responsible for inspecting, sampling and testing the production process. Check to ensure that the quality of products and services meet the customers' expectations. Each step in the process should be documented and measured for its effectiveness. Record the measurements, compare where they are versus where the measurements should be. Work within the company's departments to eliminate any unnecessary steps in the production process.