According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The Project Management Institute Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and American Society for Quality define quality as the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfill requirements.”
Quality assurance (QA) is part of a quality project management plan, along with quality control and quality planning. It’s “the application of planned, systematic activities to ensure that the project will employ all processes needed to meet requirements.
QA provides the confidence that project quality is, in fact, being met and has been achieved. These actions and the metrics used to measure them are defined in the project’s” plan.
Done by a quality inspector of a sheet metal fabrication shop, a common QA technique is a quality audit. This popular technique “is an approach to determine whether project activities comply with the project’s quality policies, processes, and/or procedure and whether the appropriate controls are being applied.”
Audits are commonly performed at defined project intervals, whether that’s every two or three months or weekly. Quality audits are used to determine if project quality complies with the benchmarks and other metrics defined in the quality management plan.
Benchmarks and other metrics can include the quality plan of the fabrication shop, similar projects from the last six months, or industry standards.
As explained by the sheet metal fabricators of Kaempf & Harris in Frederick, Maryland, here’s why quality assurance is the key to success on sheet metal projects:
It prevents mistakes. A handful of QA best practices prevent mistakes and/or defects during the manufacturing, construction, or installation process. By putting an emphasis on early detection on project quality before the project begins, local and national metal fabrication shops eliminate potential errors found in hindsight. This proactive behavior prevents mistake on sheet metal projects large and small.
Quality assurance breeds loyal customers. According to OptiProERP, a California-based company that focuses on business improvement through implementation technology and advanced automation tools, “Quality assurance and customer satisfaction are inextricably interconnected.”
That’s why advanced fabricators who rely on automated solutions during the production and installation process are more likely to deliver higher-quality products that attract more long-term loyal customers.
An automated “system with robust QA capabilities is able to gather critical, real-time intelligence from within and without – from the manufacturing plant, distribution centers, [and] human resources.”
Armed with this process, local and national sheet metal fabrication shops are able to produce the best products and deliver higher levels of customer service.
It reduces expenses and improves workflows. Because QA protocols catch and document errors for future reference, workflows move faster for later projects of similar scope. A faster workflow means less company expense on fixing mistakes, retraining fabricators and welders, and so on.
In fact, a research study by the Aberdeen Group revealed that “access to accurate, real-time information about daily operations helps businesses make faster, smarter decisions, enabling them to reduce operational costs by 23 percent and administration costs by 22 percent.”
In order to achieve the highest quality project possible, your metal fabrication shop must develop and implement a consistent quality project management plan. Whether it’s automated or old-fashioned, this security protocol catches errors before they’re made, yields a higher customer satisfaction rate, and reduces project expenses.
For more information on quality project management, download Kaempf & Harris’ Guide To Quality Assurance Practices by clicking on the button below. The guide goes over other aspects of quality management (including quality control and quality planning), QA best practices, and our company promise to this standard: