The Importance of Quality Control

Published: 2024-04-11
Written by: Anju Khanna Saggi

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In the construction materials industry (or for that matter, any other) effective Quality Control (QC) routines are business critical and adopting digital quality controls can be transformative in maintaining product standards, meeting customer expectations, and ultimately, ensuring business success.


In this article we’ll cover the following:  

The role of Quality Control

  • The difference between Quality Control and Quality Assurance 
  • Different types of Quality Control 
    • Manual Quality Control 
    • Digital Quality Control  
  • Benefits of implementing Digital Quality Control  
  • Digital Quality Controls in 4 simple steps 

The role of Quality Control  

The Oxford dictionary defines Quality Control (QC) as ‘the use of sampling, inspection, and testing methods at all levels of system production to produce defect-free hardware and software.’  In the construction materials industry, this typically means using a set of controls (including statistical significance) to test units to ensure the final output meets required product standards. There is often a dedicated Quality team or manager that work with Quality Assurance and ensuring compliance and quality standards are met.  

The Difference between Quality Control and Quality Assurance 

Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) are frequently conflated terms, yet they bear distinct differences. The ASQE trade organization describes “QA as the activities which cover all of the quality system, whilst QC is a subset of the QA activities.” 

Quality Assurance (QA) sets the bigger picture within quality management, to ensure a product or service meets both internal and external requirements (and indeed defining the bar that needs to be met). Internally to ensure regulatory quality requirements are met and externally to ensure that no substandard product or service is passed on to a customer or end user.   

Quality Control (QC) is a crucial component of quality management, the actual execution of the pre-defined processes within QA. It’s the practical checks and controls used to ensure quality standards are met.  

Different QC Types 

Quality control methods can vary depending on the industry and the nature of the products or services being provided. Here are two primary types of QC: 

Manual QC: 

Traditionally, manual quality control involves human inspection and oversight at various stages of production or service delivery. Skilled workers meticulously examine products or processes, checking for defects, inconsistencies, or deviations from predefined standards. While manual QC can be effective, it’s time-consuming, labor-intensive, and prone to human error. It also puts pressure on a select group of workers who are relied upon to do certain controls, leaving the business vulnerable if that knowledge isn’t transferred across teams.  

Digital QC: 

Digital quality control has emerged as a more efficient and reliable alternative to manual methods. Digital QC utilizes automated systems, sensors, and data analytics to monitor and assess quality throughout the production or service lifecycle. These systems can detect defects with greater accuracy, provide real-time insights, and facilitate proactive decision-making. 

Benefits of Digital Quality Control 

The shift towards digital quality control, and using a CheckProof’s platform to perform digital quality controls offers numerous advantages for the construction materials industry, including: 

  1. Enhanced Accuracy: Digital QC systems leverage advanced algorithms and machine learning capabilities to detect even the slightest deviations from quality standards. This results in more precise and consistent quality assessments compared to manual inspections. 
  1. Increased Efficiency: By automating repetitive tasks and streamlining processes, digital QC significantly reduces the time and resources required for quality assurance. This allows organizations to improve productivity, minimize production delays, and meet tight deadlines more effectively. 
  1. Cost Savings: While implementing digital QC systems may require initial investment, the long-term cost savings can be substantial. By minimizing errors, reducing waste, and optimizing resource utilization, businesses can lower operational expenses and improve overall profitability. 
  1. Real-Time Monitoring: Digital QC enables real-time monitoring of production processes, allowing stakeholders to identify and address quality issues as they arise. This proactive approach helps prevent defects from escalating into costly problems and ensures timely corrective action. 
  1. Data-Driven Insights: Through data collection and analysis, digital QC generates valuable insights into quality trends, performance metrics, and areas for improvement. By leveraging this data, businesses can make informed decisions, optimize quality control strategies, and drive continuous improvement initiatives. 

Quality control is indispensable for maintaining high standards, meeting customer expectations, and sustaining competitiveness. By leveraging technology to enhance quality assurance processes, organizations can unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and success. 

Digital quality control in 4 simple steps 

A complicated quality control process that’s done manually puts valuable data at high risk. So, if you’re contemplating implementing a digital quality control process, to increase accuracy and minimize quality breaches, follow our 4-step plan below to set up an effective digital quality process that works.  

1. Set your standards 

Ask yourself: Why are we doing quality controls? Is it to meet the quality standards of an official regulatory outside your company or to improve your own operations? The first step is to determine the correct quality attributes and streamline the process accordingly. 

A digital quality control system must also be user-friendly, otherwise you’ll be setting up to fail. If it disregards the operator’s perspective, they might not use it. Therefore, make sure you know what checks need to be done and create routines adjusted to fit both Management and Frontline. 

2. Determine the on-site requirements 

Consider all angles and perspectives (from frontline workers to office management) What functionalities are critical to your quality control? When your operators do their checks on-site, make sure they have the right equipment. Tablets and phones have overtaken the PC as it allows end-users to document and send their findings through an app (that can then be picked up instantly from office management). A PC user would have to retroactively log and import their data to the database. 

In addition, make sure you determine if there’s a need for an offline mode. In the construction materials industry, access to the internet can sometimes be limited. For this reason, make sure your software supports an offline mode that syncs when there’s an internet connection. 

3. Integrate and extract the right data 

Determine what you are going to do with the data you receive from your quality controls. Do you want to track the basic status and usage, or does your business need specific analysis and external APIs? Most software allows your check data to be transferred into a digital structure with automatic updates in real-time. Combine these with reported deviations to get full coverage on issues. 

4. Eye on the prize – Keep focusing on the benefits 

Keep in mind the long-term benefits of doing digital quality checks. A digital process will minimise downtime, keep your data clean and optimise your operational time. Cost is a relevant factor but remember to focus on the dollar – not the cent. 

Do you want more examples of how digitising your workflow can optimise your routines and minimise downtime? Download your free copy of the guide 9 keys to maximise the availability of your assets through frontline digitisation. 

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