We were struck by Frank Armstrong’s 2016 article in Quality Digest, in which he discusses negative perceptions of quality management personnel throughout manufacturing facilities. Quality engineers are often viewed as bullies or cops, the ones who come looking for problems and stir up a lot of extra work for the suppliers and departments they audit.
What if, Armstrong asks, we were able to stop thinking of quality personnel as cops, and instead find a more positive title for them? This may sound like a trivial matter of semantics, but Armstrong is onto something. He points out that titles like “quality control” and “quality inspector” have negative connotations, painting the quality professional as the facility detective who holds all of the power. Of the commonly used titles, he prefers “quality assurance” over the others, because it starts from a place of positivity.
But he has an even better title in mind: quality lifeguard.
Why lifeguard? Because quality assurance personnel are the ones who safeguard and protect the organization, preventing defective products from going out to customers. Happy customers keep the organization in the black, which means greater job security—and a continued income—for everyone who works there.
So instead of being the dreaded enemy, quality personnel are actually working in every employee’s best interest, keeping their jobs safe and the sharks of defective products at bay.
Quality is everyone’s job. Armstrong advocates for a more collaborative and cooperative spirit in manufacturing facilities. With his quality lifeguard idea, and a rock-solid rationale to go with it, Armstrong is helping to reimagine and rebrand the critical role that quality personnel play in the success of every organization.
ARMATURE supports this less punitive, more positive approach to quality management through the software we build. Our web-based tools encourage two-way communication between auditors and the suppliers and/or departments they monitor. From within our comprehensive system, auditees can:
- Comment on non-conformances
- Upload documentation
- Have a dialogue with the quality personnel in charge of upholding standards for your organization
It’s all captured within the software, which means you’ll never have to chase down emails or hunt for documentation, and you can have a productive and ongoing conversation with the employees you oversee. It’s more of a partnership, and less of a punishment. After all, you’re all working toward the same goal of making your organization succeed.
Be sure to read the whole article, and contact us if you’d like to see how our quality management software can help your organization meet its quality goals in a positive and productive manner.
Here’s to quality personnel—they’re real lifesavers!