It is essential to explore how you and your company are involved in Quality Assurance or Quality Control?
Is your company persistent on having the best structure, delivery, and implementation of your policies, procedures, and systems? To ensure that you make your products as per the detailed tech pack and approved pre-production sample?
The importance and purpose of quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC); how it compliments you, the product, the people involved, and the end consumer.
Staffing and Requirments
Some proactive solutions to help you with product success:
- Are you responsible for the pattern or do you rely on your supplier to provide the pattern?
- Who looks after you’re fitting blocks and grading? Do you use blocks for different fabrications? Are the grading and blocks controlled by your company? Do you outsource the responsibility or depend on your supplier?
- Do you provide a full or partial technical specification (tech pack) to the factory? Is it a proven format? Do you outsource or depend on your supplier for the tech pack?
- Are there established internal or external quality assurance standards and manuals to ensure you make your products as per the product requirements?
- Where is your QA staff stationed? How frequently do they visit the factory? How many QC do they manage and train?
- Who is on your internal or external QC team? Are they thoroughly trained to understand your compliance, standards, and policies?
- Does QC understand their purpose (roles and responsibilities) at the factory? During inspections, do they review the approved sample, specification, and sewing floor workbook?
- Do you hire 3rd parties to help you with some or all of the stages?
Who are the players involved inside (internal) your company, organization, or department? Who are the people outside of your company (external)?
Internal – List of Responsibilities
Below is a partial overview of responsibilities for the product lifecycle management (PLM), including Quality Assurance.
- Order allocation
- Qualifying, validating, vetting suppliers and factories
- Product Development (PD)
- Is your PD involved in validating and vetting the suppliers and factories?
- Or are they concerned only with future developments?
- Design details
- Technical Specification
- Pattern Makers (PM)
- Is the PM aware of the systems the supplier and factory are using? Is the system compatible with yours?
- Have you trained them to read your tech packs and understand your measurement points?
- Supply Chain (SC)
- Does SC meet with the general manager, floor and sewing manager to look at schedules, number of sewers, and the expected output? Do they build performance measures to ensure they meet established timelines?
- Is SC involved in overseeing that the vendor has the proper financing to fund the order?
- Who reviews the corporate structure, internal policies, procedures, and systems?
- Do you have a production team involved to verify that the factory has the appropriate machinery for the production?
- Do they look at the sewing line configuration, the efficiencies or lack thereof?
- Does your staff work with the factory on production schedules and on-time deliveries?
- Who manages QA and QC at your company? What is the depth of their training?
- Who is responsible for product manuals?
Internal – QC/QA
- Quality Assurance (QA)
- Is your QA managing the sewing line performance to ensure the delivery is on schedule? Or does someone else look after this? Where are they based and how are they involved?
- What is their involvement? Are they hands-on or do they manage from a distance?
- Quality Control (QC)
- Are they involved in receiving of materials and trims? Or do you rely on a third party, the supplier or factory?
- How involved is your QC with the sewing production? Do they visit the sewing lines to provide feedback? If yes, who is engaged when there is an issue?
- In the final stages (trimming, pressing, and packing), is your QC involved? If yes, to what degree and how much time do you allocate?
- Final inspection, is your QC present at the factory? Or do you hire a third party? Or do you depend on your supplier or factory to do the final inspection?
QA inspires, trains, and mentors their internal team and works with external partners, factories, and agents; to understand their responsibilities and the relevant support systems.
I have written this article in two parts, the second part I explore your external partners, “Why do you need quality assurance – External Partners“.