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Quality Control Circle (QCC)
Quality control is a process by which organizations analyze the quality of all factors involved in the production process. Quality control is carried out internally by a team or officers, or externally by consultants or a government body to uncover defects in products.
A quality control circle is a small group of workers who come together to discuss ways of identifying, analyzing, solving, and selecting work related issues. More than 95% of work related problems can be resolved using various QC tools. Some of the tools used are the cause and effect diagram, check sheets, scatter diagram, control charts, pareto diagrams, stratification, histograms, and graphs.
For a quality control circle to be implemented the management has to be informed about the intensions of the group of workers that plan on meeting and approval must be granted by the management. A committee is set up, and persons to fill principal positions are selected. Principal members of a circle include the Facilitator, the Team leader, the Secretary, and members. After the selection process, the scope of focus point is defined and effort is channeled towards resolving issues in that sector.
Circle coordinators are trained extensively in order that they may efficiently execute their various roles. Employees are then invited to become members of the quality control circle and are trained accordingly by coordinators. The aim of the QCC is to discuss problems in the company and come up with possible solutions to those problems. Hence problems are discussed and solved systematically. It is important that practical solutions be reviewed by the company’s administration and implemented without delay.
As the circle grows, different circles emerge, and the higher a member rises, more sensitive issues are dealt with. These programs must be functional in all sectors of a company. For the circle to run efficiently, the employees have to be given the power to make decisions, and the solutions they come up with have to be implemented. The management has to approve and support the program by making time available for meetings, and if necessary, training of members. Also participation must be voluntary and team work must be present for the problems to be effectively resolved.
QC circles have the same structure of quality improvement systems like Kaizen, Six Sigma, and ISO 9000. Hence, it is important that these circles be part of the company’s total quality management (TQM) initiative.
With active quality control circles in place, there is a reduction of quality lapses due to heightened quality awareness in the company. There will be an increase in output with the elimination of certain delays due to bottlenecks which translates to a higher profit for the company.
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