Audit and Scoring Processes in Quality Management

Introduction

Effective quality management processes depend on the ability of organizations to design and monitor quality processes at different points of service delivery or manufacturing (Rocha-Luna, Garza-Reyes, & Kumar, 2013). However, it is difficult to achieve the best results in quality management without acknowledging the importance of the audit and scoring process. This paper highlights the need to have effective audit and scoring processes as key aspects of quality management. To do so, we highlight the main benefits organizations would enjoy from having such tools. They appear below

Help to uncover Areas that need Attention

Dew (1994) says auditing and scoring programs are a form of inspection. However, other researchers, such as Rocha-Luna et al., (2013), simply define them as unique forms of testing organizational processes. However, unlike many cases where such processes strive to improve product quality, in service delivery, audit and scoring processes provide a means of inspecting the management system.

More importantly, they help managers to understand quality issues to uncover areas that need attention and correct them before they become a problem (Rocha-Luna et al., 2013). Using this framework of analysis, audit and scoring processes are important in helping organizations to look at the management system with “fresh eyes” and possibly uncover areas of inefficiency, or weaknesses, which may need attention from the quality management team (Dew, 1994).

Identify Risk of Compromise

Auditing and scoring processes help organizations to identify areas of possible compromise where quality standards may falter (Sigma-Aldrich, 2016). Based on this assertion, Dew (1994) says, without proper audit or scoring systems, organizations would not effectively know which areas of operations could compromise their quality standards, or how to allocate their resources to improve their overall quality standards. Knowing such information would be important in developing a comprehensive quality report for an organization.

The ISO Navigator (2013) presents a protracted explanation of this issue by saying that auditing and scoring processes are important in marketing business because they are tools for communicating to customers that an organization is committed to providing quality products and services. Therefore, such audit systems help to improve customer confidence in a company’s operations.

Indeed, in today’s competitive global business environment, reputable companies cannot afford to miss having strict and effective quality standards, supported by equally strict audit systems and scoring processes, because their business reputations and sales growth numbers are contingent on having these quality management tools (Spitzer & Ellsbury, 2010). Based on this analysis, auditing and scoring processes help reduce the risk of compromising quality standards in an organization.

Ensuring Compliance

Often, many organizations have unique quality standards to guide their operations. Managers prefer to peg these standards on performance and strict compliance (Rocha-Luna et al., 2013). Auditing is a unique safety measure of ensuring an organization meets these standards by making sure that all stakeholders observe them. This is a crucial tenet of increasing an organization’s compliance record, possibly, to meet specific quality certification standards (ISO Navigator, 2013).

For example, many organizations that have received ISO certification in quality compliance have strong internal audit systems for quality management processes (NQA, 2016). Particularly, companies that seek ISO 9001 certification are required to have effective audit and scoring processes to certify the guidelines of the same quality standards (NQA, 2016). Others are required to implement six-sigma training processes before they receive such certifications. Although such requirements are industry-specific, they help to boost a business’s competitiveness (ISO Navigator, 2013).

Scoring processes also add to this advantage by helping organizations to identify unique operational attributes that would be instrumental in evaluating quality processes. This advantage helps companies to redirect their resources towards improving quality functions that would ultimately lead to quality improvements (Rocha-Luna et al., 2013). In this regard, companies can easily understand the obstacles and determinants of quality processes, which are useful in designing effective quality management processes.

According to Spitzer and Ellsbury (2010), the scoring technique also helps to start useful conversations about quality management processes. Such debates may offer an opportunity to include different types of shareholders in the quality management process, thereby promoting people buy-in (Spitzer & Ellsbury, 2010).

This is one way of improving organizational accountability towards quality management processes because stakeholders would often require managers to explain why an organization does not meet quality standards (if that is the case). Comprehensively, based on these findings, we find that auditing and scoring processes help organizations to quantify their quality management processes for better performance and improved efficiency. In other words, they provide them with the best tools to evaluate whether they meet, or exceed, their internal or external quality standards.

Conclusion

The findings of this study show that audit and scoring processes are important in quality management processes because they help organizations to assess the effectiveness of their quality management processes. More importantly, they help organizations assess whether existing quality management processes demonstrate compliance with planned processes. Nonetheless, it is not enough to understand the importance of having an effective audit and scoring processes in quality management only; organizations should use the information they get from these management tools to improve their excellence in quality management.

References

Dew, J. (1994). The Critical Role of Auditing in Continuous Improvement.

ISO Navigator. (2013). Monitoring and Measurement.

NQA. (2016). Virgin and ISO 9001.

Rocha-Luna, L., Garza-Reyes, J.A., & Kumar, V. (2013). Building quality management systems: Selecting the right methods and tools. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Sigma-Aldrich. (2016). Quality Management Systems.

Spitzer, A., & Ellsbury, D. (2010). Quality Improvement in Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine, An Issue of Clinics in Perinatology. London, UK: Elsevier Health Sciences.