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Quality Assurance vs Quality Control: Definitions & Differences

As creators and businesses, we always want to make sure the products we create are up to the highest standards of quality. Everything we make needs to be fully functional and of the highest quality because that’s what shows our real passion for what we create. There are many different ways to assure high quality within our products, and those different methods fall under the realm of quality systems. 

Two of the most important parts of an efficient and effective quality system are quality assurance and quality control. These two are somewhat similar when it comes to making sure that your products are the best that they can be, but they are still different. Knowing the difference between the two systems can help you know where you need to improve your system to ensure maximum efficiency and quality. Here are the definitions and differences between quality assurance and quality control so that you can make your business and products the best that they can be. 

What Is Quality Assurance?

Fundamentally speaking, quality assurance is the company both committing to and delivering on the promise of bringing the highest quality goods or services to the customer. It’s a statement and commitment that the company makes to the consumer that their products and services will always be at the highest level of quality and that customer satisfaction is sure to be as high as possible. It’s a hefty promise to make for any company, big or small. 

However, in a massive digital market that’s heavily saturated with all kinds of products and services at all different prices and costs, assuring quality to the customer is something that will stand out in the market. 

Many products and companies aren’t committed to high quality. Many businesses strive to get their products out at the lowest prices, which often means cutting corners in terms of quality. However, when you can assure your customers that your products are of the highest quality, you are more likely to create loyal customers. It’s a process that both needs and creates trust within the customers. Quality assurance that follows through on its promises is more valuable than any marketing. It is much more likely to spread by word of mouth because it creates a symbiotic relationship between the customer and the company. The business thrives off of the loyal customer base, and the customers enjoy products that they know they can trust. 

At Harper+Scott, we are very intentional about quality assurance. We aren’t going to put our name on anything that we think is less than the best, and that mindset spills over into every aspect of our company, from design to manufacturing, to distribution. Our commitment to quality is what sets us apart in the marketplace. We are well accredited by many organizations, which is part of why we work so hard to maintain the highest standards of quality. 

What Is Quality Control?

Quality control is another critical aspect of a company’s quality systems. This is the aspect of a company that puts massive amounts of effort into creating quality products and inspecting them critically for any errors. This is how the assurance of quality is activated in the real world. It’s the process and processes of testing products for efficiency and effectiveness and either maintaining that level of quality or, better yet, improving the quality. It’s a lot more hands-on and physically close to the end products because it’s looking directly at the work that is done by the company, instead of just conceptualizing goals that manufacturers and designers should aspire to. 

This is a process that involves being critical of our work or having other people examine it for us. For every single product that we put our name on, someone is going to assess the quality, whether it’s the customer or us. To maintain our promises made by our quality assurance, we want to make sure that we are the first party to assess our work quality so that if there are any flaws, we catch them before any consumer does. 

When working with quality assurance, we don’t want there to be any weak links in the chain. That’s why we work with the best of the best when it comes to manufacturing and designing our products and services. It’s our goal to make the highest quality goods that we can, which means investing in the people that maintain our brand’s integrity. 

What Does Quality Assurance Look Like in a Real-World Context?

Quality assurance can be found in many areas of the company. Some of them are inherently directed on the creation of the products, like rigorous testing of all products that are created and distributed by the company. It can also be found in how the staff is treated, what their working conditions are like, and how the management functions within the company. It can also be found in good marketing, which shows off the integrity of both the company and the products. Quality assurance’s main purpose is to create a relationship with the customers. Anything that the company does to improve its standing with its consumers perpetuates good quality assurance. 

All of this matters because consumers want to buy a product that can appeal to them both emotionally, logically, and intellectually. It just makes sense to buy a product from a company that says they make the highest quality products but is also backed up by personal history with the products, as well as external word of mouth. You always want to have your quality at the highest level because even one negative review can quickly turn off a customer from your products, and maybe even the company as a whole. To stop that from happening, you need to make sure that every product you put out is backed up by considerable effort put into quality assurance, both on a direct product basis and a relational basis. 

What Does Quality Control Look Like in a Real-World Context?

In the real world, Quality Control looks a lot like testing. It’s examining every aspect of a product’s creation process regularly so that if there are any hiccups or flaws in a good or service, they are caught and dealt with as quickly as possible. It is all about putting large amounts of effort into being critical of our work so that we can catch all the flaws, whether they’re massive problems or small mistakes. Quality control is often the last step before a product leaves the manufacturing process, but it can also be looked at up the chain of creation to the design and the craftsmanship that goes into creating a good or service. 

It’s critically important that all flaws are caught because when a company assures its quality, they need to maintain that promise. If the consumer feels that they are being lied to when they receive a product that was assured of having the highest quality, it can spell disaster for a company. Quality Control makes sure that doesn’t happen and that customers are happy with every product they receive. 

What’s the Difference Between Quality Assurance and Quality Control?

Fundamentally, these two concepts are fairly similar. They are both centered around creating products that maintain the highest standards of quality. But where they separate is how they function on the internal organization of a company. Quality Assurance is focused on creating confidence both within and outside the organization that high-quality standards are met. Quality control is focused on quality management that meets the set standards and requirements for quality. 

Basically, quality assurance creates the goals that are meant to be achieved in terms of high personal and professional standards, and Quality Control makes sure that those standards are met. These two systems work together to create a Quality System that leads to maximum customer satisfaction and the most positive feelings associated with the company and its products. It’s not an easy task to have both quality processes working together in a maximally efficient manner. But when the two sides create a symbiotic relationship focused on enhancing product quality and customer satisfaction, surefire success is almost guaranteed for the company. 

At Harper+Scott, we are committed to making the very best products that serve our customers the best. We have quality assurance within our company as a core service and capability. And all through the process of creation and manufacturing, we work with the best organizations and companies that we can find. If you have any questions about how we work or create products, reach out to us on our website

We’d love to hear from you, so we can provide you with products that achieve both your goals as well as our standards. Every product is a chance to change someone’s world, and we want to be a part of that.