What Does A Quality Manager Do? Skills And Responsibilities
Updated 7 November 2022
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A quality manager's job is to maintain consistency in quality across different products and services of an organisation. They may also handle customer complaints and resolve them. If you aspire to become a quality manager, it can be beneficial to know more about their responsibilities and duties. In this article, we answer the question, "What does a quality manager do?", examine their skills and qualifications and share a step-by-step guide on how to become one.
What Does A Quality Manager Do?
To learn the answer to, "What does a quality manager do?", it's important to understand the job description. A quality manager is a professional who ensures that the quality levels of a company's products or services meet customer expectations and industry standards. To achieve this, they may monitor and evaluate the production systems of an organisation. They also make reports based on their analysis and submit recommendations to leaders in upper management. They ensure the implementation of health and safety regulations and that employees follow company safety guidelines while working.
A quality manager may also oversee a team working directly under them and train them to employ relevant quality assurance procedures and enforce standards. A quality manager can identify when a product or service fails to meet the required standards and take the necessary measures to address the situation. They take precautionary measures to reduce wastage of raw materials and may document different types of quality issues to avoid future problems. With experience, a quality manager can advance to managerial or administrative positions, overseeing a larger scale of operations.
Related: What Is Quality Control? A Complete Guide
What Are The Responsibilities Of A Quality Manager?
The responsibilities of a quality manager may include:
Communicating with upper management to maintain quality standards
Engaging with customers to understand their expectations and requirements
Outlining quality standards in accordance with industry standards
Maintaining adherence to quality standards set by the organisation
Overseeing quality control processes to ensure consistency and reliability
Executing tests to check whether the final product adheres to prescribed standards
Recording findings and relaying reports to senior executive teams
Formulating ideas to increase productivity and performance in manufacturing
Taking crucial decisions in favour of cost-efficiency without compromising on quality
Creating and updating product or process specifications
Understanding the legal, health and safety standards of a business and ensuring their implementation
Conducting audits for company quality systems and making plans for improvement
Related: What Is Quality Assurance? (Plus QA Job Descriptions)
What Skills Are Beneficial For Quality Managers?
Quality managers may require a variety of skills to be successful. If you are interested in this job role, consider developing the following skills:
Management skills are important for implementing quality assurance processes and protocols. Quality managers typically supervise a team of employees, often guiding them and training them to implement the right strategies for quality control. They may have to delegate tasks effectively, oversee performance and identify issues related to productivity. Prioritising tasks, allocating resources and conducting audits are some important functions they perform in this job role. They may require a strong understanding of quality management processes and project management methodologies.
Managers are responsible for making decisions that impact their team members and the projects they oversee. Quality managers may make informed decisions to resolve technical issues or enable the smooth functioning of all production processes. Senior management officials may scrutinise their decisions and hold them accountable for the consequences of their decisions.
A quality manager requires excellent leadership skills to be successful in an administrative position. They are responsible for achieving the pre-defined goals by resolving operational issues and taking timely decisions. A quality manager may have to identify the time required for each task and assign responsibilities and deadlines to various team members clearly. They motivate, encourage and guide team members to tackle their job responsibilities effectively.
Data analysis skills
A quality manager may need excellent analytical and research skills on the job. They may process large volumes of data, interpret them and try to gain useful insights. Insights and inferences can be used to improve the efficiency of existing systems or develop new systems for production. Managers in this domain may have to rely on complex auditing methodologies to identify and rectify systemic issues.
Good communication skills may be very beneficial for an administrative professional in quality control. Their role requires them to communicate frequently with a variety of professionals involved in the production process. This includes management professionals, senior stakeholders, consumers, executives, technicians and production crew members. Quality managers have to communicate expectations, provide feedback, prepare reports, make presentations and organise meetings periodically which makes communication skills vital for their role.
Attention to detail
Quality managers keep track of the market performance of an organisation's services and products. They try to maintain high accuracy while executing quality control tasks and supervising the work of their team members. They have to identify with precision where the company or its employees have not met prescribed quality standards in a long and complex manufacturing process. Once identified, they also have to suggest methods or devise strategies to eliminate repeat occurrences of lapses in quality control.
Computer and software literacy
A quality manager can benefit from knowing how to use presentation software, data analysis tools, spreadsheet programs and different training platforms. They may have to create informational modules to distribute among a company's employees. This also often requires them to have comprehensive knowledge of a company's processes, protocols, functions and the industry's best practices.
Work Environment Of A Quality Manager
The exact nature of a quality control manager's work environment may depend on the industry they work in. They often collaborate with a number of other departments like engineering, production, marketing, customer support and management. They also work with specialists in various roles, including programmers, quality control inspectors and statisticians.
Quality managers give presentations to colleagues, clients and supervisors and submit reports periodically to senior management officials. They may travel to production locations for site inspections and implementing changes or upgrades. They monitor processes, conduct audits, investigate quality issues and implement quality control practices across several levels in an organisation. When travelling or conducting on-site inspections, the working hours for quality managers may vary. Similarly, they might have to spend a significant part of their workday in factories and manufacturing units with extreme temperature, noise or pressure.
How To Become A Quality Manager
Follow these steps to become a quality manager:
1. Graduate from higher secondary school
The first step to becoming a quality manager is to graduate from senior secondary school (10+2) with a focus on science subjects. Quality managers may require extensive scientific and mathematical knowledge and studying science subjects in school can help them develop a strong foundation. After completing senior secondary, you can apply for undergraduate courses in public and private sector institutions.
2. Pursue a bachelor's degree
Candidates can pursue a B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) degree in food technology, quality assurance, quality management or statistics. B.Sc. courses in these domains may cover topics like calculus, statistics, business communication, human resources management, basic computer science and economics. Employers in most companies look to hire candidates with an undergraduate degree for an entry-level position in quality control. Though not mandatory, a master's degree in a relevant discipline can greatly improve your employability and earning potential.
3. Apply for internships
Candidates can apply for internships concurrently while studying or immediately after completing their formal education. An internship can help you gain hands-on working experience and prepare you for the duties of a quality manager. It can also improve your employability, as employers typically look to hire candidates with industry experience and knowledge.
Related: What Are Internships And How Do You Find One?
4. Obtain certifications
Quality managers can consider obtaining certifications in order to build knowledge in specialised quality control procedures, get industry training and cultivate analytical thinking. Certifications are proof of working knowledge and can help you market your skills effectively during the hiring process. Some popular certifications include Six Sigma Certification, PG Diploma in QA and QC and Q-Champ.
Related: How To List Certifications On A Resume (With Examples)
5. Gain experience
As a fresher with no professional experience, you may not secure direct recruitment to the post of quality manager. Candidates usually start their career at an entry-level position and earn promotions after they gain comprehensive knowledge after working in production for a few years. You can try entering this industry as a quality control inspector and with experience, apply for administrative roles in quality assurance or quality control.
Related: What Is Relevant Experience? (With Examples And Tips)
How Much Does A Quality Manager Make?
The salary of a quality manager may depend on a number of factors like their company, job role, work experience, location and industry-specific qualifications. The average base salary of a quality manager is ₹50,598 per month. The average salary of quality managers in Bengaluru, Karnataka is ₹66,833 per month, the highest in the country.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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