What is a Quality Manager
A Quality Manager typically works in manufacturing and engineering companies where product outputs are required to meet a certain level of quality for the customer and it is the responsibility of the Quality Manager to ensure that products meet minimum standards of quality.
Quality Management is an integral role in the overall supply chain, and the implications of poor standards of quality management can be substantial for a company, hence why there is a high demand for this type of employee.
How are Jobs in Quality Management Growing?
As consumer demand grows for products and services so to do the expectations of quality. Recent findings from the Culture of Quality Report: Accelerating Growth and Performance in the Enterprise showed that 53% of industry specialists said their organisation planned on increasing investment in quality programs within the next 18 months.
The demand for quality is further on the rise as research suggests that BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are investing heavily in their manufacturing capabilities to ensure that quality compares favourably with products made in other nations across the globe.
Why is the Role of a Quality Manager Important?
In a competitive environment, the ability to deliver high-quality outputs in both products and service is integral to business success. The Quality Manager will have a vital role in ensuring that performance quality and delivery of the product remains high and is continuously improving to provide goods and services that are market leading.
The Quality Manager will need to have an understanding of the marketplace, aspects of the product and service that are relevant to the customer and how this impacts on the supply chain. All this comes while ensuring costs are managed within the budget of the business.
Who does the Quality Manager Report To?
Dependent on the size and structure of the company the Quality Manager could report into numerous people.
In large corporate environments with multiple Quality Management roles, managers may report to a Head of Quality, who in turn may report into a Supply Chain or Operations Director. Quality Managers may even report directly to a departmental director.
In smaller manufacturing and engineering companies, the Quality Manager may report to a Managing Director or Chief Executive.
What Does the Daily Quality Management Job Role Involve?
There are numerous daily aspects and duties involved in the Quality Manager role. These might include:
- Implementing a company’s quality controls and policies such as Lean Sigma or ISO standardisation requirements.
- Researching and reviewing customer feedback and using this to inform quality processes and decisions.
- Ensuring that processes meet required standards.
- Implementing health and safety policies into the overall quality management process.
- Monitoring the ongoing performance and outputs of the quality process.
- Regularly researching the marketplace and competition to keep up to date with industry developments.
- Undertaking internal quality audits.
- Direct staff and teams across the business to ensure quality frameworks are implemented.
- Provide updates to senior managers and directors around quality issues.
- Ensure that all suppliers meet the quality requirements of the company.
Getting Into Quality Management
What qualifications do you need to get into a Quality Management position?
Candidates will need to show sufficient experience in 3 main fields such as:
- Quality Control
- Project Management
A degree background in Business, Quality Management, Science or an Engineering related degree may be advantageous.
Career progression within the Quality sector may be supported with qualifications from the Chartered Quality Institute. The CQI provides two levels of qualification; The Level 3 Introductory Certificate in Quality Management and the Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Quality Management. Options are available to study part-time and through distance learning.
What Skills does a Quality Manager require?
A quality manager would need to have:
- Excellent communication skills
- Ability to undertake market research
- Planning and project management skills
- The ability to interpret data and statistics
- Relevant skills with technology
- Leadership and management skills
- Familiarity with quality standards and processes
What is Career Progression like for a Quality Manager?
Career progression for a Quality Manager may be along several routes. Within a large company environment, there may be opportunities to progress to a Head of Quality or Director of Supply Chain. Alternatively, in an SME environment, there may be opportunities to gain promotions to board level roles such as Director of Operations.
There are also opportunities to undertake freelance and consultancy based Quality Management services such as advising other companies on how to attain ISO accreditation.
What is the Salary and Benefits for Quality Managers?
Graduate salaries within a production or manufacturing environment may start from approximately £20,000 per annum. Experienced Quality Managers can expect salaries in the region of £46-£60k.