Wednesday 23 May 2012

Revision lesson 22 - Maintaining quality assurance in growing businesses

In the news: British Standards Institute (BSI & kitemark)

Quality assurance some products have to reach a national or EU standard for them to be sold in the UK.  Motorcycle helmets are an example of this. Quality is much easier to maintain in small businesses than larger ones as the owners are more likely to be hands on and know whats happening and respond quickly when sales suffer because quality is falling.  As a business grows communication can become more difficult resulting in a deteriairation in quality.

Competitive edge standards allow companies to win contracts as they have a competitive edge.

Quality assurance systems two principles are used in business when creating a QA system:

  • fit for purpose - the product should be up to its intended use
  • right first time - avoids having to re-do things, causing waste, by making sure no errors happen 


Did you know... BSI has produced over 30,00standards and publications that business and government bodies can access and use.  These standards are used world wide by inspectors who import and export products from the UK and other countries.  In 2008 BSI was recognised as a UK Business Superbrand.  The Kitemark is also recognised in its own right and the word and logo are both registered trademarks of BSI 

Group activities Produce a series of tests for a portion of fries from a fast food outlet, or another product.  Discus as a group and agree what you would regard as the basic standard for this product.  You might want to decide upon the weight of the portion, the width of the individual fries, the length and how crisp they are, the type of potato and the oil that they are cooked in..  You will then need to devise tests to see if your sample passes, this could include a bend test or colour test.  When you have agreed the standard, buy some fries and test them.. Produce a league table of which outlets' fries pass the test.  Write a report on your findings

Discussion Discuss how useful formal interviews are in determining who is the best person for the job.  Are there better ways that could be used 

Web based activity

Quick Quiz 22 Maintaining quality assurance in a growing business
  1. What do the initials BSI stand for?
  2. What does the organisation BSI do?
  3. What is a Kitemark?
  4. Describe what is meant by a standard?
  5. Give an example of a good that is fit for purpose.
  6. What do the initials TQM stand for?
  7. What is another expression for 'let the buyer beware'?
  8. Explain why some products by law must have passed a standard
  9. Explain possible reasons why businesses do not always produce products at the highest quality
  10. Explain why a business that has been awarded a Kite mark would have an advantage over a competitor that has not

Nine mark question 

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