As the term implies, a quality assurance (QA) supplier is a person who ensures that a certain product meets industry-set standards before it gets packed, shipped, sold, or accepted by a receiving party. They physically check the products and perform industry specific tests on it to find out if it meets accepted standards of quality. These quality guidelines are set for each and every product and industry, so if it is not met, the item will be sent back to the manufacturer, or even recalled if it is found to be a hazard to the public.
In general, a product is tested for compliance to meet or exceed the minimum standards of quality. It should not be assumed, therefore, that just because a product passes quality assurance inspections that it is a high-quality product. The meaning of the word quality as it is applied in everyday conversation is different from its usage in the manufacturing industry. Quality in daily use implies excellence or superiority, while in manufacturing it means passable according to the minimum standards that have been set forth and accepted by the quality assurance supplier.
Products may be inspected and tested even before it is completely finished or manufactured. The way that they do this is to monitor the processes involved during the course of manufacturing or production, and to check the quality of the raw materials and smaller components that go into the final product. This is especially necessary in mass production situations because it may not be feasible to check every single item in the assembly line. It is easier and more time efficient to simply spot check, which will help assure conformity to the required standards of quality.
A quality assurance supplier undergoes training on the systematic monitoring and evaluation of the various processes involved in production and its many aspects. This field is referred to as quality assurance. It is a necessary component of all manufacturing industries. However, a QA supplier may also monitor the quality of services instead of the products. It is customary for businesses involved in consulting, banking, retail, and computer software development, to name a few, to undergo periodic quality assurance monitoring. The way that this is done is to observe processes, conduct interviews, and watch for behavior patterns that either contribute towards, or detract from, the achievements of the desired quality. Even services that usually do not fall within the scope of business can be monitored for quality assurance. An excellent example is educational services within the public sector.
Necessarily, the training and qualifications of a quality assurance supplier will widely vary, depending on the product or service that they will monitor, inspect, or test. The quality assurance supplier job description of someone who will work with products in the manufacturing industry will be radically different from that of another who will observe and monitor services such as design work or translation services. Typically, a higher level of education and training will be required in the case of a quality assurance supplier involved in assessing services.