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Quality Creates...Perspective

A Dog’s Guide to Quality Management Software

Rachel Beavins Tracy
by Rachel Beavins Tracy on Tue, Nov 14, 2017

A Dog's Guide to Quality Management Software Gone are the days when most dogs were relegated to a lonely backyard existence, when a pup might never set foot in the house (let alone take up more than their fair share of the bed). Nowadays, the most fortunate dogs are pampered with such delights as a dog massage, specialty bakeries and webcam-equipped pet hotels.

Today, we’re looking at quality management software from a dog’s perspective, focusing on things your dog wishes you knew about employee training, supplier management, corrective action and more.

Employee Training

If you want your dog to learn how to be a productive member of the household, your employee training program should involve large amounts of treats (preferably the meaty variety).

From a strategic perspective, many have called into question training methods focused on domination and breaking a dog’s will. Harsh methods can actually make it more difficult to build trust, an essential ingredient for successful training. For example, if your dog escapes the fence, and you yell at him when he returns, why would he ever willingly come to you?

Instead, many experts recommend positive reinforcement techniques like those used in operant conditioning (aka clicker training) programs. These strategies involve shaping your pooch through praise, encouraging specific behaviors you want to see.

Suppliers and Subcontractors

A growing number of pet owners are not content with bargain-basement pet products and services, taking a proactive approach to supplier quality management. They’re paying more attention than ever to the food their fur-babies eat, as well as the quality of subcontracted caregivers.

And it’s not without good reason. Safety scandals have made big headlines in the past, like when melamine in ingredients sourced from China fatally sickened as many as 3600 dogs in 2007. Since then, an explosion of higher quality foods has hit the market, with pet owners closely monitoring ingredients and their sourcing.

Care options for pets have similarly expanded. For example, many dog boarding facilities now provide open play areas for well-socialized dogs, complete with webcams so their parents can watch their pups play. Online platforms make it easy to find the perfect sitter for your dog, whether it’s a 5-star sitter with special expertise in rowdy border collies or an in-home drop off at a neighbor’s house.

Nonconformances and Incidents

Where dogs are concerned, you can expect occasional issues to occur. Such as when your dog destroys your garden, or gets into your famous cheese ball just before your holiday party guests arrive.

Part of your corrective action process needs to include a detailed root cause analysis, looking at potential contributing factors such as:

  • Leaving food or other tempting items unattended. Remember, what’s a risk in your eyes is an opportunity to your dog.
  • Not providing enough exercise for your pup, a leading cause of dog-related shenanigans.
  • Paying too much attention to your device or the television, to the point that you’re too distracted to monitor bad behavior.

Risk Management

When it comes to caring for a dog, risk management is quality management. That’s because numerous hazards can impact your dog’s safety and quality of life, from everyday risks like fleas and ticks to less frequently encountered problems like getting into the medicine cabinet.

The key to mitigating risks is to use a closed-loop process that includes:

  • Hazard identification: What items, conditions or activities are present that could lead to a problem?
  • Risk analysis: How serious is this issue, taking into account both the likelihood and severity of the event?
  • Corrective action: Items that present unacceptable risk require corrective action to implement new controls.
  • Audits and adjustment: Make sure your corrective action actually worked by looking at residual risk. Could the dog push the door open to the bathroom, or hop the gate into the kitchen to get to the tray of mouthwatering cupcakes?

Managing the risks to your dog, your home and your sanity comes down to a proactive mindset focused on preventing unwanted events. If these strategies sound like too much, remember that your dog’s feelings on quality management boil down to one thing: quality time with you, the most important person in your dog’s world.

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Rachel Beavins Tracy
Rachel Tracy is a writer for ETQ with expertise in environmental, healthcare and technology topics. She has a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University and has been writing for businesses since 2008.
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