A quality control (QC) supervisor is responsible for monitoring production, and coordinating the activities of workers who are involved in inspecting materials and ensuring that they meet the quality standards specified by the company. Supervised workers may be responsible for processing a variety of manufactured materials, including foods, glassware, molded components, textiles, fabricated plastic products, electronics, pharmaceuticals, clothing, and motor vehicles.
Though duties will vary by industry and company, some of a quality control supervisor's duties may include drawing sketches to provide examples for product prototypes and standards needed, writing inspection procedures for new products requiring fabrication, measuring different devices needed to carry out these tasks, and pointing out areas requiring additional attention to workers. Following the sketch completion, it is typically distributed, along with production protocols, to various departments, including production control, engineering, and inspection work stations.
Inspections typically occur during all or most stages of a product's development. To do this, a quality control manager may implement various devices, including gauges and shadow comparators. Once defects, if any, are identified in the product, he or she will inform the technician what these specific defects are, as well as what types of adjustments may be necessary in order to correct them. After a new prototype is completed, it too must be examined until it fulfills the quality standards set by the company.
Customer service skills are often a large aspect of the job. A quality control supervisor may need to satisfy customer needs, resolve complaints, and maintain favorable client relationships. He or she may also need to work with subcontractors and suppliers, especially if materials or parts failing to meet company standards are received. To resolve a matter such as this, he or she must be prepared to disclose the reasons for rejecting these parts, and also to request replacements.
To become a quality control supervisor, a high school diploma is generally required. Other education requirements may vary depending on the company and the product being inspected. Good math and communications skills are generally required. Extensive knowledge in assembly, machine operation, and other industry-specific procedures, as well as training in the use of tools such as computers, meters, and gauges is also usually needed. A quality control supervisor should have a thorough understanding of the various production needs, safety requirements, and processes of a company, as well as the products being inspected.