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What better way to celebrate World Quality Day than by talking all things quality with Virginie Schwartz, VP of Quality Assurance at
Mölnlycke? 🎉 Read on for the key insights from her conversation with elemed’s CEO and founder Elena Kyria.
Defining Quality in Simple Terms
Virginie describes quality as the assurance of a safe product reaching the market. Quality support is present throughout a product’s lifecycle, from design and manufacturing to market placement and post-market follow up. She shares an endearing analogy from young graduates who likened quality to a band-aid – it ensures the band-aid doesn’t hurt and that you still get fixed, demonstrating the direct impact on patients’ lives.
Quality as a Career Path
You don’t always choose quality; sometimes quality chooses you. Virginie started her career as a chemist but found her true calling in quality when working in the air freight industry, focusing on the safe transportation of dangerous goods. Her journey led her to recognise the importance of processes, safety, and continuous improvement in her career. She realised that quality in the medical device industry allowed her to make a substantial impact on products and, more importantly, on patients’ lives.
Building a Culture of Quality
Quality is not just a department; it’s a mindset and a culture within a company. She encourages companies to focus on continuous improvement and building strong partnerships with all departments, fostering a culture of quality. The goal is to show other teams how a strong quality culture benefits the entire organisation, not just the quality department.
Identifying the Right Attitude for Quality
When hiring for her team, Virginie looks for individuals who exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for continuous improvement. She values employees who want to change the world and are committed to improving both products and the company.
Overcoming Resistance to Quality Initiatives
Virginie suggests starting small with pilot projects to demonstrate the benefits of quality initiatives. When it comes to compliance, it’s essential to find a balance between achieving compliance and implementing solutions pragmatically. For continuous improvement, quality projects should be treated like any other business project, with a focus on showing tangible benefits.
Navigating Resource Constraints
Virginie recommends framing quality initiatives as cost avoidance rather than cost savings. The focus is on efficiently using resources and demonstrating how quality initiatives can positively impact the business.
Celebrating World Quality Day
To celebrate World Quality Day at Mölnlycke, Virginie decided to involve leaders from different functions in the quality celebration. Leaders from various departments shared quotes related to quality, fostering a sense of inclusivity and promoting quality awareness throughout the organisation.