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Thomas R. Cutler


Small Manufacturers Seek New Ways to Find Quality Personnel

A cost-effective subscription service can uniquely align QA/QC professionals with ideal skill sets

Published: Monday, April 26, 2021 - 11:02

The demand for quality assurance and quality control managers in the manufacturing sector has never been stronger, according to Patrick O’Rahilly, founder of FactoryFix. This online platform matches vetted manufacturing workers with companies seeking specific skill sets. They set a new quality standard in how small to midsize manufacturers are hiring talent across the United States.

This solution is not another job board that simply posts quality positions and candidates. Rather, it’s a cost-effective subscription service that uniquely aligns QA/QC professionals with ideal skill sets. Small manufacturers are deeply reliant on quality team members; they are directly responsible for product conformity and oversee inspection and material review board departments. They also rely on the QA manager, who is responsible for the overall quality system.

A person working in a factory  Description automatically generated with low confidence
Patrick O’Rahilly,
founder of FactoryFix

O’Rahilly suggests the responsibilities and duties in QA/QC vary extensively. The distinct functions require precision in selecting candidates with needed skills. Throwing a wide net to attract new quality staff is a waste of time that small manufacturers can ill afford.

For instance, specific industry-sector experience is often required where the candidate is familiar and experienced with regulatory compliance within that sector. Smaller manufacturers document, establish, and implement quality system procedures. Again, industry-sector experience helps ensure success during internal and external audits.

For companies registered to a quality management system standard such as ISO 9001, candidates should also demonstrate core quality competencies in risk management, developing and maintaining reports of the nonconforming product, and expediting the closure of nonconforming product cause and corrective action requests.

Communication strength is essential for small manufacturers because the QA/QC managers must report nonconforming product status to customers, supervisors, and the management team (often a founder/owner).

Quality engineers and inspectors

The current demand for qualified quality engineers and inspectors is strong. The need to monitor and improve operational processes and outputs includes designing quality standards; inspecting materials, equipment, procedures, and products; developing quality control systems; and determining corrective actions. A successful quality engineer must have excellent troubleshooting skills.

Recent quality placements

A small sampling of recently placed quality professionals includes Lake Zurich, Illinois-based DRG Manufacturing with quality inspector, Taylor Barth.

Likewise, Uriel Zamora, also a quality inspector, was recently placed by FactoryFix with Rusco Manufacturing in Machesney Park, Illinois.

These are the types of quality professionals being placed as FactoryFix aligns the specific skill sets of its registered candidates and hiring employers. Currently, there are many quality positions listed at FactoryFix Quality Jobs.

Quality engineers often require familiarity with sector-specific issues, whether automotive, food, or metalworking. Many employers want ASQ certification as well as experience coding and using QA software tools and processes.

“One day without a qualified professional on the manufacturing plant floor can be disastrous,” O’Rahilly insists. “FactoryFix has accumulated and continues to grow the largest database of candidates who each have unique expertise in performing problem identification, resolution, loss reporting, and continuous improvement.”

Because the role of quality continues to expand during a return-to-work paradigm, these candidates design and implement methods for process control, process improvement, testing, and inspection.

“We make sure that before matching a candidate, the role of quality is aligned with the need to develop, execute, and analyze reporting measures,” says O’Rahilly. “Additionally, the scope required of a QA/QC professional when participating in internal and external quality audits must always be considered. The candidate must be able to effectively create and implement work instructions and QA procedures for process control needs.”

Quality: The liaison between factory and customers

Small manufacturers are dependent on quality managers to serve as liaisons between the factory and customers to address all quality issues. Instead, the quality manager function is quickly relegated to managing documentation and audits for compliance to ISO quality management system standards.

Quality Digest interviews Patrick O’Rahilly,


About The Author

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

Thomas R. Cutler

Thomas R. Cutler is the President and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, TR Cutler Inc., celebrating its 21st year. Cutler is the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium including more than 8000 journalists, editors, and economists writing about trends in manufacturing, industry, material handling, and process improvement. Cutler authors more than 1,000 feature articles annually regarding the manufacturing sector. More than 4,500 industry leaders follow Cutler on Twitter daily at @ThomasRCutler. Contact Cutler at trcutler@trcutlerinc.com.