Quality control, sometimes called quality assurance, refers to an order fulfillment process wherein a picked item is checked against the original order for accuracy in terms of SKU and quantity, and also inspected for signs of wear or damage, to ensure the quality of the physical item in question matches the marketplace description. The item is then marked as ready-to-ship, and is passed along to shipping to be packaged and sent out. The purpose of quality control is to reduce returns and exchanges, and to minimize overall customer service costs.
Most of our clients have a dedicated Quality Control person or station in their warehouse, and for those companies, quality control is really straight-forward. Pickers drop off orders and the corresponding picked product, where the items are scanned against the order to account for correctness in terms of SKU and quantity - it's hard to mess this step up, because a big ol' picture of the item as well as the specifications come up when you scan the order into SkuVault's quality control page. The quality control person also checks for signs of damage / discrepancies with the original listing - anything that could result in an unhappy customer. The order's then marked as ready-to-ship, and is sent off to shipping. For our smaller clients unwilling or unable to host a dedicated quality control station, we've provided QC Express on Pick, a setting that, once activated, prompts the picker to scan the items against the order at pick.
Quality control drastically reduces customer service costs; it gets to the root of the problem, eliminating most customer service issues (mis-picks, mis-ships, damaged or incorrectly listed items) before the order ever even leaves your warehouse. Happier customers means better marketplace feedback, a more enthusiastic and responsive social following, better search rankings, and therefore visibility, which ultimately leads to more sales. Phew! Imagine how cutting down the number of angry customers could help morale, sales, and your bottom line; especially during peak season.