A quality management system is a major benefit to an organisation, but what exactly are they and how do they work? Let’s take a look into quality management systems so that we can understand these systems and the benefits that they provide.
A quality management system is a system by which an organisation aims to cut down and eventually eliminate any non-conformance to a set of specifications. It also aims to achieve adherence to standards and customer expectations in the most cost effective and efficient manner. It is a collection of business processes that are focused on achieving quality objectives.
Measurable, Repeatable and Improving
Even if a company isn’t concerned with producing the most high quality world class product, it is still a primary concern to produce something of quality. This is why quality management systems are so important. The system itself should be measurable, repeatable and constantly improving. Also, it should be focused on the customer or the consumer of the good or service, ensuring that they are provided with the best value possible.
Your business might already have a quality policy implemented or maybe gathering dust somewhere and not being used. However, a Quality Management System is much more complex than a policy and it will outline the aspirations that your organisation has to provide a high quality dedicated service.
The quality management system should help you to identify, manage, control and improve your core processes so that you can benefit your customers. Also, it should involve people at all levels of the organisation. A good quality management system will involve people across all levels of the organisation and everyone should contribute to the success of the organisation. All employees have a responsibility to adhere to quality. Also, a successful quality management system will approach things as processes rather than individual tasks – looking at the whole picture and how everything fits together.
How could a quality management system affect your business? Could you benefit from implementing this type of system in your organisation?
Reasons to Have a Quality Management System
What are the reasons why a company might want to have a quality management system? It turns out that there are a lot of advantages to this type of system:
- Adhering to a certain set of standards will help you to compete on a level playing field with bigger enterprises.
- The focus will be on continual improvement and your company will always be aiming to do better.
- When you have the valuable data afforded to you by a quality management system you will be able to make your decisions according to facts, as opposed to feelings, knee jerk responses or “gut instinct.” This information will help you to make wiser and more strategic decisions for your business.
- Standards will also help to open up the export markets for your products and services.
- Having a set of standards to adhere to will help you to discover and develop your best business practices.
- Standards will be a driving force in efficiency in your business operations. Having more efficient ways of working will save you a lot of resources, money and time over the years.
- Having high standards will add credibility to your company and instil confidence in your customers.
- You’ll be able to advertise that your products meet a certain set of standards, which will demonstrate to customers that your products are reliable and of high quality.
- You’ll be able to become a more consistent competitor in your marketplace.
- Standards are a great way to open new business opportunities and improve sales.
- Having a set of standards will give you the competitive edge.
- Standards will help to make your brand name internationally recognised.
- When you enjoy improved operational performance you will be able to cut errors and increase profits.
- When you have standards there will be a common language that you can use across an industry sector.
- Having a high level of standards will help your company to grow. You will broaden your business opportunities when you are able to demonstrate compliance to the system. With better customer service you will be able to win more high value customers.
These are just a few of the major reasons that your organisation might consider having a quality management system. These standards can greatly improve your operation and set you on a path toward a higher level of success.
A great example is the ISO 9000 family of quality standards, which is likely the most widely implemented worldwide. ISO is the International Organisation for Standardisation and it has a membership of some 160 national standards bodies from countries all over the world. These standards make a major positive contribution to the world that we live in, by facilitating trade, disseminating advances in technology, spreading knowledge and sharing good management strategies.
The ISO standards are applied to a huge range of activity sectors, from mechanical engineering, to construction to agriculture to manufacturing to transport to medical devices and the environment.
One of the advantages of using a system such as this is that it is recognised worldwide. It has been proven to improve quality when it has been implemented and it is suitable for all organisations.
Also, the ISO standards make it easier to implement a quality management system even when you don’t have any experience or guidance. You will be able to ensure your clients that you have given your word and are being checked by a third party body.