What is a Quality Management System?

A quality management system (QMS) is a methodology to manage and improve core processes, operations, and accountability for achieving quality in policies and objectives.

A quality management system helps, organize and steer activities of the organization to satisfy customer requirements, regulatory standards, and improve its productivity and efficiency constantly.

QMS manages the overall quality, which at the end of the day results in customer satisfaction and a tailored organizational system.

The term Quality management system was tossed by a British management consultant Ken Croucher.

It is a long-familiar fact that an organization whether it is a company, institution, non-profit, or business, is a composite system that is essentially designed for adding value to all stakeholders: employers, staff, proprietors, partners, customers, authorities, etc.

Organizations use a quality management system to find out the needs of every stakeholder, mould these needs into internal requirements,  stipulate the resources required to satisfy all requirements, and finally, to evaluate the achievement.

Why Quality Management System is Important?

A quality management system is pivotal to maximize our chances of survival in the market.

Being excellent is the goal of almost every organization.

However, being excellent is complex and requires an alignment of multiple factors. These factors are provided by a  good quality management system.

International Organization for Standardization knowing the importance of the QMS has standardized the QMS by providing the requirements under ISO 9001:2015.

Under ISO 9001:2015 they have provided a comprehensive solution for organizational quality management that with other many factors which we have generically defined in the definition also focuses on sustainable development initiatives, customer satisfaction, consistency, and risk management.

In which, sustainable development initiatives refer to the Goal-1, 9, 12, and 14 of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

A good quality management system will:

  • Lessen wastage
  • Revamp process control
  • Improve market shares
  • Reduce the cost
  • Promote training for the stakeholder
  • achieve customer trust
  • Uplift Confidence

The work in formulating a definition and structure for attaining quality has already been fulfilled.

Now, it is time for the companies to opt for the system and take initiatives to implement quality management systems to their organization and ultimately get the reward in terms of profits, customer satisfaction, and a strongly devoted team.

How to Implement quality management

The application and execution of a quality management system is a great challenge involving many factors and aspects. Here is a plan for implementation of a QMS:

Documentation

Before writing the document, one should have the general templates of all the controlled documents of the organization that can be used in the future. All templates should have consistent formatting that makes it compatible and easy to read and search.

All the templates scheme should have a clear motive, scope and responsibilities section. Moreover, documents must meet the standards and requirements set by the standardizing authorities.

Flowchart-Style Mapping

Companies should map the organizational framework for quality management using Flowchart-style. This will help organizations to reflect and describe their processes.

During this process, they will decide the correspondence between proceedings.

Process maps are important for recognizing the competent person. Describe your main business methodology and reverse the flow.

Drafting of the Documentation

Drafting of the documents should be performed according to the specifications provided in flowchart-styled maps; language selection should be done according to the audience it is addressing. For example, if the company is an international or multinational organization it is lucrative to publish its document in more than one language.

Document Control Mechanism

Electronic drafting should be preferred over conventional drafting for initial drafting and noting down all the vitals, as they are easily be determined, reviewed, retrieved, traced, and maintained.

The process used in the document control mechanism should be compatible with that used in the drafting process.

Review Document

For the final assessment, the document should be reviewed by the unbiased experts of every subject-matter that are well-versed of all KPI in their domains for QMS assessment of a certain organization that can impact the workability, or it comes under the jurisdiction.

This is a critical and important phase of the QMS implementation process as all the compliances and standardization depend on these reports.

Failure to review documents could result in a reduction of compliance, raise the risk of deviation from the quality management system, and can also develop conflict among staff, departments, etc.

Approval by the Compliance Authority

It is essential to get the suitable approval level for a document that is issued, this will be determined by the compliance standard.

Once assigned and accepted a hard copy of the document must be recorded at a secure location. Once documents are published, staff can be trained for the process accordingly.

This is the generally proposed implementation process proposed by ISO. Yet, ISO is not a certifying authority rather it provides standards only.

Benefits of Quality management system

Quality Management System offers numerous benefits to business owners. It typically increases efficiency and productivity and is likely to give you an edge over your competitors.

Below are some business benefits you should consider.

  • greater productivity and less waste
  • better improved and constant control of major business processes
  • a better perception of customer requirements
  • regulation of successful working practices
  • developed risk management
  • increased customer trust
  • improved involvement and engagement of employees
  • better communication internally
  • greater cohesiveness like products and services.
  • differentiation of your business organization from its competitors
  • increased earnings
  • reducing costly errors
  • It also reduces mistreatment of new markets, both in the UK and overseas
  • manages growth and production more effectively
  • QMS is an integrated culture of quality

Elements and Requirements

Key elements and requirement for quality management system according to ISO are:

Leadership

Leadership is a very important element of quality management. Leaders establish unity of purpose and direction of the organization.

Leaders create and manage the internal atmosphere in which people get fully involved in achieving the organizational objectives.

Planning

Planning establishes quality objectives, add risk-based management and thinking, and update quality management service based on calculating ongoing effectiveness.

The standard Planning concept requires to take the general concept into the day-to-day operations of the organization by giving an outline of the needs affiliated with services, creating a supporting process and finding out the acceptance criteria of customers

Support

No business can succeed without some form of support. Support is directly related to assisting the organizational operating bodies in the form of resources, competence, awareness, communication and documented information.

Support a business requires to achieve its goals.

Operation

Operation is related to the practical machinery or elements of getting the job done.  It covers the working perspective from ordering stocks to staff instructions and guidance, and execution of the project.

Performance Evaluation

The organization evaluates the performance by monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation. It also includes the process of internal audit of the departments and management review.

Performance evaluation gives insight into the organization where it is standing during that particular time.

Improvement

The last element of the QMS relates to persistently improving the quality management system and identifying any key domain where improvement is possible.

This comprises fulfilling any adjustments to meet customer needs and improve customer satisfaction.

The improvement also refers to changes to promote products and services. It takes all possible corrective action that can help to prevent and reduce unwanted delays.