quality management system

Ensuring long-lasting business success through an effective quality management system

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The business landscape is fiercer than ever, with customers looking to pay for products or services that deliver the expected value. In such a context, ventures that want to thrive should seek to maintain quality at every level. Customers look for superior experiences nowadays, and to stand out from competitors, you should always judge every decision and action within your organization in terms of quality. In other words, you should ask yourself whether your products or services are good enough, and if not, how you can improve them so as to fulfill customers’ expectations. Ultimately, this is what will drive growth in your company. 

If you focus on quality management, you will increase your business’s efficiency and benefit from higher profitability. An effective quality management system has also been associated with lower costs, translating into a larger customer base and increased revenue. If you focus on developing a quality product from the beginning, this will mean less rework over time because customers won’t have many complaints regarding its quality. Therefore, you will benefit from cost savings down the road. 

This probably sounds quite exciting, but unfortunately, it isn’t the reality of many businesses. In fact, the opposite is true – many companies lack transparency, structure, and goal-oriented processes, which prevents them from achieving optimal workflows and meeting their quality goals. In other words, quality management is non-existent. But what is quality management all about, anyway? And why should businesses pay attention to it? We’ll answer these questions below, so keep reading! 

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/man-using-macbook-Lks7vei-eAg 

Understanding quality management

Controlling and managing business processes gained ground at the beginning of the 20th century, and ever since, quality management has become even more important. In the past, business owners were hesitant to allow external parties to look into their business processes, but now, this has become mandatory. Quality management is essential to meet quality demands, as well as customer requirements. It’s worth noting the difference between QM ( quality management) and a QM system to avoid confusion between the two terms. QM includes the measures and activities that come together to ensure a company’s high-quality standards and, ultimately, customer satisfaction. On the other hand, a QM system means integrating a QM into a management system, with the aim of defining, reviewing, and enhancing the quality objectives of the products or services that a business offers.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, quality management provides tremendous benefits for a business. It ensures improved security and transparency, a better corporate image, greater economic efficiency, and, above all, higher competitiveness, which plays a massive role in a business’s profitability.

Meeting quality standards in your company is based on seven essential principles

The most widely used standard when it comes to implementing a QM system is ISO 9001. This standard has been recognized internationally and it is designed for any organization that seeks to meet quality standards, no matter their size or industry they operate in. It’s essential for companies to achieve an ISO 9001 certification if they want to demonstrate their credibility to customers, but it’s worth noting that this certification is legally mandated in some industries. ISO 9001 is based on seven principles:

  • Customer focus. It makes sense that this is a priority when it comes to quality management, given that your business growth depends on whether your products or services will meet customers’ needs. Therefore, you should seek to understand their needs, communicate with them throughout the process, and, of course, measure their levels of satisfaction to see whether improvement is needed.
  • Leadership. Top management should be involved in the QMS implementation to ensure success. If those responsible for cash flow control within the company can understand the benefits of such a system, they will likely make the most of it.
  • Engagement of people. The business landscape is becoming increasingly competitive, so it’s essential to ensure that the people on your team create value. If they are engaged and feel empowered, they will likely help meet your organization’s objectives successfully, which is why this is an important principle of QMS.
  • Process-oriented approach. It can be genuinely challenging to understand and control an entire system at once, so a more intelligent approach is to consider it as a system consisting of smaller interrelated processes. This way, your efforts will result in a more consistent and predictable outcome.
  • Improvement. Staying stagnant is not an option in today’s competitive market, as this means competitors will quickly overtake you. This is why, when it comes to QMS, improvement is one of its core principles. It ensures that your business can react to external and internal changes and create opportunities in any situation. In other words, you should have a quality policy that is aligned with smart objectives that will help drive success.
  • Fact-based decision making. If you make business decisions based on your gut instinct, you shouldn’t be surprised if things don’t go as you expect them to. This approach is never a good idea – instead, every action should be based on analysis and evaluation of data. You need adequate data to determine whether a process is functioning correctly, and also to assess improvements.
  • Effective relationship management. Your relationships with employees, suppliers, and customers will inevitably impact your company’s performance. Hence, it is essential to focus on managing these relationships effectively. This principle is also part of effective QMS, as it will eventually lead to sustained success.

The bottom line

Think of your business as a journey to a genuinely beautiful destination. If you don’t focus on quality, do you think you will reach the desired destination? The short answer is no, you won’t. Quality is your guiding compass, so it’s paramount to focus on it. If you want to reach success and stay on the course, you will have to align your business vision with quality management. The two go hand in hand, so make sure to maintain those quality standards in your business. Keep in mind that your job doesn’t end once you implement your quality process – you also need to monitor your progress to see whether things are going in the right direction, so make sure to use the necessary tools for quality monitoring and address any gaps that you identify. Ultimately, these will be the ingredients that will set your business up for success.



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