Quality Management System often abbreviated as QMS is nothing but a set of policies, actual processes and procedures, in short, all the internal rules that are mandatory to plan and execute in any core area of business of any organization.
Core business area can be an area that can directly impact customers’ satisfaction or delight. The best example of the Quality Management System (QMS) is undoubted, ISO 9001. Often people consider the application of QMS limited to documentation only, which is one of the biggest myths related to ISO 9001.
Essential Elements of Quality Management System (QMS)
All the internal processes integrated to provide a reliable process approach by the close knitted structure of QMS. Any organization that works on the foundation of a process-based approach will end up in J-curve of improvement in business performance.
For all the first time ISO 9001 applicators, QMS process initiates with management planning stage that involves all the offering of products and services and how the system deals with sales of product and services till finally delivery to the customer.
All the processes that are involved in the making of the final product should be part and parcel of QMS, which assists in monitoring the whole system and results in the improvement of the overall management system.
In short, ISO 9001 outlines all the mandatory requirements of policies, processes, procedures, and records that are needed for QMS.
Basic Notion of Quality Management System (QMS)
The ISO 9001 plays an essential role in:
- Ensuring that all the mandatory requirements have been satisfied
- Ensuring that all the team members can get necessary training sessions related to the needs of QMS
- Determining processes and their integration
- Maintaining all records and evidence that all the system requirements have been satisfied
- Measuring, reporting and vigilant monitoring of the uprising performance of the QMS
- Planning relevant amendments in QMS and taking appropriate actions to address all the identified risks and opportunities
- Performing an effective internal audit to measure QMS and to eliminate non-conformances
- Continuous improvement in the management system
Myths about Quality Management System (QMS)
Although it has been years since the publication of ISO 9001 still many organizations are wired into myths and misconceptions about the standard. Below are the top five biggest myths associated with ISO 9001:
Loads of Paperwork
ISO 9001 implementation does not require tons of documentation and paperwork. ISO 9001 and its application process requires only six documented procedures that are sufficient to provide the satisfaction of transparency related to employees and customers. Other than six mandatory documentation of ISO 9001, additional documents required are only dependent on the number of employees, operational needs, and types of activities.
ISO 9001 is only due to Customer’s requirement
ISO 9001 has improved profitability and business performance through corrective and preventive actions. Regardless of the size of the organization and the activities, any organization can consider the application of ISO 9001 for achieving more return on investment and increased value of customers’ satisfaction through the application of ISO 9001.
Application of ISO 9001 increases Net Cost
ISO 9001 is a set of best practices that provides a systematic methodology for organizations and help them achieve their targets and goals. If the application of ISO 9001 results in an increment of cost, then the management team should look on the application procedure of ISO 9001 again.
ISO 9001 Disables Organization to become Flexible
Flexibility is not something that ISO 9001 snatches from the management team. It provides the organizations to follow the best practices of the world using the systematic approach only and not haphazardly.
ISO 9001 Implementation is the Biggest Distraction
For ISO 9001 implementation, it is almost a plug and play method, which hardly takes much time and is undoubtedly not a distraction.
Steps for Implementing a Quality Management System (QMS)
Following are the necessary steps to implement a Quality Management System (QMS) in any organization which is listed below:
Mapping Basic Processes
All the teams must create a rough draft of process mapping so that visualizing and defining the processes can be done with ease. Define each process flow and let the flow converse.
Defining Quality Policy
The duty of the organization must be able to transmit quality policy clearly to all the stakeholders and the customers.
QMS must contain all the objectives, and each team member of your organization must be able to communicate the quality policy to the world by their services and their products which should be measurable and can be monitored leading to continual improvement.
This step will go a long way in accomplishing critical success points which can be in the form of performance in terms of financial terms, quality of the product, improvement of the process, the satisfaction of the customers, the share of the market and employees’ satisfaction levels.
Developing a Monitoring System
Once the system has been established, the organization need to have a reliable monitoring system for data reporting and to share the collected, reported information with the top leadership team. The whole purpose is to make customers’ satisfaction level in the top notch.
Defining Defects in Processes
All the defects that are existent in the process chain are non-conformances (major or minor depending upon the condition).
Whenever any such error occurs, the team should be able to devise corrective and preventive actions. Do remember to determine the volume of operations, number of defects in final products, crafting processes to record any errors that occurred in the system along with a particular process to report the defects correctly in some specific format.
Developing Documentation and Records
QMS is not some imaginary process. It should be part of the documentation system as per your business model.
Defining Processes for Quality
As a team, one needs to design the processes through proper SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures).
Determining Training Needs
Find out any competency gaps that may be present in your team and fill it up with proper training, without interrupting core business operations.
Collection and recording of all non-conformance, data review for corrective and preventive actions, risks management and control, internal audits, management reviews, etc. should become your one of the regular management practice.