Quality Management Systems - Are they essential for business success?
Updated: Feb 20
Another Blog Post from University Graduate, RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Building Engineer
Mr Cliff L'Aimable (Building Regulations Specialist), who has been writing construction related blog posts since 1999 and was an ex-article writer with technical publications appearing in Trinity Mirror magazines and newspapers in his column called the "Property Doctor". For building regulation advice and a fee quote for building regulations approvals click www.bcsurv.com
My business is government licensed, and carries out a highly regulated function. After years of being in business my simple view of quality management systems can be simply put - "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it.." Every part of our business delivery follows a set of procedures and policies to make sure that we deliver a consistent, reliable service for every paying customer. We offer a premium rated service that follows a third party checked and audited quality management system to ISO 9001: 2015.
More and more businesses are realising the importance of having a quality management system in place. A quality management system can help to improve efficiency and effectiveness, as well as providing a structured approach to managing quality. Having a quality management system in place can also help to win new business and gain competitive advantage.
If you're thinking of implementing a quality management system, or want to find out more about how they work, read on for our essential guide.
1. Improved Efficiency -
A quality management system can help to streamline processes and reduce waste, which in turn leads to improved efficiency and cost savings. By having a structured approach to managing quality, businesses can ensure that tasks are completed more quickly, with fewer mistakes and less downtime. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses operating on a tight budget or with stringent time constraints.
2. Increased Customer Satisfaction -
Quality management systems enable businesses to identify potential issues and prevent them from occurring, thus increasing customer satisfaction levels. Businesses can use a quality management system to track customer feedback, monitor customer service performance and develop action plans for addressing any customer queries or complaints. This helps to improve relationships with customers and maintain high levels of trust and confidence in the products or services being provided.
3. Enhanced Product Quality -
Having a quality management system in place helps businesses to guarantee the consistency of their products/services, which is essential for gaining customer loyalty and maintaining profitability. By identifying any potential problems early on, businesses can take corrective action before they become major issues that could lead to product recalls or reputational damage.
4. Boosted Employee Engagement -
Quality management systems provide employees with clear objectives, guidelines and expectations so they know what is expected of them when it comes to delivering results. This boosts productivity as employees are actively encouraged to strive for excellence in their work by having access to measurable standards that they need to meet or exceed in order to succeed in their role.
5. Competitive Edge -
Adopting a quality management system gives businesses an edge over their competitors as it ensures that processes are consistent across all departments and locations, resulting in higher accuracy rates than manual checking methods alone would allow for. It also shows customers that the business takes providing the best possible service seriously by having measures in place that help maintain high standards across all operations no matter the size or complexity of the job at hand.
What is Quality Management?
Quality management is the process of overseeing various operations and duties inside an organisation to guarantee that the products and services provided are consistent, as are the methods utilised to supply them. It facilitates the attainment and maintenance of a desired quality level inside the organisation.
Quality management comprises of the following four essential elements:
Quality Planning - The procedure for establishing the quality requirements applicable to the project and determining how to satisfy them.
Quality Improvement - The deliberate modification of a process to increase the certainty or dependability of the product.
Quality Control - The ongoing effort to maintain the integrity and dependability of a process in obtaining an outcome.
Quality Assurance - The systematic or planned efforts required to provide sufficient reliability so that a specific service or product will meet the stated criteria.
The objective of quality management is to guarantee that all stakeholders in an organisation collaborate to enhance the company's processes, products, services, and culture in order to achieve the long-term success that results from customer satisfaction.
The process of quality management is the development of a set of guidelines by a team to ensure that the products and services they generate are up to par or suitable for a certain purpose.
The process begins when the organisation establishes quality objectives that are agreed upon with the client.
The organisation then determines how the objectives will be assessed. It performs the necessary actions to measure quality. The process then identifies any quality problems and initiates improvements.
The final stage entails reporting the achieved quality level as a whole.
The process ensures that the team's products and services meet or exceed client expectations.
Quality Enhancement Techniques
The three components of quality improvement methodologies are product improvement, process improvement, and people-based improvement.
There are several quality management systems and procedures that can be implemented. Among others, they consist of Kaizen, Zero Defect Programs, Six Sigma, Quality Circle, Taguchi Techniques, the Toyota Production System, Kansei Engineering, TRIZ, BPR, OQRM, ISO, and Top Down & Bottom Up approaches.
Quality Management in action –
The Toyota Corporation's application of the Kanban system is a paradigm of quality management. Kanban is an inventory control technique created by Taiichi Ohno to provide suppliers and buyers with visibility in order to restrict the buildup of surplus inventory on the manufacturing line at any one time.
Toyota utilised the notion to implement their Just-in-Time (JIT) system, which helps coordinate supplier orders for raw materials with manufacturing schedules. The productivity of Toyota's production line rose as the corporation got just enough inventory to fulfil client orders as they were generated.
Fundamentals of Quality Management
The International Standard for Quality Management embraces a number of quality management principles. Top-level management use these ideas to guide an organization's procedures towards enhanced performance.
They consist of:
1.0 Customer-Focused approach
Any organisation should prioritise meeting and exceeding the expectations and needs of its consumers. When an organisation is able to comprehend the current and future demands of its customers and respond to them, customer loyalty results, which in turn improves income. Also, the organisation is able to find and satisfy new consumer potential. When corporate procedures are more efficient, both quality and customer satisfaction can increase.
2.0 Administrative leads
Effective leadership results in the success of an organisation. Excellent leadership fosters cohesion and purpose among employees and shareholders. Developing a vibrant business culture creates an environment in which people may realise their full potential and actively participate in accomplishing company objectives.
Leaders must involve employees in the formulation of lucid organisational goals and objectives. This inspires employees, who may increase their productivity and loyalty dramatically.
3.0 Participation of staff
Employee participation is an additional basic principle. Staff, whether full-time, part-time, outsourced, or in-house, are encouraged by management to create and deliver value. A company should encourage people to continually develop their abilities and preserve consistency.
The notion also includes providing employees with autonomy, including them in decision-making, and recognising their accomplishments. When people are respected, they perform to their fullest capacity because their confidence and motivation are enhanced. When employees are fully engaged, they feel empowered and responsible for their activities.
4. Procedural Methods
According to the process approach philosophy, the performance of an organisation is vital. The approach principle emphasises achieving organisational processes' efficiency and effectiveness. Good procedures result in increased uniformity, accelerated activity, decreased costs, waste elimination, and ongoing improvement.
When leaders are able to manage and control an organization's inputs, outputs, and processes utilised to produce outputs, the organisation is strengthened.
5. Continuous Improvement
Every organisation should have a goal to actively participate in continuous development. Continuously improving businesses enjoy enhanced performance, organisational adaptability, and the capacity to seize new possibilities. Companies should be able to continuously develop new procedures and adapt to changing market conditions.
6. Evidence-Based Decisions
Companies should use a fact-based approach to making decisions. Companies that base their decisions on validated and analysed data have a deeper understanding of the market.
They are able to accomplish tasks that yield the intended outcomes and defend their previous choices. It is essential to make decisions based on facts in order to comprehend the cause-and-effect linkages between various factors and to explain probable unintended outcomes and repercussions.
7. Relationship Administration
Relationship management involves establishing advantageous partnerships with suppliers and merchants. Many stakeholders might affect a company's performance. The organisation should effectively manage the supply chain process and promote its relationship with its suppliers in order to maximise their impact on the company's performance. When an organisation effectively manages its relationships with interested parties, it is more likely to achieve long-term business success and collaboration.
To be clear there have been many very successful businesses that do not have a documented third party audited quality management systems in place. Those businesses, their scale, and future can although be stunted since they cannot be easily replicated elsewhere and scaled up. A method of replicating a set of processes, and policies would certainly be the order of the day nonetheless.
Having a quality management system in place is important for businesses. It can help increase customer satisfaction by tracking feedback, monitoring customer service performance, and creating plans to deal with customers' queries or complaints. This helps businesses build relationships with customers so that they trust the products or services being offered.
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