Before we dive into the purpose of a Quality Management System, we should probably define what a QMS is.  In defining what a QMS is, we will likely touch on the purpose of a Quality Management System.

When quality management folks talk about a Quality Management System (and Lord bless you if you get them started) they are usually referring to on of three ways we think of quality management.

QMS as a Strategy:       

This is usually how a business thinks about how processes and procedures should be managed.  ISO 9001:2015 provides a strategic framework for quality management systems and ISO 13485:2016 is the medical device quality management system.

Strategy is defined as a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.  When you start a business, you create a plan or strategy.  Likely, your business already has processes and procedures in place to complete the work.  But how are you managing those processes and procedures so that if someone new steps in, they know just what do?

QMS as a Process:

You’ve created the strategy, you know you need these processes and procedures in place.  Your team follows them.  Occasionally, there’s a rework, or a new employee or for some reason you need to disseminate the processes and procedures.  How are you going to manage these processes and procedures?  How are you going to manage the record of the rework and customer complaints?  That’s the process of QMS-managing all the documentation that needs managed.

QMS as a Technology:

This probably comes as the next natural step, technology.  That’s the easiest way to manage your QMS.  Often, everything is stored in the cloud, making all documentation easy to access by those that need, Quality Managers can control who has access to what information and with TQA Cloud for small to medium sized business, everything you need is just a few clicks away.

That all sounds a little more confusing than it is.  Simply put, a QMS documents your procedures and processes in an orderly, easy to access fashion.

Now that we know what a Quality Management System, you may be asking, “Why do I need this?  What’s the purpose?  We know how to do what we do?”  We hear that often.  The purpose of a QMS is to ensure that every time a process is performed, from the shop to accounting, the same information, methods, skills and controls are used and applied in a consistent manner.  Some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Do the same mistakes keep being repeated?
  • Do all departments understand what the other departments do and how they fit into the big picture?
  • Do you have negative customer reviews (any at all) or maybe a declining bottom line?

If you answered yes to any of these, it may be time to consider a QMS or revamping the one you have.  Texas Quality Assurance can help you every step of the way.

Why is a Quality Management System Important?

A QMS enables a business to protect its reputation, gain new customers, accelerate change within the business, and meet customer needs. 

Furthermore, it protects your company in the face of litigation.  With great record keeping, audit trails, and records of decision making, your legal risk is reduced, lowering cost.

Can all functions of my business benefit from using a QMS?

The short answer is YES!  Traditionally, QMS is a quality, audit and risk tool.  I think of it as a “shop tool.”  However, when applied to the WHOLE business, the whole business wins.  Let’s look at some department this has benefited.

Customer Service Teams

Who wants to work here, right?  Mostly, you deal with disgruntled customers that just want their product fixes.  You’re set up for failure.  The complaints stay here, you try to resolve the issue and move on to the next one.

Well, with the horizontal process used in a QMS, the issue is actually resolved.  The customer complaints are managed in the QMS, usually with a QMS Software such as TQA Cloud, making necessary representatives aware of the issue so that it can be fixed.  This reduces the number of customer complaints because there is a pre-emptive approach.  The root cause is addressed and there is a culture of openness and collaboration.

HR

With the help of a QMS, the on-boarding process goes much quicker because the process of training record management, analyzing resource needs, and identifying training gaps is all automated.

Sales and Marketing

Having a QMS in place is an advantage to your sales and marketing team.  If your company has committed to getting certified to the appropriate standards, this communicates to your prospective customers that you are committed to following your well documented procedures to ensure that they are getting a quality product.  Your QMS makes the job easier for sales and marketing, which bumps up your bottom line.

Procurement

It’s hard to have a quality product without quality suppliers.  A QMS can track and manage the performance of suppliers and ensure the credentials are valid and up to date.  It’s also helpful for adding notes throughout the workday and makes it easy to view audit results.

I hope by now I’ve convinced you of the benefits of a good, well-documented Quality Management System.  Earlier, I touched on the QMS Software, so let’s dive into that a little bit more.

What does a QMS Software do?

QMS software provides a central tool for your entire Quality Management System, from procedures to all customer feedback, issues, policies, suppliers, documents, risks, incidents, training records, equipment, audits and inspections.  It can also automatically pull in other information, such as data from mobile applications, and it can send notifications such as review requests, change updates and alerts for training needs.

A QMS software organizes all this information and gives each person only the access they need.  Overall, QMS Software gives you a complete record of business processes so you can better understand your processes and make improvements easily.

Some benefits of a QMS Software are:

  • Prevent costly mistakes
  • Protect and improve your reputation
  • Respond to incidents in real time
  • Improved communication flow
  • Enhanced process management
  • Heightened productivity
  • Empowered quality, risk, audit and operations teams
  • Accurate risk forecasting
  • Improved quality metrics
  • Increased customer satisfaction and retention
  • Enriched products and services
  • Win more business by certifying to ISO standards with ease

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