Quality Management Systems— What They Are And Why They Matter
As your company grows, one way to get to an even higher level of success is to adopt the right Quality Management System or Systems (QMSs). These are groups of business processes that have been codified and aim at achieving certain standards that enhance the product your customer receives.
A few weeks ago we wrote about one of the most widely known group of quality standards –ISO 9000. These standards can help you sell your goods both within the U.S. and abroad, since buyers know you provide certain level of consistent high quality. These standards are being revised this year and must be implemented by September 2015, as we reported in a previous post. So if you use certain ISO standards in your manufacturing process, make sure you update your compliance. If you don’t use such standards, they are something to consider.
ISO itself has a general quality standard (ISO 9001:2008) that lays out the main principles of quality management. They are:
- An understanding of current and future customer needs
- The development of unity of purpose and direction among the company’s leaders
- Involvement of people at all levels of the organization
- Organization of all activities into the right process or processes
- Adoption of strong quality control systems
- Continual improvement against process performance measures (PPMs)
- A factual approach to decision making
- Mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers
Examine these principles, and consider if your company meets them. If not, you may want to take a look at one or more quality management tools that can help you achieve those standards. ISO 9000, lean and Six Sigma are not the only tools to do this. We will discuss some of the others that may be particularly appropriate for mid-sized manufacturing firms (and smaller) in future posts.
Awards in the field of Quality Management
Good quality management can have multiple benefits. A number of awards have popped up to recognize companies that excel at this. The most famous of these in the U.S. is the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. Companies that win this award usually tout it in their marketing literature and it is frequently mentioned by the press in association with their names.
On a more local level in the U.S., the Alliance for Performance Excellence is a group of state and local organizations that use Baldridge criteria to give out similar award recognition. And both Europe and Canada also have parallel types of awards.
So, if you do decide to adopt strong quality management systems, you may achieve two positive outcomes. The primary value, of course, will be that by adopting these standardized organizational structures, policies, and procedures your company will be able to achieve a higher level of quality consistently in its products or services.
But at the same time, down the road, your company could receive public recognition for these efforts. And who wouldn’t like that? Awards for quality can help your company stand out from the crowd and thus increase your market recognition, branding, and even profits.
For more information about how NJMEP can help you adopt the right QMS, click here or contact us at 973-998-9805!