A quality management system (QMS) is a set of policies, processes and procedures used to plan and execute core business operations. The QMS coordinates the direction and control of all vital activities and its goal is to continually improve the effectiveness and efficiency of a business’s operations and increase the company’s ability to meet its customer’s requirements.
A QMS is a simplifying solution that makes sense for most manufacturers. A QMS integrates a variety of internal processes with the intent of providing a process approach to project execution. A process based QMS enables the organizations to identify, measure, control and improve the various core business processes that will ultimately lead to improved business performance.
QMS systems can be defined as being industry specific or general in nature, as general standards can be applied in almost any industry. The most famous QMS is of course, the ISO 9001. We’ll be discussing updates to ISO 9001 in next week’s blog entry – so stay tuned!
There are many overlaps with Lean and QMSs. Lean process improvement principles are a systematic way of reviewing production to determine the most effective and efficient set of operating methods. The essence of Process Improvement is to close gaps in performance, identify problems that affect quality, and eliminate activities that do not add value. Many different tools exist under the process improvement umbrella. Making the right choice for your manufacturing company is a matter of necessity.
- Cellular Flow Manufacturing is used to produce products one-at-a-time, instead of in large batches
- Poka-Yoke is a Japanese term that means “mistake-proofing”
- Kanban Pull System replenishes parts as they are used
- A3 Planning, also known as Systematic Problem Solving, is based on the Plan-Do-Study-Act model proposed by William Deming
It is possible to create your own QMS, but that requires a great deal of dedication and focus. The virtue of a formalized QMS system is that the certification is provided by an independent agency that already has marketplace credibility and extensive experience with these intricate systems.
Quality Management Systems Conceptualized
QMSs seek to understand quality requirements, related to trade licenses, guidelines, customer specifications and chosen management standards. They ensure that all requirements are documented within the management system in an appropriate manner, fulfilling standards and provide validation that employees received applicable training, meeting quality system requirements.
QMSs outline performance processes and produce records and evidence that system requirements have been met. They measure, monitor, and report compliance levels on a continual basis and repeatedly audit and analyze the system, making necessary corrections when needed. QMSs also include processes to continually help improve the quality system
Before choosing a quality management system for your manufacturing company, it is important to ask yourself the following questions. Will:
- Consumer confidence increase?
- The impact on the environment decrease?
- Safer products result?
- Confidential data be more secure?
In order to be successful, management must decide the direction and purpose of the QMS. Here are a few examples of possible end results:
- Improved process control
- Reduced wastage
- Lowered costs
- Increased market share
- Involved staff
- Increased morale
To decide what Quality Management System is right for your manufacturing company, call us at (973) 998-9801. Our experienced facilitators can guide you through the process of identifying, instituting and maintaining the right QMS to reach your goals