A quality management system (QMS) is a formalized system that documents processes, procedures, and responsibilities for achieving policies and objectives. A quality management system (QMS) provides a fundamental framework to continuously meet customer expectations and legal requirements, as well as continually improve effectiveness and efficiency by not compromising productivity and loss of time. ISO 9001:2015, the international standard, specifies the requirements for effective quality management systems and is the most prominent approach to quality management systems.
Evaluating Quality Management System:
1. Monitoring, Measurement, Analysis, and Evaluation:
The ISO standard emphasizes on process approach and the review or checking phase. The standard describes what type of data is to be collected, how that data is interpreted, as well as what actions are to be taken based on the data. ISO registration or internal audits based on quality costs, customer response, or elimination of errors measure the effectiveness.
2. Quality Reports:
Quality Management System effectiveness relies on the quality department’s records. Due to this, quality reports must be designed and implemented regularly. These reports shouldn’t be just for show. Instead, they’re better utilized for analysis, relying on data to help drive decisions within the organization.
3. Quantify the Quality:
Value measurements that demonstrate a quality system’s effectiveness in rework or scrap costs provide a cause-and-effect relationship between quality and profit. If scrap and rework costs are within defined limits, then the Quality Management System is working effectively.
4. Production Error Rate (Rejection Rate):
Every production system involves the four factors (Man, Machine, Method, and Material) that potentially contribute to quality. Product errors range from 2 to 5 percent. If the product error is within control limits, then the system is working effectively; otherwise, some remedial actions are necessary.
5. Quality Defect Reports:
Customer satisfaction can be used as a yardstick to measure the effectiveness of your Quality Management System. Feedback reports can help a lot in this manner from the consumer side, with highlighted issues being dealt with first
6. Customer Satisfaction:
Data about the extent of customer satisfaction must be collected, analyzed, and monitored to ensure that quality aligns with the customer’s expectation. The organization can stockpile data through surveys, quality defect reports, warranty claims, sales channel reports. On-time delivery and order accuracy are a crucial part of the data collection process.
7. Analysis and Evaluation of Data:
Collected data shows the performance of the quality management system. That’s why data must be analyzed and evaluated to suggest corrective and preventive measures accordingly.
- Internal Audit:
Planned Periodic Internal Audits confirm the efficacy of QMS. The organization must establish a formal internal audit program and use the internal audit results to improve the system.
- Management Review Meetings:
Management review meetings conducted periodically help to manage the change and to address the improvements adequately suggested previously.
Benefits of Effective Quality Management System:
Implementation of an effective quality management system has very significant impacts on every aspect of an organization’s performance. Two significant benefits of implementation of documented quality management systems are:
- External Benefits (Meeting the customer’s requirements):
- Improves: Product and service quality, Customer satisfaction, Repeat sales, Company Image, Market Value
- Reduces: Complaints, Warranty claims, rejection ratio,
- Internal Benefits (Meeting the organization’s requirements):
- Improves: Management efficiency, Planning, Problem Solving, Supplier Control, Communications, Change Management, Discipline, Staff Morale, Training program, growth, Profit
- Reduces: Over-processing, Over Production, Travelling, Rework, Waste, Costs (Direct or Indirect), Staff turnover, Absentees, Production Delays
Improvement of image and credibility:
The quality management system bases itself on ISO 9001, which is an internationally recognized standard. An effective quality management system ensures the consistent production of high-quality products, which helps improve the image of the company. When companies look for a supplier, the successful candidate must have an ISO certified quality management system. So, certification can be used as a powerful tool when in competition with other companies.
Improvement of customer satisfaction:
A quality management system’s ultimate goal is to meet or exceed the customer’s expectation by providing high-quality products with a continuous improvement plan. Customer satisfaction is one of the quality management principles. Customer loyalty is linked with satisfaction, leading to a more robust consumer base for the business. In the end, loyal customers bring in more revenues and profits.
Improvement in processes:
ISO 9001 emphasizes the process approach and devises a plan for continual improvement by finding out the flaws and issues associated with the processes. These issues may include traveling, inventory, wastes, unbalanced lines, unequal distribution of workers, and not efficiently using the workers’ skills. An organization can achieve this by having an improvement plan for the machines’ timely maintenance and worker training. A skill development plan for the staff can better help achieve the desired outcome.
Evidence-based decision making:
Collected data and comprehensive analysis and results obtained from it provide the basis for decision making. The definition of an excellent decision is one that factors in time, place, and extenuating factors. Gemba Walks (Genchi Gembutsu) can be conducted to realize the problem’s reality and analyze the situation to make for better decision-making.
Effective change management:
Change management is also a critical factor, providing both a hurdle and an opportunity for the improvement of the business. Workers and staff always oppose the change because they do not want to come out of their comfort zone. That’s why effective change management plays its role here and convinces the workers that this improvement is a good improvement both for them and the company. To overhead this, awareness sessions can be conducted. The organization informs workers about the new system’s benefits and how it will increase efficiency and productivity. Some of the positive aspects may include easier work processes, a better environment, better health activities, and a pollution-free environment.
Change implementation is a challenging task because it involves a complete change of mind of working staff. That’s why ISO standard focuses on continual improvement rather than a complete and abrupt change.
Relations improvement between supplier and vendors:
A firm must know that its relationship with other parties in the supply chain impacts the business’s overall success. It is better to develop a strong bond with suppliers and customers by mutual understanding. An effective Quality Management System provides a framework to evaluate the vendors based on their quality and on time supply schedule. For the evaluation of vendors, audits are the best way.
Better Control of records and documents:
Documents are the evidence of judging the improvement or effectiveness of a system, and they are evidence of conformity to the requirements of ISO standards. Therefore, a quality management system provides better control of easily identifiable documents and allows the business to retrieve those papers when needed.