Quality management is becoming an increasingly important issue in global business. Consumers are now choosing products based on how well they meet their needs, rather than other less identifiable criteria such as production value or price. Quality management is the process of planning, implementing, and measuring strategies that provide the quality services or products that stakeholders expect.
Implementation of an efficient Quality Management System (QMS) is a difficult task. It requires the cooperation of all individuals and departments in an organization. It can be a daunting task for a company who has never had a QMS in place. This blog post will provide some tips for implementing your own QMS that will improve your organization’s performance.
The main purpose of QMS is to capture business processes and ensure they are performed in a consistent manner, to improve quality.
For an effective implementation of the quality management system, an organization should understand the quality management purposes, such as:
- Meeting customer expectations
- Improving customer satisfaction
- Increasing productivity
- Managing resources
- Satisfying stakeholders
- Customer satisfaction
- Customer success
- Reducing waste
Quality Management: What it is and Why it matters
Every organization should consider the implementation of a quality management system to ensure that their products and services are of higher quality. A QMS provides organizations with control over the planned evaluation phases, as well as increased levels of transparency.
Quality management systems create a framework for ensuring the organization has the processes and standards in place to continuously improve the quality of their products and services.
By instituting a QMS, an organization can meet both internal and external regulatory requirements for quality assurance. It also enables organizations to receive customer feedback and give customers ongoing insights into their performance. In addition, if you have proper implementation of QMS, your customers will be able to see improvements over time based on your efforts in establishing best practices throughout all levels and departments in your organisation.
Generic vs Special Quality Management System
Quality management systems, in essence, comprise a series of tools that help companies monitor their processes and products. As already stated, these systems are used for a variety of purposes, such as:
– Improving the quality of the company’s products
– Increasing customer satisfaction
– Minimizing the amount of defects
– Identifying opportunities for cost-saving
– Increasing employee efficiency
– Measuring the effectiveness of the system
There are two main types of QMS: generic and special. Generic QMS are used to manage a wide range of issues across a range of industries. These QMS are designed to be generic enough to apply to a wide range of industries and processes.
Special QMS are more targeted and are designed to improve specific areas of a business. Special QMS may require more detailed or specialized training and this may mean that the QMS cannot be applied as is to other industries.
A quality management system is a methodology that specifies a structured approach to identify and solve quality issues.
Areas of Focus in QMS lmplementation
A quality management system is a set of processes they are implemented to make sure goods and services are meeting desired quality standards. The important thing to keep in mind when implementing a quality management system is the areas of focus. These areas include planning, purchasing, production, delivery, installation, customer service, training, and internal audit.
Goals and Objectives of a QMS
A quality management system provides a model for what to do well and how to do it well, so that you can achieve the expected results. It is a blueprint for organizing a business to meet specific objectives and goals. It is a tool used to analyze, diagnose, measure, and improve the performance of a business.
It is essential to determine the goals & objectives of the quality management system right from the beginning to create awareness and for successful implementation. Here are a few questions to consider:
Why do you want this system?
What is your focus?
What are your objectives?
An example of a quality objective might be that an organization seeks to improve the customer perception of product reliability. This is a perfect example of using quality indicators and gathering data to confirm that the objectives are met.
Implementing a Quality Management System (QMS)
Key steps to an efficient quality management system implementation are: 1. developing a strategy for quality management system implementation 2. Developing quality control procedures 3. Identifying a team for quality management system implementation 4. Establishing a quality management system through experience 5. Developing a training and implementation plan 6. Monitoring the process and follow-up. A few are discussed below:
1: Developing a strategy for quality management system implementation
Management and the quality team should collaborate actively in developing strategies, processes and defining deployment for the desired business or organizational goal. The following should be considered:
Developing a quality management system strategy:
1. The organization’s basic needs and objectives should be considered.
2. The organization’s operations, processes, products and services should be considered.
3. The organization’s strategic partners, vendors, suppliers and customers should be considered.
4. The organization’s strengths and weaknesses should be considered (competitor analysis).
5. The organization’s mandate, its mission and end goals should be considered.
Quality management system monitoring and follow-up strategy
- The Tools Used in Quality Management System
- Establishing responsibilities (ownership) for processes
- Providing training
- Reporting and Communications
A QMS simplifies many aspects of management including improving the efficiency and effectiveness of procedures, reducing effort of monitoring, ensuring consistency and robustness and quality improvement.
2: Identifying a team for quality management system implementation
The most important step in any quality management system implementation is the identification of a team.
With the growing trend in the industry to implement a Quality Management System (QMS) to meet ISO 9000, ISO 14000, etc. it is necessary to have an in-house team of quality management experts to make sure the QMS is being implemented in-line with the requirements of the standards.
The quality team should be comprised of people with different backgrounds—some technical, others non-technical. They must come together to work on an issue, i.e. create an improvement plan, design a new process, check an existing product or analyze customer complaints. What’s important is that they should commit to the same goal—better quality for customer satisfaction and success. It means that the team members should be prepared to improve the quality and customer service. Their knowledge, skills and ability should be evident.
The team should be able to identify all the processes that need to be improved, the tools and methodologies that need to be applied, the people who need to be involved, and so on. In addition, the team should be able to identify the systems in place that are causing problems, and so on. The floor staff is the first in an organization to report a defect, listen to the voice of a process. Their involvement is of utmost important.
3: Developing a training and implementation plan
In order to know what to do and how to do it effectively, it is important to know what an effective process looks like. Training of the individuals is important.
Quality management is a very important part of business. We all want our products and services to be of the highest quality possible. The way you measure quality is by collecting and recording data on the processes within your organization. With sufficient knowledge and training, you can determine whether your processes are efficient or failing. You also want to make sure that the quality management systems you use are appropriate for your business, given the kind of products and services you offer. Training and learning activities are therefore essential to meet your organizational goals and proper implementation of a QMS.
To effectively use any quality management system, it must be implemented correctly. This means that the roadmap developed to use the new (quality) system must reflect the current and future state of the organization. If a system is not applied correctly, it is likely to fail. Thus, when developing a training and implementation plan for quality management, it is vital to provide the right information and at a right time to ensure that the new system is put in place correctly.
4: Quality management system monitoring and follow-up
Quality management system is a collection of processes and tools to manage the overall performance of a business. This system is used to manage the processes that are necessary to produce products and services of high quality. The systems goal is to improve quality and decrease the number of defects in the production process. The focus is on the value added activities. Monitoring the processes, quality of output, individual competencies, as well as recording discrepancies, making decisions, risk assessment and follow up help in making and running of an effective QMS.
There are several common key quality management system components to help in monitoring and follow up activities, and a few are listed below:
- Management commitment
- Management responsibilities
- Internal audits
- External audits
- Management reviews
The term quality management system (QMS) refers to a systematic approach for managing quality. Quality management is both the act and science of determining whether quality is being attained. Quality management includes the processes, goals, and practices that are used to implement quality and ensure that it meets customer requirements and customer success. There are three fundamental principles of the quality management system:
1. Create quality products that satisfy customer needs.
2. Organize your people for the creation of quality products.
3. Ensure that all processes in the organization are producing quality products.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on PharmaRead are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency or organization. PharmaRead articles are provided for information only with focus on global health, pharmacy practice, and healthcare systems in Low- and Middle-income Countries (LMICs). Readers should seek expert opinion for use, implementation or application of this knowledge based on their individual circumstances.