Types of quality management systems: How to plan the right one for your business

05 March 2018

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Types of quality management systems: How to plan the right one for your business

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Planning your quality management system? Firstly, you need to be fully aware of the different types of quality management systems. Creating and documenting a detailed plan for your quality management system will help drive results around your specific goals, track progress and success.

As with everything, you'll want to do some research before you get started, looking at:

  • Different types of quality management systems
  • What quality management standards are available
  • Examples of quality management systems

What industry are you in?

Across different industries and sectors, you'll find variations in the role of the types of quality systems. 

Any industry:  ISO 9001

Automotive: IATF16949

Medical device: ISO 13485

Food: ISO 22000

But how do you structure your quality management system?

  • General quality management principles say that you should define and follow all the best practice processes that you need (determined by you) to run your business / organisation, plus a selection of quality management supporting processes (audit, non-conformance, mgt review etc.) that are applicable to everyone.
  • Different industry standards / legal regulations add to the list of mandatory processes and these are different depending on what you do. In some cases, they even mandate what the processes have to contain. On top of this there may be voluntary codes of conduct.
  • Unfortunately, not all processes that are relevant to an industry are necessarily relevant to every business within that industry. For example, a primary engineering business might require processes for product design, product manufacture and new product testing, while a sub-contract business may only be involved in one of these.
  • However, no matter what industry you're in, getting the right information to the right person at the right time is necessary for the success of your business. This is where quality management system (QMS) software comes into play.

Different types of QMS software support your business goals in different ways. Choosing the best QMS for your company requires looking at your objectives and determining the main quality challenges you need to resolve.

What are the benefits of using a QMS?

A good QMS enables you to focus on building a culture of quality and focus on mentoring and training employees. Rather than scrambling to keep tabs on all your policies, processes and procedures, you can see your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from a centralised system.

A QMS helps you make sense of large volumes of data, so you can focus on the most pressing issues.   Whether you are looking to implement a QMS for the first time or want to switch to something that better suits your business needs, there are several types of QMS software solutions you may want to consider.

See how a QMS system can be a benefit in terms of document control.

Quality management system frameworks

The most popular framework used is the ISO 9001 quality management system.

By certifying to the standard, businesses demonstrate they have a sound level of control over their processes and are invested in satisfying the needs of their customers.

What to do now

Taking the time to assess the needs of your business and determine what you need from a quality management system is an important step to ensure you’re going in the right direction.

Download our white paper to discover how our software can help you prepare and align with the ISO 9001 standard. You can also find out more about the different types of quality management systems our software can support and how we can help you in your journey.

Written by

Alexander Pavlović

Alex produces targeted content to help Ideagen’s readers and customers navigate the complex world of quality, governance, risk and compliance.

Alex has worked with brands such as BT, Sodexo and Unilever and is passionate about helping businesses build a cohesive, collaborative culture of quality.

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