What are the benefits of a quality management system? The do’s and don’ts to keep in mind

29 August 2018

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What are the benefits of a quality management system? The do’s and don’ts to keep in mind

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70% of respondents surveyed in the Global Governance, Risk and Compliance Report said the changes to the quality management Standard, ISO 9001:2015, had a positive impact on their business. So, what are the benefits of a quality management system?

We share six advantages of a quality management system and what mistakes to avoid.

The purpose of a quality management system

Think back to a time when you've purchased something, and you were really disappointed. Perhaps it was a car, a mobile phone or something less expensive like a pen. You got a faulty one. How did that make you feel?

It didn't do what you wanted. So, you either called up the call centre, complained to everyone about it or just left it, really dissatisfied. The purpose of a quality management system is to prevent the issues with the product or service from arising before you become dissatisfied.

ISO 9001:2015, the quality management system standard, helps your business to demonstrate the ability to consistently supply products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. It helps ensure your customers stay satisfied.

Six quality management system benefits:

1. A quality management system helps leadership

Objectives of the business are important because they govern the values and strategic direction. A mistake many leadership and management teams tend to make is to oversimplify their objectives. For example, objectives focusing solely on growth, revenue or headcount.

A quality management system requires top management to ensure there is a balanced array of objectives which meets the needs of all interested parties which the business's survival depends on, e.g. customers, shareholders, managers, employees and the community. For example, objectives need to consider the sustainability of the business, such as health and safety, environmental, risk and security.

A quality-approach ensures the business is aligned, well-rounded and sets goals for monitoring and evaluating performance.

2. A quality management system promotes a customer-led business

The information revolution, rapidly changing technologies, and lower barriers to entry have led to an explosion of competitors - making it harder and more expensive to acquire new customers. It's now even more important to retain customers.

However, retaining customers starts with understanding customer needs and satisfying them. A business failing to satisfy customers simply will not survive. A quality management system plays a central role in keeping the customer satisfied by specifying what your business needs to do to meet deliver the products and services fit for purpose.

Most corporations are like giant jellies. You can force them briefly into a new shape. But unless you can fundamentally reform the culture, they swiftly wobble back into their old form

— Richard Heygate , McKinsey & Co.


3. A quality management system improves company culture  

Quality has two distinct meanings. The first, and most important, is as a philosophy for the whole business. It defines the primary goal of everyone in the organisation as meeting the needs of customers.

The second meaning of quality is the set of processes, policies and procedures which constitute operational planning and decision making.

Most quality management software vendors only help you with the latter. Ideagen does both.

4. A quality management system improves the bottom line

An effective quality management system will encourage all employees to systematically address risks and opportunities. This means that as needs of customers change, new technologies appear, issues creep in, all employees naturally identify opportunities to eliminate waste and increase profit.

5. A quality management system ensures new innovations are managed

A key strategic focus for today's most successful companies is innovation and new product development. Continuous improvement is the only way to sustain above-average growth and profitability. Only by continually updating products, diversification, and broadening the range can companies accelerate growth.

However, fast-track innovation is not easy. Innovation requires a quality approach. It requires an understanding of the changes to be made, collaboration of subject matter experts, and documentation to make sure the product / service is fit for purpose.

6. A quality management system helps you understand why things aren't going well

If your business experiences symptoms of decline, such as falling profitability, eroding market share and deteriorating liquidity, the quality management system can help treat the cause.

Many businesses jump to conclusions before they understand the real root cause. This leads to changes being made without full understanding of the consequences. A quality management system and quality-approach helps you to connect the dots. 

So, what are the benefits of a quality management system? In summary, a QMS supports business leadership, promotes customer focus, improves company culture and the bottom line, manages new innovations, and helps you understand any issues. See how our quality software solutions assisted RX Plastics.

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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