What are the benefits of a quality management system?
70% of respondents surveyed in the Global Governance, Risk and Compliance Report said that the changes to the quality management standard, ISO 9001:2015, had a positive impact on their business. But what are the benefits of a quality management system and how can a QMS help you to improve quality in your business?
Here are six advantages of a quality management system and some key mistakes to avoid.
The purpose of a quality management system
Think back to a time when you were disappointed with a purchase. Perhaps it was a car, a mobile phone or something less expensive like a pen. You got home and discovered that the product you bought was faulty. How did that make you feel?
You might have called up the call centre to complain, or maybe just left it, really dissatisfied, and determined never to purchase anything from that business again. The purpose of a quality management system is to prevent the issues with the product or service from arising before they reach the hands of the customer.
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
Business objectives are important because they govern the values and strategic direction of the organization. A mistake many leadership teams tend to make is to oversimplify their objectives. For example, objectives focusing solely on growth, revenue or headcount.
A quality management system requires your management team to ensure there is a balanced array of objectives which meets the needs of all interested parties, e.g. customers, shareholders, managers, employees and the community. For example, objectives need to consider the sustainability of the business and areas including health and safety, environmental and 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 will simply not survive. A quality management system plays a central role in keeping the customer satisfied by specifying what your business needs to do to deliver products and services that are 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
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 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 QMS vendors only help you with the latter. Ideagen does both.
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4. A quality management system improves the bottom line
An effective quality management system will encourage all employees to systematically address risk and opportunities. This means that as the needs of customers change, new technologies appear and issues creep in, all employees are naturally identifying 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, a 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 a full understanding of the consequences. A quality management system 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.
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