What is the purpose of a quality management system?
What is the purpose of a quality management system?
A quality management system (QMS) can be defined as a collection of business processes that focus on meeting customer requirements on a consistent basis. Its purpose is to ensure that, every time a process is performed, the same information, methods, skills and controls are used and applied in a consistent manner. Ultimately, this helps to ensure customer satisfaction.
This may seem simple enough. However, it is essential that certain obstacles are overcome for your QMS to be successful. With this in mind, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do the same mistakes keep on being repeated?
- Is there lack of visibility between each of your departments?
- Do you have a high customer churn rate, negative customer reviews or perhaps a declining bottom line?
If you answered yes to any of the above, it may be that your quality management system is not working as it should be. As famously said by Bill Gates, "How you gather, manage and use information will determine whether you win or lose."
In this blog, we explain:
- What a quality management system is and why it's important
- How each stakeholder group / department benefits from a quality management system
- The benefits of using quality management system software
What is quality management software?
Quality management software is a comprehensive digital system which supports all aspects of an organization’s quality management. It's made up of a number of different modules, each one enabling you to carry out a specific type of activity, from document management to corrective and preventative actions.
When people talk about QMS, they might mean any of three things:
QMS as technology: This is a technology product, often in the cloud, that teams use to record, report and analyse processes. Ideagen Quality Management is a great example of a quality management software tool.
QMS as a strategy: This is a business philosophy about how processes and procedures should be managed.
QMS as a process: Think of this as a system the business adopts to nurture and manage information.
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What does QMS software do?
QMS software provides a central tool for all customer feedback, issues, policies, suppliers, documents, risks, incidents, training records, equipment, audits and inspections. It can also automatically pull in other information, such as data from ERP or mobile applications, and it can send notification such as review requests, change updates and alerts.
A QMS organizes this information to give each person access to their own custom to-do list and the permissions control who sees what and when. Overall, a QMS delivers a complete record of business processes, so you can better understand improvement initiatives.
Why is a quality management system important?
A QMS enables a business to protect its reputation, accelerate change and meet customer needs. It enables you to demonstrate governance, risk and compliance best practices. The right QMS also provides protection in the face of litigation. A single view of decisions, records and audit trails reduces legal risk, and lowers the costs of finding and holding content for a defensible business.
How do different business functions benefit from using a QMS?
While the importance of a QMS has traditionally been as a quality, audit and risk tool, some of the biggest gains come in other areas, such as leadership, customer service, sales and marketing, procurement, and HR. This has led to many organizations dropping the word 'quality' from 'QMS' and rebranding it as the business management system.
Here's how different business functions benefit from using a quality management system:
Customer service teams
Many customer service teams are set up to fail. There is a culture of keeping the issues and information around customer complaints or feedback solely within the customer service team.
Yet everyone benefits when there is a horizontal process. This means actually resolving the issue - not just sending a new product. Most organizations who manage customer feedback in their QMS reduce the number of complaints and issues raised because there is a pre-emptive approach, the root cause is addressed and there is a culture of openness and collaboration.
The QMS speeds up the on-boarding process, automating the process of training record management, analyzing resource needs and identifying training gaps.
Sales and marketing teams
If you're the fastest, best-performer, longest life product on the market - your sales and marketing team want to know. And they want to know the details so they can back up their communications with data and examples.
How can an organization know what their unique competitive advantage is, without getting the information from the quality management system?
These teams can track and manage many different functions with a QMS. They can track the performance of suppliers and ensure their credentials are valid and up to date. It’s also useful for adding relevant information and notes during the working day and being able to view audit results.
What are the benefits of QMS software?
The benefits and advantages of using QMS software include preventing costly mistakes, protecting your reputation and being able to respond to incidents in real time. It enables you to automate workflows to improve the flow of communication, which helps to enhance process management. You’ll be able to heighten productivity and empower quality risk, audit and operations teams.
In addition, it also enables:
- Accurate risk forecasting
- Improved quality metrics
- An increase in customer satisfaction and retention
- The enrichment of products and services
- You to win more business by certifying to ISO standards with ease
Now that you understand 'what is the purpose of a quality management system', see how our quality management systems could help you realize the benefits of a QMS within your business.
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