What makes a good quality management system? Ideally, a quality management solution should have some basic qualities such as simplicity, efficiency, and flexibility. Here are four building blocks for a strong basis, but your QM system should also meet the unique needs and challenges of your industry.
Establish A General Direction
Link your QM system to the mission and values of your organization. Create an action plan that reflects these values through monthly, weekly and daily tasks to ensure that different processes and teams meet quality goals.
Define what your quality goals are, set some deadlines if you are rolling out a new strategy and plan on reviewing your general direction on a regular basis.
Quality should be a priority and should be part of your company culture. This means you might have some work to do to get management involved and to get every employee to see quality as one of their responsibilities.
Identify Relevant Quality Control Strategies
You need to establish a set of practices to test products and make sure your organization meets quality goals.
Here are a few common ways to make sure products and services meet quality standards:
- Develop a set of relevant tests and determine how often employees will perform tests.
- Schedule internal quality audits.
- Provide additional training to employees.
- Delegate tasks so everyone has a clear role.
- Gather data on products returned for quality issues.
- Set some objectives for supervising the assembly line.
- Develop a company culture that encourages employees to feel personally responsible for quality at their workstation.
Let Everyone Know About Your QM System
Quality assurance is one of the elements that allow you to develop a positive image for your brand. Customers and shareholders want to know that quality matters to you and which actions you are taking to implement quality standards.
Make your ongoing QM effort a part of the story and values you share with your customers via different marketing campaigns. Talking about your testing process in more details would make sense for a B2B company.
Shareholders and partners will need more information. Document the entire QM process for transparency purposes and talk about how you resolved known issues.
Aim For Continuous Improvement
There is always room for improvement. This applies to your products and services as well as to your different processes.
Improve your QM system by looking at past solutions. Assess how much each quality problem cost your organization to get an idea of how efficient your QM system is.
Gathering data about the quality issues you run into will help you continuously improve your finished products. Schedule regular reviews of your findings and focus on addressing the root cause behind detected quality problems – whether you need to rethink the design of a product, find a new supplier for your materials or make a few adjustments to the assembly line.
You also need a dedicated quality team behind your QM system. The right QM software is another valuable building block for your QM system since it will allow you to implement your plan, gather data and help you make the right decisions for continuous improvement while improving communication.