Quality is paramount as customers and clients can source products, services and raw materials from across the globe with the simple double-click of a computer mouse … JACO DE KLERK takes a look at Quality Management Systems (QMS) and what benefits they hold.
Chris Anderson, founder, managing director and process improvement consultant at Bizmanualz, defines a QMS as a collection of business processes that help you to achieve your quality policy, which expresses the focus of your QMS and quality objectives – or what your customers want and need. Bizmanualz provides policies, procedures and forms; quality systems implementation and strategic marketing services to help businesses increase compliance, control and customer satisfaction.
What is a QMS?
“The term Quality Management System typically refers to the requirements of the international standard ISO 9001, which is all about your customer focus,” Anderson points out. “Clause 7.2.1 and 8.2.1 of the standard states that top management shall ensure that customer requirements are determined and are met with the aim of enhancing customer satisfaction.”
Thus, the ISO 9001 standard specifies generic requirements for a QMS. “An ISO 9001 QMS can apply to any organisation in any industry,” says Anderson. “It is used a lot in manufacturing, but can also be found in healthcare, services, education, and government. Variants are available in automotive (ISO/TS 16949), aerospace (AS 9100), telecommunications (TL 9000), food safety (ISO 22000) and medical devices (ISO 13485).”
A QMS is about understanding your customers’ requirements and using that understanding to develop business processes that deliver acceptable products to the customer. “These processes must be monitored and measured to ensure they will deliver the results your customers demand,” says Anderson. “We call this ‘process control’. Your quality objectives define the metrics that you monitor and measure to ensure your QMS is delivering the results to your customers.”
He adds that a QMS therefore equals continual improvement. “It means understanding what customer satisfaction is and making sure that every employee understands how to satisfy your customers.”
What QMS options are out there?
“Some people use a centralised, web-based QMS platform like MasterControl for quality and compliance,” states Anderson. “An automated QMS strengthens individual business processes critical to regulated companies and connects all of them for an integrated approach to compliance.”
What benefits does a QMS hold?
“A sound QMS provides the foundation and, often, the impetus for continual improvement. This increases everyone’s confidence that the company will provide products today, tomorrow and into the future that consistently fulfil requirements and deliver real customer satisfaction,” reiterates Anderson.
Clearly, a QMS is paramount in today’s global village – where people can source products, services and raw materials from across the world – as it ensures customer satisfaction and provides a quality guideline for everyone in the organisation.
* With the kind permission of Chris Anderson, this article has been adapted from one which appeared on
www.bizmanualz.com, entitled: “What is a Quality Management System (QMS)?”