What is a QMS?
A QMS is a handy acronym for a quality management system. This is essentially a framework that documents the processes, procedures and responsibilities that businesses can use to guide them towards their quality goals.
Chief among these goals is the ability to provide products or services that meet customers’ needs and promote customer satisfaction. This means that businesses need to have a full understanding of these needs and what they have to do to get their services or products right first time, every time.
A QMS therefore encompasses all of the business’ activities that are involved in the production process so that every time a process is performed, the same methods, skills, resources and controls are used consistently to maintain or boost customer satisfaction. This also means that a business can work more efficiently and effectively.
Processes that may be developed for a QMS can include:
- Order processes
- Production plans
- Preventative/corrective actions
- Purchasing processes
There is no one-size-fits-all with a QMS – each one is developed with an organisation in mind, so each process is tailored to meet that individual business’ objectives.
However, they tend to have the following in common:
- Quality objectives – strategic, measurable goals that drive the purpose of the QMS.
- A focus on customer satisfaction – monitoring of customer satisfaction through feedback, surveys and other methods.
- A documented management system – the scope, procedures and requirements of the QMS.
- Processes and records – the processes that take inputs and transform them into outputs as well as strong document control to keep key records, communications, evidence and knowledge.
- Continual improvement – problem-solving, corrective action and innovation of the QMS.
- Analysis and monitoring – analysis of customer satisfaction, supplier performance, product monitoring, non-conformities and corrective actions.
What is a popular type of QMS?
One of the most popular and instantly recognised types of QMS is ISO 9001.
ISO 9001 is the international Standard for quality management and is issued by the ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation). Its requirements are developed by experts from across the world to give it high credibility. The Standard is also held in high esteem as it requires verification by a third party, which means businesses must be audited regularly to check that they continue to meet its standards.
You can find out more about ISO 9001 and its requirements on our dedicated web page.
What are the benefits of a QMS?
The key purpose of a QMS is to create happy customers. With greater customer satisfaction, you can improve the confidence of returning customers, attract new interest and boost the reputation of your organisation.
A QMS does this by creating a framework of processes that enable a business to work consistently, as well as developing procedures dedicated to identifying and solving slip-ups, or non-conformities, so that mistakes are less likely to reach the customer. This also means that customer complaints are not just designated to your customer services department – in a QMS, the problem-solving process searches for the root cause to stop it happening again.
But a QMS doesn’t just benefit the customer. It also enables your business to work in the most cost and resource-efficient way, lowering your costs, increasing your business’ efficiency and supporting productivity.
It can also help to identify new training opportunities for your staff as well as increase their motivation and productivity thanks to their greater involvement in the maintenance and purpose of the QMS.
Implementing a QMS
If you are interested in implementing a QMS, you don’t have to do it alone!
Our QMS consultants can work with you every step of the way if you wish to implement ISO 9001, the Standard for quality management.