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10 ideas to improve your Quality Management System

02 October 2018

Improve Your Quality Management System

A quality management system exists to help a company coordinate and direct their systems and processes in order to ensure they're able to meet customer expectations and all regulations. Because quality management systems are utilised in order to ensure a business continuously improves the quality of what they do, it's important that that quality management system be of a high quality itself.

1. Remove Procedures and Focus on Process

Companies can simplify the QMS to remove cumbersome, lengthy procedures. By refining the QMS, people can make sure that it focuses on processes that can be mapped out simply, as diagrams or in software. A process and a procedure are different in that a process says what needs to be done and why (without specifying how), and a procedure says exactly how the process should be done.

 

2. Put the System in the Hands of the Many, Instead of the Few

Another idea to improve a QMS is to shift the responsibility for managing it from a single person to all persons in the organisation. By allowing everyone involved to manage the QMS, companies can engage entire teams in the revision of the system. Essentially, employees then set the requirements that they have to comply with, rather than the standard nominating exactly what they have to do. For example, they could choose that they don't have to keep a spreadsheet with everyone's qualifications if they have HR software to use.

 

3. Eliminate Unnecessary Documents

To improve the usabiilty and comprehensibility of a QMS, organisations should consider eliminating spreadsheets and other documents that don't add any value and are used to maintain compliance with ISO 9001.

 

4. Look Into Adopting the Lean Management Principles

Another idea for improving a quality management system is to look into adopting the lean management principles such as 5S. Lean management principles were born out of manufacturing practices but they aren't just applicable to manufacturing, they are guiding principles applicable to all industries to focus on continuous improvement.

 

5. Use Software that Can Retain Documented Information

One way a quality management system can be improved is by implementing a software solution that can retain "documented information," as required by the standard, but without having to have detailed manuals and other documents. Software such as Assignar can serve this exact purpose for a company.

 

6. Get Specific About What Information is Needed

To ensure that a quality management system is exactly right for an organisation, look at the data that is being collected as part of the quality management system. Then see that this is what the Leadership Team and other interested parties require. Find out exactly what information they need, and then provide that information specifically, rather than dictating what information is required.

 

7. Create Meaningful Objectives that Align with the Strategic Direction of the Leadership Team

For a quality management system that makes sense for a business, leaders can create meaningful objectives that align with the strategic direction of the Leadership Team. The easiest way to find out about what their strategic direction is is to ask them what they're currently focusing on improving. What they say they want to improve will be the area or focus where they are going to allocate resources and how you can engage them in the quality management system.

 

8. Review and Refine the Process Regularly

Another idea for improving a quality management system is to focus on checking key points in processes on a regular basis. Rather than trying to check everything on an annual basis as part of the internal audit program, doing regular checks will ensure that processes are working—and if they're not, that they're changed.

 

9. Make Sure the Quality Management System is Scalable

Quality management systems that rely on spreadsheets get overwhelming when data is just too much. Businesses grow. For that reason, companies want to have a quality management system that can grow with them. Automated, digital quality management systems make it easier to grow and adapt than paper based systems. Companies that choose quality management systems that are scalable or totally agile gives them a strong framework to start with. This framework can be built upon as a company evolves and grows over time.

 

10. Hire a Consultant to Help Improve the Quality Management System

Consultants can conduct an assessment of the current quality management system, training people to use it, conducting internal audits to see objectively determine how processes are performing. Ultimately, a businesses' quality management system helps manage the processes, policies, and procedures that are used to ensure the business thrives. By taking the quality management system and improving upon it, it's possible to also improve the business, and in turn, increase revenue, profit, morale, and overall success.