Quality management is more than a buzzword. Some may even say that it’s a state of mind. Whatever the case, it goes without saying that improving your quality across the board is good for the company, good for business and good for your bottom line. Some of the ways that you can get your system off on the right foot include the following:
1. Standardise processes across the board Many companies seek ISO standardisation in order to show their shareholders and customers that they are committed to maintaining the best possible level of product and service. The standard that governs quality in particular is ISO 9001, and achieving certification in this standard can go a long way in helping to create a culture of improvement within the entire organisation. Even if you choose not to obtain official standardisation however, making your processes standard at least within your organisation or industry is essential. By consolidating processes and implementing all processes through one single quality platform, you will be able to ensure that there is far less room for error or quality gaps.
2. Support changing business needs Flexibility is another factor to keep in mind. An internal quality system may seem like a good idea, but if it is not flexible and adaptable, it will soon prove its lack of value. In order to get the most from your processes, you need a scalable solution that changes as your business needs change. Updated tools, constant improvements in system functionality and advanced support all help to make it easier and more effective to use a quality tool.
3. Integrate your QMS across the supply chain You will need to integrate your QMS (quality management system) across your supply chain from wholesaler to customer to get the full benefit. By managing the supply chain through one QMS, which is designed to be flexible enough to integrate with current programs and tools, you will find it far simpler to use each facet of the tool (whether this is document control, auditing tools or CAPA functionality) while still keeping on track with goals and objectives. Supply chain visibility is also greatly improved with an integrated system.
4. Put your customers first If your company is not customer-centric, it should be. A buzzword that is often mentioned in the improvement industry is ‘closed-loop quality management’. This concept means that quality process data is streamed from one process back upstream in order to address quality issues at all points in the value chain. The importance of customer feedback, quality initiatives and implementation are becoming even more evident, and a good quality system goes a long way in making those closed-loop processes happen.
5. Drive constant performance improvements Improvement should not just be about meeting certain targets either. Ongoing improvement is in fact even more important to truly address quality gaps across the company. By looking at open CAPAs at lower levels for instance, it is possible to determine the causes of noncompliance, in order to see whether training or change is needed. Both high level trends and local data count when you are seeking to improve performance at all levels of the company. Once you start to realise the potential that your quality management system has to offer, you will soon see that the possibilities to bring about value-added changes truly are infinite.