A quality management system (QMS) is a formulized system that documents processes, procedures and responsibilities for achieving policies and objectives. A quality management system (QMS) provides a basic cadre to meet customer requirements and legal requirements and improve the effectiveness and efficiency on a continuous basis, by not compromising on the productivity and loss of time. ISO 9001:2015, the international standard specifies the requirements for effective quality management systems and is the most prominent approach to quality management systems.
Evaluating Quality Managements System:
1. Monitoring, Measurement, Analysis and Evaluation:
The ISO standard emphasizes on process approach and the review or checking phase. The standard describes that what type of data is to be collected, how data is interpreted and what actions to be taken against the data. ISO registration or internal audits based on quality costs, customer response or elimination of errors measure the effectiveness.
a. Quality Reports:
Quality Management System effectiveness lies in the record of quality department for that purpose quality reports must be designed and implemented on regular basis. These reports must not be just a showoff rather for the analysis and must base on reality so that reality base decision making can be done.
b. Quantify the quality:
Value measurements that demonstrates a quality system’s effectiveness in terms of rework or scrap costs clearly provides a cause and effect relationship between quality and profit. If scrap and rework costs are in defined limits then Quality Management System is working effectively.
c. Production Error Rate (Rejection Rate):
Every production system involves the four factors (Man, Machine, Method, and Material) contribute potentially in quality. Product errors range from 2 percent to 5 percent. If the product error is in control limits then the System is working effectively otherwise some serious actions are needed to be taken.
d. Quality Defect Reports:
Customer satisfaction can be used as a yardstick for measurement of effectiveness of Quality Management System. Feedback reports can help a lot in this manner from the consumer side. Highlighted issues must be resolved in proper and serious way.
3. Customer Satisfaction:
Data about the extent of customer satisfaction must be collected, analyzed and monitored to ensure that quality is aligned with customer’s expectation. Data can be collected through surveys, quality defect reports, warranty claims, sales channel reports. On time delivery and order accuracy must be included in the data collection.
4. Analysis and Evaluation of data:
Collected data shows the performance of quality management system that’s why data must be analyzed and evaluated to suggest corrective and preventive measures accordingly.
- Internal Audit:
Planned Periodic Internal Audit confirm that the efficacy of QMS. A formal internal audit program needs to be established and results of the internal audits are used to make corrections and improvements in the system.
- Management Review Meetings:
Management review meetings conducted periodically help to manage the change and to properly address the improvements suggested previously.
Benefits of Effective Quality Management System:
Implementation of an effective quality management system has very significant impacts in every aspect of an organization’s performance. Two important benefits of implementation of documented quality management systems are:
- External Benefits (Meeting the customer’s requirements):
- Improves: Product and service quality, Customer satisfaction, Repeat sales, Company Image, Market Value
- Reduces: Complaints, Warranty claims, rejection ratio,
- Internal Benefits (Meeting the organization’s requirements):
- Improves: Management efficiency, Planning, Problem Solving, Supplier Control, Communications, Change Management, Discipline, Staff Morale, Training program, growth, Profit
- Reduces: Over processing, Over Production, Travelling, Rework, Waste, Costs(Direct or Indirect), Staff turnover, Absentees, Production Delays
Improvement of image and credibility:
Quality management system is based on ISO 9001 which is internationally recognized standard. An effective quality management system ensures the consistent production of good quality products and that’s why helping in improve the image of the company. When companies look for supplier, it is often a requirement to have quality management system or company is ISO certified. So, certification can be used as a powerful tool when in competition with other companies.
Improvement of customer satisfaction:
The ultimate goal of a quality management system is to meet or exceed the customer’s expectation by providing good quality products with a continuous improvement plan. Customer satisfaction is one of the quality management principles. Loyalty of the customer is linked with its satisfaction and it helps in retention of the customer. At the end loyal customers bring in more revenues and profits.
Improvement in processes:
ISO 9001 emphasizes on process approach and devise a plan for continual improvement, by finding out the flaws and issues associated with the processes. These issues may include like travelling, inventory, wastes, unbalanced lines, unequal distribution of workers and not efficiently using the workers skills. This can be done by having an improvement plan for the timely maintenance of the machines and training of the workers to hone their skills. Skill development plan for the staff can better help in it.
Evidence based decision making:
Collected data and a comprehensive analysis and results obtained from it provides basis for decision making. A good decision is that which is made on actual place, in actual conditions and on actual time. Gemba Walks (Genchi Gembutsu) can be conducted to realize the reality of problem and help in analyze the situation.
Effective change management:
Change management is also a key factor which is a hurdle as well as an opportunity for the improvement of the business. Workers and staff always oppose the change because they do not want to come out of their comfort zone. That’s why an effective change management plays its role here and convinces the workers that this improvement is a good improvement both for them and company. To overhead this, awareness sessions can be conducted, in which workers and staff is told about the benefits of the new system and how will new system help them and increase efficiency and productivity. Benefits may be related to ease in work, better environment, better health activities and Pollution free environment.
Change implementation is a tough task because it involves a complete change of mind of working staff. That’s why ISO standard focuses on continual improvement rather than a complete and abrupt change.
Relations improvement between supplier and vendors:
Firm must know that their relationship with other parties in the supply chain impacts on overall success of the firm. It is better to develop a strong bond with suppliers and customers by mutual understanding. An effective Quality Management System provides a frame work to evaluate the vendors on the basis of their quality and on time supply schedule. For evaluation of vendors audits are best way.
Better Control of records and documents:
Documents are the evidence of judging the improvement or effectiveness of a system and they are evidence of conformity to the requirements of ISO standards. Therefore, quality management system provides better control of documents which are easily identifiable and retrievable when needed.