How to get started with your quality management system | 2c8

Get started with your quality management system

Is it time for you to get started with your quality management system? Or are you in the starting phase of creating one? In this blog post, you’ll find a step to step guide and everything you need to know to get started with your quality management system:

 

  • Define a need
  • Anchor the work in the business
  • Choose the ones in charge
  • Map in workshops

What is a quality management system?

Easily explained, the overall purpose of a quality management system is to function as support for the business to ensure quality. It is designed to support the management to systematically and continuously develop, follow up, and ensure quality within the company. All this with a focus on the needs of the customers. This constitutes the foundation for continuous work on improvement since you make sure you are doing the right things, at the right time, in the right place using the correct type of competence.

How do you ensure quality within a business?

How can you, with the help of a management system, ensure that the business meets a certain quality? Well, you need to be able to show the surrounding world that your business meets the requirements from interested parties, that you obey the laws, or that you follow a certain standard using a systematic way of working. With a visual management system, you can show the surrounding world that you’ve included these aspects in the business and its processes.

 

Why should you have a quality management system?

There are a lot of different reasons to implement a quality management system, not to mention that today it is often a requirement from a lot of customers and interested parties that their suppliers are certified against a certain standard. Being certified against a standard means having a management system that meets the requirements set up in the standard. This is made visual using a management system. 

ISO 9001 is an example of an internationally recognized standard that focuses on quality management and is used by companies and organizations worldwide. Using this standard, these companies and organizations show their customers and interested parties that they achieve quality. This often results in an increase of business opportunities, since you meet the requirements of the potential customers’ needs.

However, a quality management system is a lot more than just a certification. It is a tool to use in order to structure the business and keep an eye on all the different activities and at the same time focus on continuously improving the business. Standardized and streamlined processes create conditions for a more cost-effective business. As mentioned earlier, the right things are done at the right time and in the right place. The overview and documentation surrounding the business also facilitate the identification of areas to improve.

So, how do you get started?

Below, we have made a step-by-step-guide with important points to consider at the start of creating your quality management system.

  1. Define a need

    Before starting the process of mapping your business, you need to define the need of having a quality management system. Do we wish to certify against ISO 9001? What rules and standards do we wish to demonstrate using in our management system? Why do we want to do this? Defining the need for a quality management system is a great starting point to formulate goals, but also a great way to bring attention to the matter and need in front of colleagues and the management. Which brings us to the next point:

  2. Anchor the project in the business

    To anchor the project surrounding the management system within the organization at an early stage is a great advantage. This applies to all levels, all the way from the management that are supposed to manage the business using the management system, to the coworkers more involved in each process and activity performed. Getting everyone involved in the creation of the management system results in a more representative image of the business and facilitates identifying areas of improvements on different levels.

  3. Choose the ones in charge

    If no one is responsible for the project of creating a quality management system, it tends to slip away from us and becomes yet another issue on the “to-do-when-you-have-the-time”-list. Gather a group of people responsible to coordinate the work och responsible for each main process.

  4. Map in workshops

    Visualizing the processes together in workshops has many benefits in the project of creating a management system. Mapping the business with people involved in the processes and who knows what the reality looks like really favors the continued work, part by giving a representative image of the company but also in identifying the shortcomings and risks in the processes. An active dialogue about what the processes look like today, how you can optimize the flows, and how every single activity affects the overall productivity, will give you loads of great material!

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