Quality Management System Basics
A quality management system is a business practice that incorporates quality principles, process documents and guidelines. These documents should be reviewed by management periodically. In this article, we will cover the basic elements of a QMS, the processes involved, Lean principles and record-keeping requirements. After reading this article, you should be able to develop a quality management system for your company. We will also look at the benefits of adopting a QMS for your business.
Key elements of a quality management system
A quality management system (QMS) is more than just a box to check. A QMS is a systematic approach to managing quality that removes the notion that quality is an arbitrary concept and specifies actionable mechanisms to achieve it. The quality management system basics key to a QMS is consistency, which can be measured by customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and customer satisfaction. If you aren’t meeting these standards, you may find yourself in the crosshairs of a costly lawsuit and potentially losing your customers.
The process control element of a quality management system is focused on achieving desired outcomes within the production sequence. It involves measuring the production process to make sure it adheres to established variables. In the MedTech industry, this step is called statistical process control and is a great tool for detecting product defects earlier and reducing production costs. It also helps ensure a high level of customer satisfaction, and it’s easy to understand why quality is so important to an organization’s bottom line.
The Quality Management System (QMS) is a method of producing goods or services that meet the requirements of the organization. This system emphasizes systematic thinking, transparency, documentation, and diagnostic discipline. Its origins date back to 1991, when Ken Croucher, a British management consultant, designed a generic quality management system for the information technology industry. Its most notable characteristic is its convergence with sustainability and transparency initiatives. The ISO 9000 family of standards is the most widely implemented QMS standards worldwide, and the ISO 19011 audit regime covers both.
A QMS includes processes that are associated with specific areas of the business. It is best to begin with the drafting of a quality policy and then draft the objectives. The quality objectives are the first part of a QMS, while the policy and objectives are the second. In general, the process of creating a QMS begins by creating the policy and objectives for the organization. Once these are established, the next step is to create the quality objectives, which are the foundation for the rest of the system.
The Lean principles of quality management start with the naming of the value stream. Activities that do not add value to the process are deemed waste. They can be further divided into two categories: non-value-added activities and unnecessary ones. Eliminating these activities not only helps in improving customer satisfaction but also reduces production costs. It also enables the company to reduce the amount of time it spends on a process.
The principle of “pull” is also applied to manufacturing, where customer demand drives the flow of goods and services through the manufacturing process. This helps to reduce the production, inventory and working capital. Another principle is the one-piece flow of work, which reduces process interruptions, lead times and wait times. This is also helpful in improving quality. Lean companies also aim to eliminate the possibility of passing on defects. Instead, they strive to improve their current products.
A quality management system includes record-keeping requirements. These documents are created as a result of plans. The records created by the quality management system are data, which must be converted into information and stored appropriately. Records must be accessible, easily retrievable, and protected from loss, damage, and deterioration. Moreover, records should be maintained for the duration of the quality management system, and they should be backed up and disposed of when they are no longer needed.
Documents are critical to the functioning of the QMS. They contain details of processes and organisational structure. They must be written so that errors cannot occur during verbal communication. Documents should be clearly legible, easy to read, and approved by the appropriate parties. They must be updated and reviewed on a regular basis to ensure their accuracy. The document must contain all the necessary information to meet the quality management system requirements.