At the end of each financial year, many businesses with ISO certification look for ways to cut costs and increase profit margins. This inevitably means that businesses look into their Quality Management Systems (QMS), Environmental Management Systems (EMS), and Integrated Management Systems (IMS) and look to ascertain if these systems are providing value to their business and bottom line. In this blog, the QMS planning team from Bramwell Partners delves into what is a quality management system and why the planning and implementation of a QMS is an integral aspect of businesses of all sizes delivering sustainable growth and long-term success.
What is a Quality Management System?
‘A key concept behind a quality management system is not to tell you how to run your business but rather to document what you already do. After all, you would not still be in business if your processes were not delivering high-quality results.’
A Quality Management System or ‘QMS’ for short, is a term that defines a system that documents processes, responsibilities and procedures for achieving quality objectives, outcomes and policies. A QMS based upon ISO9001 is considered the gold standard that is internationally accepted and best recognised. Effectively businesses that implement and foster a QMS within their organisation can direct and coordinate their business operations to not only better meet regulatory and customer compliance but also to improve efficiency and effectiveness on an ongoing basis leading to long-term and sustainable growth.
What is a QMS – The Key Principles of a Quality Management System
At its core, a quality management system has two key fundamental principles – meeting the organisation’s needs for industry compliance, regulations and efficiency and meeting customer and employee needs through continuous improvement, building trust and engagement.
Setting a company direction – Implementing a QMS system not only outlines a company’s direction but also helps to foster the company vision from employees at all levels of a business. With a clearly defined vision, a business will be in the best position to succeed.
Improving processes & compliance – A QMS system helps a business document the processes involved in a given result, further allowing a business to refine processes, improve productivity and deliver consistently high-performing results that meet regulatory compliance.
Lowering costs and reducing waste – On a surface level, lowering costs and waste reduction may not seem like a likely benefit of QMS implementation. However, not only are higher quality products and services easier (and cheaper) to market but through streamlined business processes, the cost and waste associated with producing goods and services is also reduced.
Customer and Employee Needs
Engaging staff – Retaining the best staff in a competitive business landscape can be an ongoing battle for businesses of all sizes. Hiring and train staff regularly is a costly exercise. Studies have shown that employees with clearly defined roles, good accountability of management and an understanding of how team members can contribute to product and service quality leads to a more motivated and engaged team.
Identifying and facilitating training – A QMS system provides a framework for documenting and identifying areas of improvement within a business to meet and exceed quality standards allowing for the facilitation of ongoing training and continuous improvement.
Exceeding Customer Expectations – Businesses with a QMS plan have a high degree of customer retention as they continually strive for improvement in their products and services on an ongoing basis.
Misconceptions of Quality Management Systems
Businesses looking to implement a quality management system for the first time often find 3 common misconceptions that often prevent them from implementing a QMS system.
- ‘QMS Systems are for big business’ – This is one of the most common misconceptions of QMS planning and it couldn’t be farther from the truth. One of the primary goals of a QMS system is to maintain and foster the growth of a business’s core competencies; The unique selling propositions of why a business is or will succeed. No matter the size, location or number of team members, businesses large and small greatly benefit from fostering a mindset of continuous improvement and growth through a QMS system.
- ‘QMS Systems are cost prohibitive’ – Likewise, QMS system cost is often another cited determining factor for SME’s looking to implement a QMS. While there are certain initial costs associated with and implementing a QMS system (training of personnel, integration of QMS platforms, outsourcing QMS needs), it is more often the case that the benefits of a QMS far outweigh the costs. Team members, customers, and stakeholders will all feel the intangible and tangible benefits of a well-thought-out and implemented QMS system resulting in a business environment that is happier, more productive and more secure.
a. Another thing that inhibits peoples thoughts around cost is its tangible affect on projects and the ability for the company to use it to their advantage and get approval for tenders because of their certification.
- ‘QMS Systems require too much technical know-how’ – Implementing a QMS system can certainly be a time-consuming and daunting task for what can be a very busy schedule for businesses of any size. While getting started with the implementation of a QMS system does require a certain degree of technical know-how and time commitment; Building upon your QMS and fostering the change within a business is an aspect that all team members from front-line workers to directors should and continue to be involved with for the best results.
How can Bramwell Partners Help?
If your business is short on time or needs help getting started with a Quality Management System, outsourcing your QMS needs is a great way to fast-track the implementation of a QMS or your business’s ISO certification to set your business up for long-term success.
At Bramwell Partners, we help your business make sense of ‘what is a QMS’ and have extensive experience in working with businesses of all sizes operating in a wide range of industries. We are committed to delivering and implementing a QMS that not only maximizes the value of what you do but also helps to reduce costs, increase your transactional value, improve client satisfaction and encourage positive employee engagement.
Interested to learn more?
If you’d like to learn more about what is a quality management system and how ISO 9001 training can help your business succeed; Get in touch with the HR consultants from Bramwell Partners on 07 3630 5695 or send us an email at [email protected] to empower your business with a competitive advantage today.