How Does a Quality Management System and ISO 9001 Benefit your Organisation?
Maintaining a certain level of quality is extremely important for preserving consumer trust and sustainability within your organisation. Upholding a high level of quality can be achieved by implementing a Quality Management System (QMS) in your organisation.
A QMS is the roadmap toward better quality. It can assist with guiding the course of an organisation, aided by the organisation’s strategy.Certain quality management principles are used to guide the way for a company to get where they want to be, and then to maintain and improve it. These principles are the foundation of an ISO compliant QMS that can be backed up with a quality assurance certification from an external organisation. The process of certification is to evaluate and confirm the ability of the organisation’s management arrangements to satisfy the requirements of the ISO standard.
WHAT IS A QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?
A Quality Management System is a collection of management arrangements that can, amongst others, include supervision, competence, technology, leadership, motivation, infrastructure, documentation, and other conditions that control processes and influence behaviour.
These systems help organisations direct and coordinate activities to meet customer satisfaction, in turn improving their effectiveness and efficiency on a continual basis. It is used to craft an environment for excellence to be present in people’s behaviour, the associated processes and the resultant products and/or services produced. A QMS that follows the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 drives continual improvement of the management system. With the improvement of the management arrangements there can be a consequent performance improvement.
HOW WILL A QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM BENEFIT YOUR ORGANISATION?
A Quality Management System serves many purposes, including improving processes, reducing waste, lowering costs, facilitating and identifying training opportunities, engaging staff and setting an organisation-wide direction.
Quality systems can also help top management maintain effective corporate governance. A QMS can be used to reduce the risks CEOs, CFOs and boards of directors face, protecting them from personal liability.
A well executed QMS will also form part of your organisation’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). ERM is a risk-based approach to managing an enterprise, integrating concepts like a QMS to reduce the risks taken on by the organisation. It can be used to gain added assurance beyond what inspection and quality control offer.
In many instances, particularly in Europe, ISO 9001:2015 certification is a requirement for trade agreements regarding importing and exporting of goods.
The main advantages of adopting a Quality Management System, however, is to increase your consumer trust, make your organisation more sustainable and to build a strong brand reputation.
YOUR QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AND CONSUMER TRUST
Implementing a quality management system can assist in maintaining long, trusting relationships with customers. A quality system is there to ensure that products/services meet customer’s requirements, which helps to instil confidence in the organisation. In turn, leading to more customers, more sales and more repeat business.
Implementing a well-functioning QMS in the early development phase of an organisation will result in fewer complaints and liability claims.
YOUR QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AND SUSTAINABILITY
For an organisation to stand the test of time, certain quality management plans need to be put in place to achieve sustainability. A functioning QMS ensures compliance with regulations and provision of products and services in the most cost-efficient manner – creating room for improvement, expansion, growth and profit.
Sustainable success is achieved when an organisation attracts and retains the confidence of customers and other interested parties. Sustainable growth of an organisation, therefore, is directly dependent on the proper functioning of the QMS.
BUSINESS REPUTATION AND QUALITY MANAGEMENT
Every business should strive for their business brand to be synonymous with quality. When referring to quality, it relates to how well a product/business does what it is intended. Allowing consumers to trust that the organisation will continuously up-hold a certain expectation of quality.
Quality management is the method for achieving this and as any organisation’s brand or name is priceless, protecting and enhancing this is extremely value adding. By developing and implementing a QMS, as well as improving your consumer trust and sustainability, you are also positively influencing your brand. Brand reputation should be a key factor when developing a quality management system.
QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM STANDARDS - ISO 9001:2015
While there are other Quality Management System Standards, the most globally accepted framework is ISO 9001:2015. ISO management system standards specify best practice requirements that organisations can implement to achieve their goals and objectives. This is in order to create an organisational culture that engages in continuous self-evaluation, correction and improvement of operations and processes.
Many of the latest ISO standards that state requirements are being written using the new High-Level Structure (HLS), which means ease of integration with ISO 9001:2015 and other standards. For example ISO 14001:2015 (environmental management), ISO 13485:2015 (QMS for medical devices), ISO 45001:2018 (occupational health and safety management), and others.
WHAT IS ISO 9001:2015?
The ISO 9001:2015 framework is used by millions of high-performing organisations worldwide, across all sectors and sizes.
It was first published in 1987 by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). The earlier versions of the standards leaned more toward manufacturing control and inspection. However, since the 2000 version of ISO 9001 the content has been about management techniques.
The latest update was released in September 2015, making ISO 9001:2015 the latest framework to follow. ISO 9001:2015 lays out the criteria that organisations must meet to ensure their offerings consistently satisfy customer and regulatory needs. Organisations can obtain ISO certification to demonstrate that they suitably meet the ISO 9001:2015 requirements.
Download our FREE GUIDE on the “9 Steps to Establishing and Implementing a Quality Management System” and learn more about how to implement and certify your organisation’s very own Quality Management System!
THE SEVEN QUALITY MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES
Quality management principles are a set of beliefs, norms, values and rules that can be used as a foundation for quality management. They were developed and updated by international experts of ISO/TC 176, which is the Technical Committee responsible for developing and maintaining ISO’s quality management standards.
The relative importance of each principle will vary from organisation to organisation. The importance of each principle is also expected to change over time.
The seven quality management principles include:
- Customer focus
This goes without saying – an organisation always needs to maintain a customer focus. The focus should include both current and future customers. When implementing a QMS the organisation may use a ‘customer journey’ to map out the touch points a customer may have throughout their interaction with the organisation. By specifying criteria that can measure the customer’s experience at each touch point, the organisation can design their business processes and management arrangements to be customer focused.
Quality within an organisation needs to start from the top. When top management demonstrate their leadership and commitment toward the QMS, they initiate a process of culture change.
Leaders within organisations are there to establish unity of purpose and direction, creating an environment in which employees are engaged in achieving the organisation’s quality objectives.
As part of good corporate governance, top management needs to understand the effectiveness of their organisation and be involved in implementing quality systems. Ensuring the strategic intent of their organisation is supported by the business processes managed by the QMS.
- Engagement of people
A successful organisation is one with an engaged workforce. An engaged workforce means that employees are utilised and valued. It also encourages continuous improvement and learning, creating an environment where employees are held accountable for their actions. This principle leads organisations away from a passive environment and into one that adopts a quality culture.
People within the organisation must therefore be engaged in the development of the management arrangements. Their involvement provides understanding and buy-in, which is a key factor in cultural change.
- Process approach
The process approach is reliant on systems theory that considers the interacting processes as part of a system. The design of the system should be conceptually designed by top management to achieve the strategic intent of the organisation.
Once the high-level framework of the system is developed, Process Owners and Process Participants can be allocated to the processes. Their role is to collaborate in optimising the effectiveness and efficiency of the process. This includes consideration of the business practices contained in ISO 9001:2015 as requirements.
Without continuous adaptation and improvement, organisations will not succeed. A strong quality system requires change. Improvement is crucial for an organisation to maintain peak levels of performance, to react to changes in its internal and external conditions and to create new opportunities.
Every ISO management system standard is developed using the HLS.
Therefore, at its core is the need for planning, based on the need to protect against loss (manage risk) and seek value (manage opportunities). By understanding the basis on which the QMS is planned, the organisation has a point of departure on which it can build.
Once the QMS has been implemented it needs ongoing monitoring, measurement, reporting, analysis and evaluation. Thus providing the basis for change and improvement. Furthermore, the requirements for customer feedback, internal audit, corrective actions and management review, all provide elements in a system that drives continual improvement of the management arrangements in the QMS.
- Evidence-based decision making
An established evidence-based decision-making process will entail gathering input from multiple sources, identifying facts, examining cause/effect, objectively analysing data and considering potential consequences. When so much is at stake, gut feelings are not the way to go when making decisions within an organisation. Data analysis, however, should also be balanced with practical experience. Whilst numbers tell a story, the value of experience should not be forgotten.
- Relationship management
People and relationships are an important part of running an organisation. The relationships between suppliers and other partners are essential. These parties do, after all, influence the performance of an organisation. Organisations that carefully select, manage and nurture their relationships with suppliers and partners can build positive and productive involvement, support and feedback from those entities. Strong supplier relationships mean continued quality – leading to customer trust and sustainability.
THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
When setting up a QMS it’s important to understand your business, consider the current trends in your industry and develop a process that is adaptable. It is vital to design a QMS that works for your business.
Industry trends, regulations and available solutions are all impacting today’s QMS. With the continuous changes happening within the various industries, it has become more important than ever for your QMS to be flexible enough to adapt to a changing regulatory environment. This is where getting your QMS certified will be of benefit.
WHY YOU SHOULD GET AN ISO CERTIFICATION
ISO 9001:2015 is the only standard in the ISO 9000 series to which organisations can certify, although ISO 9001:2015 certification is not a requirement. It is, however, a good idea for your organisation to get a quality assurance certification. Certification can limit the directors potential exposure to personal liability, particularly for regulated products or services, as it ensures that proper procedures exist and are followed.
Third-party certification, like those offered by Wynleigh International Certification Services, shows that your organisation has implemented your Quality Management System correctly. That being said, ISO certification is however necessary for some organisations, as certain public entities will only contract suppliers that have been certified.
WICS is the only Certification Body offering Risk Assurance. To assist our clients, we promote their certified status to both their key accounts as well as their insurers. These interventions keep organisation’s brands in the forefront of those they want to impress most – their customers. Engaging their customers allows us to design our audits to mitigate the need for duplication of second party audits. Further inputs to our audit plans include results from satisfaction surveys amongst their key accounts. Deriving insurer inputs prior to an audit allows a risk focused audit with audit report content that speaks to an insurer’s needs, positively impacting premiums.
Contact WICS for more information on how our services will give you the reassurance of ISO certification. Utilising the services of a trusted industry expert provides the guarantee of knowing that you are utilising the best quality management systems and practices.
We understand that quality is at the top of your priorities, which is why our certification service delivers a significantly higher value proposition. Contact us on +27 (0) 31 941 4790 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.