Quality management systems (QMS) are useful tools for businesses looking to achieve excellence across all areas. Coined in 1991 by British management consultant Ken Croucher, the term ‘Quality Management Systems’ refers to an organisation’s formalised approach to maintaining high standards of practice.
Another benefit of developing a quality management system is that it offers a business the opportunity to define what exactly it is that makes it stand out from the crowd. Understanding what makes it special can help an organisation work to its strengths, boost success and achieve its full potential.
ISO 9001 is probably the best known QMS around at the moment. An internationally recognised quality management system, it’s based on eight quality management principles. These principles cover all areas of management including: customer focus, leadership, continual improvement, mutually beneficial supplier relationships and fact-based decision making.
By adhering to these principles, businesses can ensure they’re constantly improving and driving standards ever higher. Defining a QMS can also help business leaders to focus on their company as a whole and move the entire organisation forward.
QMS and defining a company’s specialness
When working on creating and implementing quality management systems, businesses will need to look at every aspect of their enterprise and decide exactly what their chosen QMS means for them. Although ISO 9001 is the best known QMS (and the only certifiable QMS), there are a number of other models out there. Businesses should put considerable thought and consideration into selecting the QMS that best fits their organisation.
Developing a detailed QMS approach gives business leaders the opportunity to think carefully about the different elements of their organisation and how these come together to form a successful unit. Although the same basic elements are applied in each QMS, the way they’re implemented in each individual organisation will be unique. For example, a business that relies heavily on skilled, highly trained employees will respond differently than a business that works in tandem with its suppliers.
The process of examining every aspect of a business, and the way the QMS is implemented following development, helps business leaders to define what exactly it is them unique.. Understanding this in more detail can help managers to get the best out of their business model, their employees and their suppliers.
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