As an SME owner, you may be questioning the benefits of implementing Quality Management System Queensland for a small business. You may be wondering if it’s worth the investment of time and money.
If this is the case read on to fully understand the many benefits of having a quality assurance management system.
A quality assurance management system is quite simply a collection of business protocols and processes designed to consistently meet customer demands and boost customer satisfaction. In effect, it builds quality into your organization’s main goals and strategic direction. The best quality assurance management system is based on ISO 9001:2015.
Quality Assurance vs Quality Control
There is a difference between quality assurance and quality control. Quality assurance management is based on ensuring and improving quality throughout the design and development stage, as well as ensuring the quality of the products themselves.
Quality control without quality assurance is a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. However thorough your refund or replacement policy may be, you still risk losing goodwill if customers receive faulty goods.
Quality assurance is relevant to all businesses and industries in terms of business operations and productivity. Whatever you sell or do your customers and clients expect quality.
Implementing Quality Management System can help your business:
- Reduce costly mistakes
- Achieve greater consistency in the quality of products or services
- Boost efficiency by improving use of time and resources
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Improve your business’s reputation
Your customers have expectations. They expect a product to be fit for purpose, safe, well-made and long-lasting. If you want your customers to remain loyal and continue to buy from you in the future, you must meet those expectations.
Failing to meet those expectations could lose you not only that customer, but potential customers too. Word-of-mouth marketing is so important. In effect, it is the cheapest form of marketing and possibly the most powerful.
Besides, gaining a reputation for quality will also allow you to charge higher prices in the future.
There are several steps to implementing a quality assurance management system:
Clarify Your Goal
Whilst you may be quite clear about your intentions and expectations in your own head, your employees may not. It is essential to communicate your strategy and objectives.
Don’t just tell them its happening, explain why it is happening. When they understand the reasoning behind it, the direction in which the business is headed, and the benefits to be gained, they are more likely to buy into it.
Clarify Your CSF (Critical Success Factors)
The factors needed to achieve your goal break down into critical – i.e. must-have – and non-critical – ‘would be nice’. Decide what factors are critical to your success and communicate them to your team.
Track Your CSF
There’s no point putting plans, goals and CSF in place unless you have a way of tracking their success. This is one of the many reasons why ISO management systems are so successful. They have built-in systems to continually monitor and review progress, particularly if you wish to achieve ISO certification.
Identify Key Groups
These may include customers, suppliers, employees or other stakeholders. It’s important to understand the role these groups play, what they expect and how they can enable you to reach your goals.
By collating their views and expectations you can better design your quality assurance management system to deliver. It’s a way of setting benchmarks.
Create Your Management System
Many organizations get to this point without professional help. However, when it comes to creating a tailor-made management system that will work, it is recommended you use a professional. Clearly, you know your own business but a quality assurance consultant better understands ISO systems. He or she will have the most up-to-date knowledge and can adapt the system to your needs.
Implement the Plan
Again, this tends to work better with professional input. Having the system in place is one thing; ensuring your team understands it and supports it is another. The best management system consultants can help you roll out the plan, train your team and set up continual assessment and performance goals.
Look for a team that has an established reputation for providing affordable services to small and medium-sized businesses. This team should have extensive experience in implementing and maintaining management systems and helping businesses achieve ISO certification.
Remember, you don’t want an off-the-shelf solution, so the team must be able to create documentation to meet the required Standard. Ideally, the company covers other key management systems, such as Safety Management, Environmental Management and Integrated Management System.
You’ll probably find an organization like that also offers management system auditing training, delivered by qualified lead auditors. This is important. Auditing is a key part of maintaining a successful management system and accreditation. In fact, many businesses now appoint their own internal auditors to do just that.
Quality assurance is only going to get more important as customers become more demanding and competition in the market increases. Putting a quality assurance management system in place now is a smart move.