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When looking for ways to improve your quality management system (QMS), the real question you’re asking is: how do I put my supply chain in the best position to act on problems before they become catastrophes?
It is, after all, well-known that a proactive approach is much preferable to a reactive one. A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure: and every cent spent on preventing problems will save you multiple dollars on trying to fix them.
In this article, we will explore the importance of a seamless quality management system, as well as ways to improve an existing quality management system that will help you take control of your quality control operations and build an effective, safe and ethical supply chain.
Fundamentally, an effective QMS should achieve consistent product quality, compliance and transparency at every stage of production. The first step towards that is establishing consistent -- and consistently understood -- customer-oriented goals across the supply chain.
To achieve those goals, multiple operational processes can be executed as part of a company’s Quality Management System, including:
The concept of quality management, in some shape or form, has been around since pre-industrial times. During the 20th century, ideas of quality management have gone through many transformations, and the publication of the original ISO 9001 standard in 1987 was a major landmark.
In today’s digital age, quality management is inextricably linked to online capabilities and data-oriented technologies. In the past decade alone, cloud-based software has helped to supercharge every aspect of quality management by streamlining data storage, analysis, and communication across supply chains of all sizes and spans.
Today's cutting-edge quality management software goes even further, with the capability to target specific areas within the manufacturing process. This includes platforms specifically designed with a focus on Testing, Inspection, and Certification (TIC) management, which can be quality management system.
At first glance, the concept of a quality management system, with its many principles and requirement, may seem daunting. You might even start to wonder if your business needs an actual QMS, especially if you’re operating on a relatively small scale.
However, looking at the introduction to the ISO 9001:2015 standard, we see an explanation of what kind of organizations the QMS requirements are aimed at. Those are organizations that:
Simplified, the above means that a quality management system is instrumental for:
-- and therefore, a QMS is necessary for any business that markets products or services, no matter its size, industry or specialization.
Continuous Improvement and Adaptation
A quality management system isn’t a “fire and forget” solution, something that is established once and never addressed again. To achieve its primary objective of ensuring continued customer satisfaction, a QMS must also continuously improve in alignment with the evolving needs of your business and the changing environment it operates in.
Any changes to keep your quality management system up to date must be based on timely and informed decisions. Decisions, in turn, must be rooted in reliable and accurate data, collected at every step of your supply chain, ideally in real-time, and readily available to all relevant stakeholders. This is why forward-thinking companies have come to rely on digital technologies and integrated platforms to help improve QMS.
Companies with effective and flexible quality management systems are the best positioned to ensure customer satisfaction by delivering products that are of consistent quality, safe, and sustainable:
Consistent Quality -- achieved by ensuring that raw materials, components and final products meet your specifications, manufacturing processes are continuously monitored and improved, and any production issues are investigated and addressed before they escalate.
Safety and Regulatory Compliance -- accomplished by staying on top of your production standards to make sure they are aligned with the latest regulatory requirements, maintaining a safety testing program, and tracing any issues to the source in case of product recalls.
Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing -- QMS practices can also be effectively leveraged to organize and roll out ethical and environmental requirements, monitor adherence, implement corrective actions and monitor improvement.
Furthermore, we wanted to give you ways to develop your quality management system that build on your existing resources, without the need to scrap or fully overhaul your existing supply chain management platform. To achieve that, we made sure that the QIMAone quality control and compliance software can be integrated with existing management tools and platform, such as Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Warehouse Management Software (WMS).
Discover the many features of QIMAone, and see how they can become powerful ways to improve your quality management system.
Want to see our platform in action? Learn more by scheduling a demo of QIMAone today.