Quality can be subjective. What one person or company perceives as high quality is not necessarily the same as another person’s interpretation. To give the term parameters, we can describe it as the features of a service or a product that allow for or stand up to its capacity to meet the known specified or inferred requirements and enable the delivery of a service or product without deficiency. A system for quality management is therefore the enterprise structure, policies, procedures, processes and the usage of resources that are required for the implementation, monitoring, maintenance and improvement of the quality and the management thereof.
QMS consulting is the advice, guidance, review and assistance in the design, structuring, implementation, monitoring, measurement, improvement and on-going review of a Quality Management System (QMS) that an expert firm such as WWISE offers to the client company. Total Quality Management (TQM) is an approach aimed at the management of quality in all aspects of the company’s processes, procedures and policies regarding the delivery of products and services to the customer. TQM is focused on achieving success through on-going improvement of customer satisfaction.
In order to make the TQM successful, the enterprise needs to develop and implement an integrated management system focused on total involvement of the employees to ensure that the process-centred approach leads to customer satisfaction. Critical to the success of the TQM is the development of a system to collect and analyse data regarding customer satisfaction and behaviour, how the processes match up, and more. To help enterprises attain long-term success with their TQM approach, WWISE offers a QMS consulting service to ensure successful integration of the QMS with the enterprise’s existing management systems, including the likes of the environmental and the occupational health and safety management systems.
Through full integration of the QMS with the various management systems, it is possible to save on system management costs, while also reducing the effort and resources in administering the various management systems for on-going compliance with international standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
As mentioned before, one person’s interpretation of the definition of quality may differ from another. As such, we find that the company’s interpretation of quality may differ from what the customer perceives it to be. It is also true between companies from various countries. To get a standardised approach to quality there must be an international standard that sets out the framework for QMS implementation. This is where the International Standards Organisation (ISO) comes in.
Recognising the need to have a standardised interpretation of quality, quality management and the setting up and maintaining of such a system, ISO and various standard organisations from around the world work together to create the range of standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. These standards ensure that when companies trade locally or internationally, they are all on the same page in terms of interpretation of terms such as quality. This helps to minimise confusion and to increase confidence in a company’s interpretation.
Though certification to show compliance with a standard such as ISO 9001 for QMSs is not compulsory, it is recommended. Certification provides the proof that the enterprise does comply with the requirements. This gives a compliant, certified firm a competitive edge over one that has not gained certification. International trade is increasingly focused on trading only among companies that have gained certification. Implementation of a compliant QMS furthermore helps the enterprise to improve employee morale and increases customer satisfaction. With fewer complaints or product returns, the firm is able to save costs. Over the long term, having a compliant and integrated QMS helps to ensure business growth.
How to Implement an Integrated Total Quality Management System
Our QMS consulting experts help firms to prepare for ISO 9001 certification and to integrate their various management systems. Part of this service entails training of employees, conducting a GAP analysis to address areas where improvement is needed, doing an external audit and offering a QMS maintenance programme consisting of management reviews and audits. Another part of our QMS consulting services is to help firms understand how to implement a successful TQM system.
The first step in the TQM development is to clarify the firm’s vision, its mission and its values so that the employees understand how their roles are connected to the firm’s strategy and goals. Part of this process entails employee orientation regarding the company mission, vision, values, and goals.
The next step is the identification of the critical success factors needed to ensure that objectives are reached. For this it is essential to implement performance measures to identify areas in which improvement are needed to ensure that the enterprise can meet its stated objectives. Product quality, improvement of processes, customer satisfaction and financial performance are, for instance, essential factors for success. With the factors identified, it is time to initialise measures for progress monitoring, which can be attained through the collection of data and sharing of vital information.
Following the above, the company has to identify its key groups of customers. Main groups include, for instance, customers (grouped by products they buy, location, age, gender, etc.), vendors, employees and suppliers, among others. Customer satisfaction cannot be monitored if there is no feedback system. The company needs to implement a system to obtain customer feedback such as polls, complaint forms, surveys and satisfaction reports. Surveys should not be structured to represent what the company thinks is important for the customers. Instead, the focus should be on understanding what the customer perceives as important.
Survey tools must be developed and each customer group must be surveyed. Following the results of customer feedback, it is important to implement plans for improvement with measurement tools in place to review progress, improvement and areas needing improvement. On-going monitoring of customer satisfaction and improvements must form part of the company’s strategy.
TQM is an approach to quality management. Integration of quality management into every aspect of the enterprise is essential for on-going success. Make use of our QMS consulting services to help your firm implement and maintain such systems also relating to ISO-compliant quality management.