What is ISO 9001? Quality Management Systems (QMS) explained
Companies and organisations are now expected to prove competency across an increasing number of disciplines in order to win contracts in both the private and public sector. A quality management system (QMS) is one of the best ways of reassuring potential clients that you can meet their projects aims and objectives. Here we take a closer look at what a QMS is and how it could benefit your business.
What is a Quality Management System?
In the most simple terms, a quality management system such as ISO 9001 is a clearly defined set of business processes. Together with the relevant documentation, it defines your commitment to creating products and services in accordance with pre-defined standards. A good QMS should include detailed information about processes and responsibilities within an operational environment.
An effective QMS ensures that your business delivers to a consistently high standard, together with a plan to continually measure and improve every aspect of the business operations that is within the appropriate regulatory framework.
What are the benefits of using a QMS?
Companies that use a QMS have a very clearly defined process for manufacturing products or delivering services that allows them to cope with staff changes, breakdowns and even finding new outsource partners. Because documentation is a key factor in the QMS, the information is readily available to deal with changes. The company is no longer reliant on individual skill and knowledge.
2. Reduction in failures
A good QMS should have an inbuilt reviewing process. Should a problem occur in a process, or if a customer is not satisfied with a service, then the errors that have led to this failure can be identified and the causes examined. Subsequently, from the findings, the systems can be updated to prevent similar issues in the future.
3. Prequalification for new business
A QMS such as ISO 9001 demonstrates your competency to new businesses and markets. Many types of organisation, from those that work in the public sector through to international corporations, will take your QMS as a mark of trust. Make sure you get certification through the appropriate channels, such as a UKAS accredited certification body to maximise this benefit.
4. Evidence-based change
Without clear results and statistics, deciding what changes to make in a business is complete guesswork. A QMS will generate a real picture of operational weak points and frailties. It will provide the data that is required in order to reflect and inform meaningful change within the business.
5. Continual improvement
Going forward, a QMS will provide a business with a simple framework for implementing change within procedures. It will be complete with a full documentation process that allows businesses to plot the evolution of different approaches. The continual refinement of the system allows organisations to pursue excellence at every level.
6. Customer satisfaction
Ultimately every business needs to serve the customer. It may be a maxim of business, but the customer is the most important entity in any relationship. By using a QMS, you are making a statement about your reliability and ability to deliver on your contractual responsibilities to your customer.
Where should you start?
One of the best places to discover more about how a QMS could benefit your business, with a particular focus on ISO 9001, is with us at the GDPR Compliance Consultancy. Our website provides a comprehensive overview of all the ISO standards we offer and gives you a number of useful articles including a free beginners guide.
Business is always becoming increasingly competitive. Even in the last five years the amount of companies in the UK has grown substantially. A record number of 660,000 new businesses starting up in 2017 for example. It’s therefore vital to demonstrate clear differentiation against your rivals and adopting a QMS gives you this edge in a clear, discernible way that your customer can understand.
So, if you would like to start the discussion please call us today on 03333 22 1011 or you can contact us here.