We all know how important quality management is, but more often than not, we look at this from a certification perspective. Over time, ISO9001 has become the equivalent of Quality Management, but obviously, this isn’t completely the case. There are numerous companies around the world that aren’t certified where Quality Management is of major importance. Quality Management is so much more than simply being certified. Therefore, being certified should be the logical outcome of having a good QMS, but only if the company chooses to be certified.
More Than Certification
There are numerous industries where being certified is simply a license to operate. Being certified is almost part of every request for a proposal, and without it, you will not even be considered. In these industries, the main focus is being certified for most companies. However, the actual presence of the QMS brings a lot more to the organization without them actually being fully aware of it. This is why we regularly see companies opting out of their certification but still having a QMS present, although somewhat leaner than before. When these companies stop going for certification, they see the full extent of the management system and how it aligns with good business practices.
Leverage the QMS
We briefly touched upon leveraging the QMS while convincing customers in previous posts already, but in B2B, this is something that so many more companies should do. Conducting business with one another is mainly based on trust. Trust is enforced by transparency. When you as an organization give your customers a deep understanding of how you maintain the quality of your products and services, trust will build. On top of that, you show them which checks and balances are built into the processes to check the quality. Lastly, it is even better to show the customer what happens when something goes wrong. What processes are started when this happens, how the root causes are investigated and CAPAs implemented, and how the customer is informed during this process. Leveraging your QMS and providing it to Sales as a tool in their toolbox to build trust with prospects and customers will increase sales. As we said, business is all about trust, and having a world-class QMS builds trust and shows customers you are willing to go above and beyond for them.
Like we touched upon earlier, the QMS is a management system that describes how the company gets to the output it delivers with the highest possible quality in mind. In order to achieve this, the organization needs to be aligned around this common goal and the management system is a great framework for achieving this. Obviously, there is a lot more to it before the company reaches this goal, but the management is what brings it all together and enables the organization to structure this. It also should be used as a vehicle to build a certain culture. The organization has thousands of choices on how to do this by means of documents, communication channels, in-house PR, memos, just to name a few. But the actual framework and how all these tools come together is where the management system comes into play. The QMS is where all the pieces are described and how these interact with each other. Whether this is described in processes or procedures, having it built into a software platform is more of an informal mutual agreement.
As you can see, the QMS is a lot more than just a certificate. If you have or are building a great quality-driven company, a QMS is a great framework to build this around.